10 Ways to Make Your Thanksgiving Table More Special
Try a Tureen
A feast for the eyes, "an individual tureen makes a dish look like it was made just for you," says designer Charlotte Moss. Faux-bois flatware, William Yeoward Flavia wineglass, Baccarat vintage pitcher, APT small soup tureen, and presentation plate, through Charlotte Moss.
An inviting table needs a few surprises. "For more personality, combine all your candlesticks – wood, crystal, and porcelain," says Robert Rufino, formerly of Tiffany & Co. Hampton flatware, Cirque Chinois dinnerware, Elsa Peretti Thumbprint salt & pepper shakers and water cup, all Tiffany & Co.
Related: 10 Kitchen Gadgets Under $20
Write Place Cards
"Always write your own place cards, even if your hand-writing is quirky. It makes the setting more personal," says designer Thomas O'Brian. Marielle dinnerware, Marielle Indigo round bowl, Tiago slate blue urn vase, Tiago candlesticks, all by Thomas O'Brien for Reed & Barton.
Try Untraditional Colors
The classic color combo of blue and white adds a fresh feel for fall. "Autumnal colors just pop against a blue and white tablecloth. For the flowers, I took the oranges, yellows, and reds of the fruit for inspiration," says Carolyne Roehm. Tableware from Carolyne's personal collection.
Related: 6 Stylish Place Settings
Highlight a Unique Centerpiece
Centerpieces don't have to be a floral arrangement. "I select artifacts my children or I have collected. These pieces have a richness of spirit, a softness of age, and a story," says home furnishings designer Jan Barboglio. Dinner plates from Pottery Barn.
Use Bud Vases
Break up a large bouquet and place each flower stem in a separate vase. "I do lots of single-bud bouquets, placed so you see the person sitting opposite you – so important," says Janice Feldman, the founder of Janus et Cie. Sambonet flatware. Henry Dean tumblers. Venetian glassware is Feldman's own.
For an elegant holiday look, try layering. "Use a tablecloth and a placemat — or two — and a beautiful charger. The more the merrier," says Amen Wardy, one of Aspen's legendary retailers. Place mat and napkin by Kim Seybert. Silver vases, salt and pepper shakers, and napkin ring by Amen Wardy.
Avoid Tall Centerpieces
"Keep your centerpieces low so your guests can talk to each other without needing a chiropractor afterward," says Tatiana Sorokko, whose husband owns San Francisco's Serge Sorokko gallery. Vladimir Collection porcelain, Bulgari flatware, Baccarat stemware, Buccellati placecard holders. Flowers by Hunt Littlefield, San Francisco.
Related: 2012 Holiday Dinner Guide
Add Candle Lamps
For a romantic fall table, "candle lamps are a joy. The height of the flame stays constant, and you can change the color of the shade to change the atmosphere," says William Yeoward. Chargers from Vietri, leaf-shaped sugar bowl from the New York Botanical Garden Shop, and wine decanter by William Yeoward.
Remember to relax and have a good time. "Plan everything, do everything, then let it go," says fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg. Flatware, glasses, plates, place mats, napkin rings, votives, vases, even the corkscrew, Diane von Furstenberg Home.
Related: 10 Favorite Fall Recipes