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3 Ways to Dress Your Decor for Thanksgiving

3 Ways to Dress Your Decor for Thanksgiving

Posted by Aimee Talbot on 8th Nov 2012

One of the things we love about living with antiques is their versatility within any decor. Take an antique dining table. You can dress it up with fancy linens for a classic look — or leave the wood bare for a more modern look. You can create a shabby design scheme with your antiques, or you use them to go upscale. When decorating with antiques, your personal taste eclipses the objects themselves.

Here are three distinctive ways to dress up (or down) your decor for Thanksgiving.


If you love a luxurious look, think color and texture. A thick, ivory damask tablecloth laid over an antique dining table creates a drape-y textural effect, while its color contrasts nicely with the warm wood tones of the chairs. Likewise, a neutral table cover offers the perfect backdrop to showcase a beautiful floral centerpiece in hues of orange and yellow, green and brown. The colors of fall will set a traditional tone for your holiday meal, and the varied textures of floral petals, waxy leaves, or spiky miniature cattails will serve as a counterpoint to the softness of the linens.

The opulent look also requires using heirloom china and sterling flatware. Choose simple, white plates to showcase the food, or go for ornate antique plates that may have been used during the Victorian era. Cut crystal (or glass) goblets and weighty silver flatware add a sense of specialness to the event.

Elegant Contemporary

It’s perfectly possible to incorporate antiques into modern designs, especially if you use antique accent pieces to ground and balance your contemporary space. Try using a solid color linen tablecloth and contemporary place settings for a modern feel. Then add vintage pewter candlesticks, salt cellars (or tiny vintage salt and pepper shaker sets), and antique silver-plated flatware to convey a traditional sensibility in your design. Add a touch of fun by finding flatware with real or faux horn, antler or Bakelite handles to add interesting texture to your tabletop. Using cherished heirloom glassware, linens, and accessories offers a nod to family history as relatives gather around the table.

Simple Cottage

Sometimes, the most memorable holidays are the least fussy ones. If you don’t have the time, energy, or budget to put on a Thanksgiving extravaganza, you can still enjoy the simple pleasures of good food shared with family and friends. A simple, reproduction farmhouse table sans tablecloth can serve as the ideal backdrop for your scaled-down holiday celebration. Set out vintage transferware plates for a nostalgic feel.

Make a simple centerpiece by carving a pumpkin or by using old milk bottles in their original holder to arrange flower stems cut from your own backyard.

Create a single, showstopping focal point by embellishing your chic, shabby chandelier with teacups tied with ribbons or pinecones hung with fishing line.

In the end, Thanksgiving is about expressing gratitude for the richness of life. Whether you choose to celebrate lavishly with family and friends or reflect quietly with only your significant other, you can use your antiques to help create a memorable holiday that suits your unique tastes.

 Aimee owns with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!