Return to Content

Simple Holiday-Table Settings

Simple Holiday-Table Settings
0 votes, 0.00 avg. rating (0% score)
Print Friendly
Thanksgiving place setting
Photo/Art by Francine Zaslow
A single leaf sandwiched between inexpensive glass plates and linen napkins create a festive Thanksgiving place setting.

Customize your holiday table with this simple place setting from Matthew Mead.

Before setting the table, Matthew says the most important thing to do is choose a palette. Here, shades of autumn are reflected in amber glass, golden bamboo, Bakelite-handle silverware, and brown transferware with yellow and green pattern accents. (Spode makes a reproduction of this vintage china, carried by stores such as T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods.) A single leaf is silhouetted on a white antique linen napkin.

Create a classic Christmas place setting by layering brightly-colored napkins between simple white dishes.
Photo/Art by Francine Zaslow
Create a classic Christmas place setting by layering brightly-colored napkins between simple white dishes.

Using a traditional palette of  red and white for the dishware, linen napkins, iridescent cranberry glass, and bright apples grace the dining table. As to flowers, Matthew recommends massing one type — it’s foolproof and often achieves a more dramatic look than a bouquet of mixed blooms. Here, vibernum berries and deep-red roses grace the table. Hollowed-out apples make innovative containers for votive candles.


Photographs by Francine Zaslow

Updated Monday, October 15th, 2007

13 Responses to Simple Holiday-Table Settings

  1. Jenifer Lewis November 18, 2008 at 3:29 pm #

    Oh, come on. Since when is buying new china and flatware “simple”?

    Don’t get me wrong — it looks lovely. But I’ve just experienced a 50% pay cut this year, so the regular old dishes are just going to have to do!


  2. Meg Kupiec November 18, 2008 at 3:58 pm #

    How is this a project? It just looks like going to the store to buy new dishes to me!

  3. Phil & Sandra Coppoolse November 18, 2008 at 8:43 pm #

    Great idea. You can always find plenty of bits of china at yard sales and secondhand shops.They don’t need to be the same set ,just collect bits through the year of the same colour. USE YOUR IMAGINATION NOT YOUR CREDIT CARD!!

  4. Sharon Todd November 19, 2008 at 8:55 am #

    I agree. These are just SUGGESTIONS. Use your imagination and come up with an inexpensive way to decorate. Having a pretty table and a nicely decorated room doesn’t require a lot of money, just some imagination. You can find lots of pretty things at yard sales and flea markets. Dollar stores have a lot of variety too. I know I’m going to have fun looking for something I can use this holiday season at an affordable price.

  5. Meg Kupiec November 19, 2008 at 5:39 pm #

    Excuse me, I must have misread. From the intro I thought these were more “project” oriented ideas. No one needs to shout. I am well aware of dollar stores, flea markets, consignment stores and yard sales. I find lots of great things at all of them. But that’s not what was presented here. I’m not about to whip out my credit card for expensive things when I can have a lot more fun hunting out great things at unusual places.

  6. Kathy Grandmaison November 4, 2009 at 12:30 pm #

    I would just look at the materials and color scheme of this and go from there. I happen to have several wooden candlesticks made by a Swedish uncle and tons of old linens. The use of white or cream tablecloths is a refreshing change for me from all the dark colors and patterns I usually use. I like the folded napkin in the middle of the plate too. You can also use gourds and the tiny pumpkins to liven things up.

  7. Suzanne Morrissey November 6, 2009 at 3:42 pm #

    Okay, I agree that this is more “shopping” oriented than “project” oriented, but I still like seeing how design pros mix and match flatware, stemware and china. I would not have thought to use the bamboo handled flatware, for example, in this kind of fall setting, but I can see how the color makes it mesh in with the look. It’s fun to see other people’s ideas. Hey Yankee, how about a photo gallery of readers’ Thanksgiving tablescapes for your online edition? Could be fun!

  8. Eura Olsen November 20, 2009 at 2:36 pm #

    pick up dishes thu out the year. cut out a leaf or what ever & sew on a white napkin, not hard.

  9. jacki wilmot October 23, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    why is everyone in an uproar over a place setting? I don’t get it. It sure doesn’t look expensive anyway. there are so many ways to set the table if you just use your imagination. I like the idea of the clear plate over the napkin.

  10. Debra M. Caldwell November 15, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    If you have a nack for decorating do so, and let the people who want to do it. Has anyone ever heard, we “eat with our EYES, first?”
    Well, a nice setting always looks good but it doesn’t have to be pricey, it can be simple, or elegant, plain or fancy, or just your everyday stuff, and Ladies & men, TOO! You can help find stuff, yes, Wooden candlesticks would look great, decorative napkins are always nice, even things purchased at the”Dollar Store” would go very well, just something simple is always good. And for those of you who do not want to spend money or use a charge card, as the person says these are JUST suggestions, it’s about getting together with friends and have a nice meal and a good time, and sharing. I personally would love to decorate but buget restraint are in effect, I’m off to the Dollar store, for my ideas……….everybody just do want they want and trust me it will be fine!!!

  11. Tess McCarter November 17, 2011 at 6:21 am #

    Tablescaping using what you have coordinated with color and holiday theme…supplement with nature…cranberries, leaves, pinecones, wood, plants,….create and celebrate

  12. Ernie Larsen November 13, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    We haveeveryday plates, dinnerware as such and for holidays we use our china which was on our list for wedding gifts, years age. Same goes for flatware, everyday, it’s stainless and holidays-occasions we pull out the sterling.
    As for decorative place settings, this year I bought some paper Thanksgiving napkins which I will center on the plate anchored by a chocolate hollow candy turkey from Thompson’s candy a local manufacturer of these sweets.
    No big expense, no need to buy new stuff – I think my idea is going to get some positive comments for the gathered family.

  13. Carol Londres November 13, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    I like Ernie’s upbeat comment. My goodness there were some crabby comments in years back. I live in Canada; formerly a happy resident in Massachusetts with my dear late husband and as some of the family live in New Jersey where Sandy hit, I think a nice meal and a good time for many East Coast residents is going to be harder to accomplish this year. I hope by Thanksgiving the many residents affected will be able to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner and warmth and comfort.

Leave a Reply

We reserve the right to remove or edit comments that are offensive or disrespectful to our readers and/or writers, cannot be verified, lack clarity, or contain profanity. Your comments may be republished by Yankee Magazine across multiple platforms.

©2016, Yankee Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Yankee Publishing Inc., | P.O. Box 520, Dublin, NH 03444 | (603) 563-8111