We hope you like the products we recommend. Just so you are aware, Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. 

The holiday hullabaloo has begun. If you’re the one hosting Thanksgiving this year, you might be feeling a small tinge of stress about your upcoming entertaining. Of course, there’s the fairly daunting task of getting such a large-scale meal to table. But that’s not your only concern. You want every single friend and family member who walks through your door to feel simultaneously welcomed and wowed.

It sounds like a lot, but don’t sweat. We tapped our entire team of writers at Freshome to give you some ideas to make this year your most memorable Thanksgiving ever. Our team of home design experts has rounded up a manageable list of must-haves for hosting Thanksgiving. Grab these items and you’ll be well on your way to a beautiful, bountiful celebration with your loved ones.

Set the scene for a memorable evening with candlelight. Image: HGTV


Creating the ideal Thanksgiving dinner comes down to a few things: good food, good company and good ambiance. You can create the last with a lot of effort – or you can use lighting to make your dining area feel magical. Candles are a fantastic way to create a warm setting that feels special and doesn’t require a lot of work to set up. Taper candles and tea lights are great options that leave plenty of room on your table for your centerpiece and serving dishes. Or, if you want to go for a bigger impact element, you can opt for something like this eye-catching Centerpiece Candle from West Elm.

However you choose to incorporate candles, don’t forget to light them as guests arrive. Here’s a tip from our Freshome team. Task someone who probably won’t help much in the kitchen with this chore. It’s a great way to get someone like a teen or football-loving adult involved in hosting Thanksgiving and prevents you from having to stress about a last-minute to-do.

With a platter, you can present your food beautifully without any additional work in the kitchen. Image: Crate & Barrel

Serving platter

When it comes to Thanksgiving, the focus is on the food. With all eyes on the dishes you bring out of the kitchen, you want to present them in an attractive way. That could mean spending extra time on the presentation of the food itself, but with all the work you’re already going to be doing in the kitchen, that can be taxing. Instead, simply put the food on a large, beautiful platter. We love this Antique Brass Leaf Platter from Williams Sonoma as a way to take your table to the next level.

If you’re looking for a platter that will work in every season but can still add some fall warmth to your Thanksgiving table, our Freshome team loves wood. The Tondo Serverware collection from Crate & Barrel comes in a variety of sizes and shapes to help you beautifully present every dish.

Natural decor makes it easy to set an impressive table when hosting Thanksgiving. Image: Amanda Carol Interiors

Natural table decor

Ah, the Thanksgiving centerpiece. The crowning glory of your table at the upcoming holiday. But you already have to create enough storage in your home for other holiday decorations. We get that carving out even more storage for a bounty of Thanksgiving table decor – which you’ll realistically use one, maybe two, times each year – isn’t a priority. And it doesn’t have to be! Our writers have found a workaround.

To fill out our tables when hosting Thanksgiving, we turn to natural options. Gourds and pumpkins are classics that set a seasonal tone. Don’t be afraid to incorporate less common additions like lemons or halved figs, too. And if you’re looking for a high-impact centerpiece, turn to the classic: fresh flowers. A bouquet of blooms in seasonal hues livens up your table and delivers both a high-end and homey feel.

A table runner – especially one with a textured edge – can establish your tablescape. Image: Cost Plus World Market

Table linens

If you want to add depth and visual interest to your Thanksgiving table without it looking cluttered, turn to table linens. At Freshome, we love table runners for the holiday. They’re a great way to add both structure and softness to your table without the stuffiness of a full-blown tablecloth. Plus, if you’ve got a beautiful table, this is the time to show off this piece of furniture!

And if you really want your table linens to pack a punch, mix textures. Smooth napkins with a rough-edged runner – like the Khadi Runner from World Market – give your table depth. The mixed textures call to your guests’ tactile senses, inviting them to sit at the table and feel all the different textures.

If you’re looking for some inspiration to help you pick the perfect table linens, we’ve got you covered. Here is a roundup of Thanksgiving table decorating ideas.

Don’t forget the plates and glasses! Image: Pottery Barn

More picks for hosting Thanksgiving

Of course, you can’t have a proper dinner party without dishes and glasses. We love mixing and matching your seasonal dinnerware with your normal sets to give your table some flair. Plus, combining your different sets makes it easier to find enough plates and bowls to serve your large gathering. If you don’t already have fall plates to pull out, these Harvest Pumpkin Salad Plates from Pottery Barn are a great addition to your cabinets.

And don’t forget to add drink receptacles. We love large wine glasses (check out these goblets from Williams Sonoma) and classic coupes (you can grab them at Target) so your guests can liberally enjoy the libations.

Do you really want to make Thanksgiving a breeze? One of our writers has a surefire tip for you. Get it catered!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family here at Freshome to yours. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season – and that we’ve made it a little bit easier on you.