Let's take a quick break from the kitchen and talk about the other ways that you'll prepare your home for Thanksgiving guests. Something I've noticed is that a ton of the feedback I've gotten from this series includes comments about how homes are too small to host, or the person is single and could never host, etc. Those thoughts can seem like such real reasons.. and maybe they're a great reason to keep you from hosting a large family gathering, but hosting in any space is going to be wonderful and sweet. It doesn't have to look like photos in magazines. Throw up a card table in the living room, cover it with a cheap tablecloth, and scatter greens from the garden in the center with a few candles on top. Gorgeous, and can take place anywhere. All of that being said, I'd feel like a failure if what you got from reading my posts is that you could never host.. because anyone can pull off a memorable friendsgiving. :)
I think what's important to keep in mind about tablescapes is to meet yourself where you're at. If you're in a season where putting a ton of effort into your tablescape (me the past two years) is something you'd love to do.. then go for it! But this year, to minimize prep (with baby coming we have a lot of other projects brewing!) I'm strongly considering leaving my cloth linens in the cabinet with the china (hurts my heart to think of no china!) and going more casual. Especially as our gathering has grown, I'm having to borrow lots of china (which is fine and fun!) but this year.. I'm loving the idea of tossing all the plates in the trash and calling it good. :) We'll see! Another different thing for us this year is that our Christmas decorations will already be up. We're decorating early for a fun Christmas shoot that I'm so excited to share more details about soon.
Y'all... I'm never lacking words. Haha. Anyways. Onto tablescapes.
I remember being SO, SO proud of this table and all the work that went into it. If you look carefully I actually printed up little menus for each place setting. This scape taught me something important, too. Gathering free greenery and placing it down the center of your table will almost always look chic, especially with a lot of the trends in design right now. I'd highly recommend this look or something similar.
This image shows a combination of several inexpensive, cute ideas. Brown butcher paper is covering the table, with names written at each setting. So cute, so cheap, and keeps your table clean, or covers a table that isn't your ideal look. You can also see that greenery spans the middle of the table, with just a few roses placed down the middle. I know one of our local grocery stores has $1 rose tuesday.. it would be great to just grab a few to place down the table like in the image above.
Hope that has your creative juices flowing! :) My best advice is to search pinterest for tablescapes and find something you find inspirational. I have a board of tablescapes that can be found here.
Some other home prep tips:
- I've found that the sweet spot time to deep clean the house is 2 days before an event, and then to just stay extra tidy leading up to it.
- Also notable is that as long as your home is clean enough to only be looking lived in (I'm not talking like trash on surfaces, layers of visible dust everywhere) your guests will not notice a thing and feel at home
- I never light a candle in the kitchen unless it's unscented.. let the food smells shine! One in the living room is cozy and great though, I'll often light once the crew settles in on the couches for some dessert.
- Don't become overwhelmed thinking that you need tons of supplies to host. Serving off of disposables is more than honorable.
- Another great option is borrowing from friends and relatives who may have more serve ware than you do
Hope this helps! I think tablescapes are one of the most fun things about the holidays.. making a normal place feel a little extra special! :)