5 Simple Ways To Create A Beautiful Holiday Table Setting

Our intimate Thanksgiving

How was your Thanksgiving weekend? Mine was low key with a quiet Thanksgiving dinner as a family of five and dinner on Friday with my in-laws.  Since my parents moved to Seattle a little over two years ago, holidays are rarely spent together with my side of the family. It’s a sad reality of adulthood and I’m left missing them more on days like Thanksgiving and Christmas when I can’t see them freely as I’d like.

This year was no different, and for the first time we spent Thanksgiving day without grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Initially this thought saddened me since I had grown accustomed to large family gatherings over time. But the universe always has a way of using every opportunity as a life lesson, and this year it taught me that slow, leisurely paced holiday is just as good as a busy and noisy one. We wanted to save the turkey dinner for Friday with my in-laws and decided instead to imitate one of our favorite dinners from Lawry’s: prime rib, creamed spinach and creamed corn.

It was a simple but delicious meal put together by my wonderful and generous husband and I spent the day catching up on much needed sleep. To top it off, this was the first day Baby D slept throughout the night from midnight to 7 or 8 in the morning. This year he gave me the gift of sleep, which is exactly what I needed! 🙂 Since then he has yet to repeat this wonderful milestone and continues to wake up to feed once or twice a night, but I really can’t complain because he is the easiest and happiest baby of the three.

Even though the dinner was just for us five, I still wanted to make it special for my family since we have much to be thankful for this year. So for the first time in a long time, I took out my fancy china that rarely gets used and put together a simple yet elegant Thanksgiving table with items I already had.

How to create the perfect holiday tablescape

Today, I want to share with you five simple tips on creating a beautiful holiday table setting on a smart budget. Please note that I’m not a design expert and these are simply my personal suggestions. My personal decor style is simple, classic and personal (you will see this later) and I decorate everything around my home with soul and intention, meaning it begins and ends with what is most functional and memorable for my family.

My personal decor style is simple, classic and personal and I decorate everything around my home with soul and intention, meaning it begins and ends with what is most functional and memorable for my family.


1. Start with a simple color scheme.


I usually start with a simple color scheme such as white, gold and silver. This way you can layer various colors depending on occasion and theme without having to invest in different colored china, silverware and chargers. I own two different types of gold chargers and have used them for more than five events including Thanksgiving, Christmas, my mother’s birthday, my daughter’s birthday and family dinner gatherings. They are so versatile and complement many different colors and styles.

I like using chargers instead of place mats for special occasions because they look more festive to me. You can buy them on sale this time of the year on sites like Macy’s and Mikasa. Kirklands and Hobby Lobby also has some great more affordable options.

(And don’t forget to use the 40% off coupon or app when shopping at Hobby Lobby!)


2. Layer colors

Then begin layering colors appropriate for the occasion. I didn’t want to use the usual orange for Thanksgiving and instead gathered white, brown and green items from around the home.

Accent colors can be added by using floral center piece, napkins, cups, wine glasses and other details. I arranged a simple mixed bouquet from the market (I love grocery store flowers!) and went through my Christmas box of goodies and used the brown/beige details I already owned.

Think lots of pine cones, leafy greens, white flowers with touches of gold.


3. Buy decor items that are multifunctional


With little bit of creativity and thinking ahead, you can buy a few key items that can be used for multiple occasions. For example, the white pumpkins I used here are the same ones I bought from Halloween. Isn’t it amazing how seamlessly it transitions from Halloween to Thanksgiving?

Similarly the pinecone and berry details are a part of the Christmas collection purchased at Hobby Lobby. I just stayed away from using too much red to avoid it looking like Christmas but tiny bits of red details did not deter from the Thanksgiving tablescape.

What’s awesome is that once you’re done with the tablescape, you can reuse these items for Christmas decorations around the home and even for gift wrapping as I will later share.


4. Invest in candles


If you’ve been following my decor style, you would know that I love candles. I mean, I LOVE CANDLES so much that I spend more money buying candles than make up. There’s something so calming and ethereal about candlelight that no other decor detail can replicate or replace.

If you’re serious about decorating, I’d suggest investing in clear tealight or votive candle holders that can be used for numerous occasions. I own a box of glass tealight candle holders and have gotten so much use out of them over the last few years from birthdays to dinner parties.

Candles instantly improve the ambiance and mood of the space and makes it more festive. I’ve purchased ones from Eastland and am satisfied with its quality. You can find it here: Eastland® Tealight Candle Holders Clear Set of 12

I also like these colored ones and plan to purchase them for Christmas: Kate Aspen Vintage Blue Glass Tealight Holder (Set of 4)


5. Make it personal and have fun!


Lastly be creative, don’t stress and have fun! My favorite rule when it comes to design is that there are no fast rules to design. Don’t focus on making it perfect or professional, instead focus on making it meaningful for yourself and your family.

Lastly be creative, don’t stress and have fun! My favorite rule when it comes to design is that there are no fast rules to design. Don’t focus on making it perfect or professional, instead focus on making it meaningful for yourself and your family.

Add things from around the home as well as things that are meaningful to you such as your child’s artwork. My daughter brought home a turkey made out of construction paper and pine cones and I added it to the tablescape because it was so cute! My kids loved seeing their own artwork being displayed on the dining table and I loved how the tablescape included my children’s creativity and touch.


This was Baby D’s first Thanksgiving and at almost 4 months old, he slept through most of the dinner. We made sure to keep him right by us in this awesome bumper mat from CreamHaus USA that I absolutely love and can’t live without. You can read my detailed review here.

And a little extra: making a family gratitude list

I also wanted to use this opportunity to go around and share with each other what we’re thankful for. So instead of just doing this verbally, I printed out a “Kim Family’s Gratitude List” and had everyone fill out 10 things they are grateful for. I believe writing things down is more effective than just saying it verbally and this quick exercise worked well for our family.

One notable thing I learned from this family exercise is that material goods sat very low on my list. In fact, I lumped everything together into one category like “food, water and all the goodies I own.” I noticed the rest of my family did this too, which tells me that objects are not worth much when it comes to our overall level of gratitude and happiness.

What’s really important instead is our family, children, friends, health, shelter, pets and our ability to do things like laugh, work hard and share memories. I’m sure many of you already know this but this short exercise was humbling and served as a great reminder this time of the year.

If you haven’t done this already, I highly suggest creating your own family list and see what you guys come up with. If you’d like, you can use the one I created for my family and simply change out the name.

You can download here in word file: gratitude-list

Until next time I’ll be thinking of more tips and memories to share with you guys through this blog, sometimes with Baby D on my lap like this! 😉 He’s growing so fast, isn’t he?

Multitasking mom and Baby D at almost 4 months

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving friends! The holiday season has officially begun and I wish you lots of warmth, blessings, laughters and sweet memories with loved ones. As always, please pin the image below if you enjoyed this post!

Join the Conversation

11 thoughts on “5 Simple Ways To Create A Beautiful Holiday Table Setting

  1. Gorgeous tablescape! I too love candles (like everywhere ☺️) and I love your last tip about having fun! And the gratitude list, so creative and thoughtful. Happy holidays!

  2. These all look so beautiful, I really want to invest in come chargers. And I love your tip on not stressing and having fun! This would be the perfect post to link up with my link party for #SimplifyingTheSeason on December 26, I hope to see you there!

  3. I love how you organized these tips – they really start from the basics and walk you through to a beautiful finished table. Thanks for sharing – very helpful! 🙂

  4. Such a beautiful setting. I’m going to take your advice for colettes dohl! I’m decorating the whole thing this time to save money.

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