Among basted turkeys, pots of stuffing, and platters of cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes lies something just as important as the Thanksgiving feast itself. A festive tablescape—whether it’s done entirely with do-it-yourself decor, dressed up with centerpieces styled by the pros, or somewhere in between—helps set the stage for a holiday filled with style as well as deliciousness.
For those looking to save big on time and money when prepping their table for Thanksgiving, Hildreth’s in Southampton recommends using ribbons as napkin-holders and to spruce up white tableware. “Candles can really make a table setting elegant,” said Judy Rewinski, a manager at Hildreth’s.
For floral centerpieces, Erin Hattrick, owner of Topiaire Flower Shop in Southampton Village, suggests using mix-and-match vases for a rustic table setting. For example, Ms. Hattrick used both a birch-covered vase and a plastic mint julep cup to hold a bouquet.
And don’t hesitate to bring out your Christmas ornaments early this year—East Hampton Gardens and Hildreth’s both display scattered fall-inspired ornaments, such as glitter-frosted pinecones and acorns, across the Thanksgiving table. The ornaments, combined with pine branches, either store-bought or picked from the backyard, offer an alternative to the traditional red/orange table setting.
East Hampton Gardens offers glittery pinecone ornaments for $10 each, and Hildreth’s sells bead-covered glass acorns for $5.99.
Another easy way to add a little spice to a holiday table is with clove-infused oranges, available at East Hampton Gardens, or by making them at home. Oranges decorated with a pattern of cloves offer a scented and festive addition to any Thanksgiving table and can also provide an activity in which kids can get involved.
For a mid-level budget, Hildreth’s offers moderately-priced candle stands and unscented candles, as well as nickel hors d’oeuvre dishes shaped like miniature turkeys.
It’s better to use unscented candles at a Thanksgiving table, Ms. Rewinksi said, as they won’t interfere with the aromas of all those different foods. Ms. Rewinksi suggests placing two shorter candle stands alongside a taller stand to draw the eye to the center of the table by creating symmetry.
“Candles offer an equally pretty alternative to floral centerpieces,” she said.
A simple greenery arrangement decorated with red berries at East Hampton Gardens is another centerpiece possibility for those in search of something other than flowers. Gathered at one end with a twist-tie-like facet, the $39 arrangement can be laid flat on a table, surrounded by candles, or hang from the top of a doorway.
Decorators searching for a more floral focus for their table are likely to find an arrangement at any price point at Topiaire, Ms. Hattrick said. Lower-priced bouquets ring in at about $30 to $50, she said, and feature deep pink, orange, and yellow roses. The color and variety of the flowers, though typically not associated with Thanksgiving, will still complement an otherwise autumn-inspired table.
Mid-priced arrangements including cabbage leaves, hydrangeas, deco mums and red roses start at about $50 up to $80. To keep the price on the lower side, Ms. Hattrick recommends using more greens, like the cabbage leaves, in place of additional flowers.
Searching for a more elaborate centerpiece?
Ms. Hattrick combines high-priced peonies with geranium leaves, deco mums, hypericum berries, and more.
“There’s nothing like a peony,” said Ms. Hattrick, adding that arrangements with peonies typically start at about $125. However, black magic roses work well in place of peonies in this bouquet, she said.
More traditional harvest centerpieces are available at East Hampton Gardens—for instance, a glass candle holder surrounded by silver-frosted greens, pinecones and pearl-like berries, which goes for $98. The candle is sold separately.