Thanksgiving Decoration Ideas: How To Decorate Your Whole Home

thanksgiving decoration ideas

Now that spooky season has come to an end, it is time to get ready for the holidays. Thanksgiving has been an American favorite since the very first Thanksgiving, when the Wampanoag tribe and Pilgrims who had just arrived celebrated the autumn harvest. Ever since then, it has become tradition that family and friends come together and share a meal. Many Americans still serve the same dishes that were served on the very first Thanksgiving, like turkey, corn, and carrots. However, over time, food has been added to the ‘traditional’ meal such as vegetable casseroles, mash potatoes, stuffing, and more.

Also in the beginning, Thanksgiving decorations were not a problem, it was simple. The table was decorated with harvest vegetables and candles. Fast forward into the future, and here we are today – scrambling to figure out what Thanksgiving decoration ideas will work best in our home.

To help you on your quest to create the perfect Thanksgiving ambiance, we show you how to decorate for Thanksgiving and how to set the perfect Thanksgiving table by interior decorators who know best.

Thanksgiving Outdoor Decorations

Outdoor Thanksgiving decorations tend to be simpler than Halloween or Christmas decorations. Many of the outdoor decorations consist of pumpkins or other squash that are laid out on the porch or a thanksgiving flag that is hung in front of your home. Some people may even buy blow up turkeys to be placed in the lawn. Fall colored accessories such as a welcome mat and door hang may also be used in order to decorate for this fall holiday. If you celebrate Thanksgiving outdoors, you may want to go the extra mile to decorate the outside of your home.

outdoor thanksgiving decorations

Some families have their Thanksgiving feast in the front or backyard. This type of celebration calls for more decorative elements outdoors. String lights may be strung around the backyard and Thanksgiving decorations can also be strung up. If your yard has trees, you can hang small decorations off of the branches or even decorate the trunk. If you have children attending the meal then you may want to have some fun games placed in the area. You may also have adult games set up, such as corn hole and adult drinking games. Lawn ornaments may also create a more festive feel for the celebration.

outdoor thanksgiving

Whether you leave uncarved pumpkins out from Halloween or buy new ones, they are perfect for this fall festive holiday. Having simpler decorations tends to be the trend these days, however, you may also go all out with unique turkey or pilgrim lawn ornaments. Although not many people decorate the outside of their home for this holiday, many people decorate the inside of their home for that legendary Thanksgiving feast.


Thanksgiving Indoor Decorations

For those that celebrate inside for Thanksgiving, you may want to focus your decorations inside the home. This may include having store bought or DIY Thanksgiving decorations that are placed on tables, near the entryway, around your kitchen, and throughout the home. These decorations may include small turkeys, leaves, pumpkins, pilgrims, and more. Some households may take their normal pictures and other wall hangs down and replace them with festive wall hangs. Regardless of how you may decorate the rest of your home, the showstopper is usually the Thanksgiving table.


Thanksgiving Table Decorations

When decorating for Thanksgiving, the table is usually the center of attention and most important element of your home. Depending on how many people you have coming to your home, how you decorated the rest of your home and what kind of dinner you may serve, may dictate how you decorate your Thanksgiving table. You may want to wait a couple of days or the day before Thanksgiving in order to decorate your table. The following are four different ways to decorate your Thanksgiving table:

  • Traditional
  • Large Family
  • Buffet
  • Outdoors

Traditional Thanksgiving Table Decor

In traditional Thanksgiving table decor, the centerpieces and table accessories tend to be in fall colors, such as, yellows, oranges, reds, and browns. The centerpieces tend to incorporate pumpkins or other fall vegetables and leaves around them. Some traditional styles may have floral arrangements. Many tables will also have candles at the center of the table, this comes from a long tradition from the first Thanksgiving in 1621.

The plate setting is also a major aspect of the Thanksgiving table decor. Some people have china that is set aside for special dinners or even only used just for Thanksgiving. When using china, people may place napkins on top of the plates and the silverware to the sides of the plates. The color of the napkins usually match the colors that are used in the centerpieces. This creates a sense of flow throughout the table.

traditional thanksgiving table decor

Traditional style tables are usually for families who have dinner and stick to modern traditional foods. The centerpieces that are placed on the table prior to the meal, would be moved and replaced by the dinner itself. Food that is considered traditional to Thanksgiving includes: a turkey, mash potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans, and more. Traditional food and decor is extremely common in most American households. However, as times change, people have grown to explore other ways to celebrate this American Holiday. If you are having a large number of people coming, you may want to reconsider how you are going to layout your Thanksgiving table.


Large Family Thanksgiving Table Decor

Have a large family, but still want to decorate your large Thanksgiving Table? There are many ways to accomplish this, first, you’ll need to decide how to layout your tables. With larger families, they may have one table set aside for children and one for adults. The kids’ table would be decorated more fun and may even have crafts in order to occupy them. The adult table may include china and other decorative elements. If you do not have a large enough table to sit everyone, you can put two tables together or two tables parallel to each other.


Once you have decided how you will have your table layout, you can move to how you will decorate the table. One way of decorating the table is by incorporating the traditional method of decorating and just expanding it across a large table. You can do this by having one large centerpiece in the middle of the large table and then smaller accessories throughout the center of the table. You can also section off the table by how many seats there are and each section may have a different style, that all corporate to the main theme. For larger get togethers, you may want to consider in cooperation a buffet style layout.


Buffet Style Thanksgiving

For larger families and more casual Thanksgiving meals, a buffet and/or potluck may be perfect. Whether you are making the food on your own or if people are bringing a dish, you can still prepare your buffet table. You want to make sure that you have one large table or two medium sized tables laid out in your home in an area that allows for a lot of people in one space and a line of people. You may also want to have an additional table set aside just for desserts.

The table itself should include serving spoons, food warmer containers, napkins, plates, and utensils. You also want to make sure that you have a table cover of some sort and it may be best that the tablecloth is food and water resistant. If your table is big enough to fit decorations, I would recommend adding small ones that will not get in the way of people serving themselves food. Another way to decorate this table without inhibiting the accessibility of getting food may be by having food warmers, serving spoons, plates, and napkins that follow the festive theme.


Once you figure out how this table would be decorated and laid out, you want to start thinking about where people are going to eat. Some people allow people to sit at their normal dining table or find seats around the home. If you know you have some messy eaters, you may want to consider adding tables so that everyone can sit down and eat together. If none of the indoor table options sounds right for you, you may want to think about having the feast outdoors.


Outdoor Thanksgiving Table Decorations

If you are planning to eat outdoors for your Thanksgiving meal, the first two things you want to think about is the weather and the time of day you want to have people over. If you live in cold environments, you may want to consider having the celebration indoors or make sure you have some sort of heat to keep your guests warm. You want to buy outdoor heaters or use your fire pit as a source of heat. This may not be a problem if you get together during the day and your meal is at night inside or your meal is during the day.


If you are able to have your meal outside during the day, you may want to have a more casual decorative aesthetic. Your meal may consist of barbecue food and be more of a mid-day meal. Your tables can be covered in plastic table coverings that are festive colors. You can use heavy centerpieces in order to ensure the covers stay in place. The centerpieces will need to be something that can get dirty and be okay with being outdoors. You may want to have a source of light in case your get together goes into nightfall.


For those of you living in areas that permit outdoor, nighttime get-togethers, having a reliable light source is a necessity. Having candles or lighting on the table is not only a great source of light, it can also be a great way to decorate the table. During the very first Thanksgiving, candles were used as a source of light and now they are used to commemorate that time. Long, white candles are a more traditional route, whereas flameless candles may be safer and more practical for an outside setting.

The centerpieces will most likely be smaller and more leaf heavy in order to match the outdoors. You may want to consider using heavier, festive ceramics that you can fill up with fall elements. This is a simple DIY centerpiece that can bring the entire table together. You can also incorporate any of the decor ideas above outdoors with minor tweaks in order to ensure that they are safe for the outdoors.

thanksgiving decoration ideas

Happy Thanksgiving

Our team here at Satin & Slate hope that this article gives you some inspiration on how to get ready for Thanksgiving. We hope that you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. If you need any assistance with interior design please contact us today!


About Us:

Founded in 2017, Satin and Slate is one of the elite interior design studios in Southern California. Located in Long Beach, this dedicated team of designers oversees from kitchen and bathroom renovations to commercial projects. Equipped with their own showroom/studio they can satisfy the needs of any client. Featuring clean lines, bright colors and fresh ideas Satin and Slate’s mission is to bring your vision to life and help transform your space into something extraordinary.

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