4 Easy-to-Try Ideas For a Modern Thanksgiving Table
For one? Think: lots and lots of heirloom pumpkins.
When our friends Jaime Young, Todd Enany, and Adam Landsman opened their new restaurant in Brooklyn called Sunday in Brooklyn, we knew it would be the perfect venue to showcase our modern Thanksgiving tablescape.
Think: white-washed walls, white marble tabletops, and mid-century modern furniture. In addition to being a full service restaurant and bar, its also a great spot to either grab a coffee and a pastry to-go, or prepared foods and sauces to elevate your homecooked meal! The bright space was beautifully captured by our friend and photographer, Twah Dougherty.
1. Mix Nature with Metals
First, we decided to focus on the historical aspect of Thanksgiving and highlight nature's bounty of heirloom pumpkins, gourds, mushrooms, and fresh moss. It was super simple. First, we laid down Spanish moss, about 8 inches wide and half an inch thick, to cover the length of the table like a table runner. We then carefully placed heirloom pumpkins and gourds on top making sure to leave space for food and candles. For added texture and detailing, we added multiple varieties of mushrooms, lichens, and moss to blend everything together.
We chose vintage brass tapers to highlight the mid-century modern aspect of our design; these were widely produced in Taiwan during the '70s and commonly used for wedding and holiday entertaining in the U.S. during that time. Lighting is one of the best ways to set the tone and mood for your dinner party. Here's an extra tip: When in doubt, dim the lights to where it feels almost too dark and add lots of more candles. Our entire team comes from a hospitality background and over the years, we've learned that dimming the lights and adding some ambient music will encourage your guests to order another glass of wine and stay longer - and that will surely lead to a fabulous evening!
2. Write in Calligraphy on Menus
We called our friend Sara McCarthy, founder and creative director of Ink Revival, to elevate our tables with some beautiful custom menus featuring her fabulous illustrations. She was the genius behind the calligraphy on our place cards and anything that required calligraphy in our Thankgiving tablescape. We chose round menus to highlight the important role that food plays in Thanksgiving.
3. Set the Table with Matte-and-Gold Flatware
We teamed up with our friends at BorrowedBlu for some delicious tabletop settings and glassware. We chose white marble square chargers paired with off-white handthrown ceramic plates, vintage smoke and crystal-cut glassware, and finished with some fabulous matte black and gold flatware. When deciding how to best compliment your dining room or space, we suggest pulling colors from the room. In this case, we highlighted the marble tabletops, white-washed walls, and black mid-century modern chairs. Gold and smoke glass were widely used in mid-century modern design, which is what led us to our selection from their inventory.
4. Do Double-Duty: Place Cards as Party Favors
When it comes to place settings, we try to get as creative as possible. For weddings, we usually make the place card double as the party favor, such as an agate slice with the guest's name for a bohemian wedding or a compass for a nautical wedding. For this Thanksgiving table, we decided to make mini pumpkin pies in tiny jam jars. We like to think of it as a sweet treat for our guests to remember the hopefully delicious meal the next day (and to help nurse their hangover).
Want to learn more on how to set a formal dinner table? Watch this video for our quick tips: