Feelings of gratitute come naturally in autumn, peak season for ethereal light, rich colors and happy homecomings. This Thanksgiving, play up those elements with a simply yet special table that celebrates great food and close-knit company.
bench cushion thanksgiving table
Credit: Lennart Weibull

Room for All

Pull up a cushioned bench to a spread of easy earthly delights. Our take on a pareddown Scandinavian scene (no flowers necessary) gets its warmth from raw linen and the glow of beeswax candles. An informal arrangement of mottled gourds, leather-trimmed hurricane lanterns, and whole nuts ready for the cracking makes a casually gorgeous centerpiece.

THE DETAILS: Pier 1 Holtom Collection natural bench cushion, 35", $50, pier1.com. Sawkille Senate armchair, in American Black Walnut, $2,300, fair-design.com. Amish Gourds assorted clean dried gourds, from $1.25 each, amishgourds.com.

pocket napkin
Credit: Lennart Weibull

A Mindful Moment

Greet guests with a new holiday ritual. Stitch patches onto linen napkins-we went for a green plaid that plays up the vintage dinner-plate pattern. Then tuck in a mini pencil and a personalized note, and ask folks to jot something down once they find their seat. It's a sweet twist on place cards, and it encourages people to pause and reflect before going around the table.

THE DETAILS: Cutipol Ebony cutlery, $320 for a 24-piece set, cutipol.pt. Il Buco Vita Pienza mouthblown glass tumbler, in Amber, $36; and Assisi appetizer bowl, in Ocra, $85, shop .ilbucovita.com. Bitters Co natural gourd bowls, $8 each, bittersco.com. H&M washed-linen napkin, in Linen Beige, $6, hm.com. Vintage Winterling Bavaria Autumn Harvest Wheat dinner plate.

leather trim lanterns
Credit: Lennart Weibull

Rustic, Redux

To fill your dining room with golden light, group leather-trimmed lanterns holding beeswax pillars. A trio of varied heights is handsome enough to stand in for a flower arrangement, and comes together in minutes from basic materials: leather strips, brass fasteners, and glass hurricanes.

THE DETAILS: Jamali Garden clear-glass cylinder vases, 6" by 8" and 8" by 10", from $10 each, jamaligarden.com. Tandy Leather lightweight cowhide leather strips, ¾" and 1", from $15 for 50", tandyleather.com. Staples gold round-head fasteners, ⅜", $2.50 for 100, staples.com.

serve yourself thanksgiving table
Credit: Lennart Weibull

Family Favorites

A serve-yourself setup feels personal when you bring out pieces in an interesting mix of materials and shapes. Pair curvy pewter and ironstone or ceramic tureens with leggy candlesticks and tiny gourds (which happen to make sweet bottle stoppers). Our DIY leather-handled trivets -- made from scraps of the lantern trim and napkin pockets on the previous pages -- offer common ground.

THE DETAILS: Match oval tureen, $570, match1995.com. Jamali Garden porcelain candlesticks (similar to shown), from $24 for 4, jamaligarden.com.

pie slice boxes
Credit: Lennart Weibull

Fond Farewells

Dispatch guests with a sweet, sustainable parting slice. Line premade paper boxes with parchment; serve up the last of your crew's favorite pies; and garnish with sprigs of wheat, dried or faux berries, and raffia (aka leftover wreath supplies). And don't forget the fork.

THE DETAILS: A La Modo deluxe lidded pie slice boxes with forks, from $30 for 25, alamodo.etsy.com. Ashland natural raffia, $6, michaels.com.

Feeling inspired? Watch a sneak peek of Martha's Thanksgiving table at Bedford:


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