Home & Style

How to Create a Moody, Vintage-Inspired, Instagram-Worthy Thanksgiving Tablescape

How to Create a Moody, Vintage-Inspired, Instagram-Worthy Thanksgiving Tablescape
This spread is far easier to create than you'd think. All photos by Sweet Root Village.

For stylish holiday entertaining, just mix vintage finds with pieces you already own. Bookmark this step-by-step guide to designing an elegant, unexpected, and best of all, easy to pull off tablescape.


For a Dutch-still-life effect, use more fruit than flowers. The photo-and-floral studio Sweet Root Village created this centerpiece by inserting artichokes, pears, dried mushrooms, and branches into flower foam. The dusky-lavender roses are called Amnesia.

Bonus: Using fruit in your arrangement keeps costs low.
One long, low arrangement keeps visibility clear for conversation.


Etsy is the place for pristine vintage monogrammed napkins—just include your initials while searching. A moody gray tablecloth—$128 at Terrain—shows off dishes better than basic white, and it hides inevitable cranberry stains better.

Linen is meant to wrinkle—in fact, it looks better that way.


Longer tapers add elegance. The glass candlesticks ($14.99 to $17.99 for three) are a steal from Amazon.

Mixing warmer and cooler neutrals keeps the palette clean.


Pair everyday dinner plates—these are from Anthropologie ($24 each)—with smaller vintage bread dishes to keep costs down but visual interest high. A sprig of amaranthus on each plate feels autumnal.

Vintage floral frogs like these make excellent place card stands.


Look for silver plate instead of sterling at flea markets and yard sales. It’s far more affordable but still feels elegant and classic. And nobody minds if all of it matches.

This isn’t a royal wedding, so no need to clutter the table with gabs of unnecessary flatware.


Layer inexpensive glasses, such as these Crate & Barrel Champagne coupes ($10.95 each), with something colorful like the blue beveled wineglasses.

Coupes went of out style because they allow Champagne to defizz faster, but who cares? They’re so much more chic than the flute.

Place Cards

We used vintage Washington postcards (can you spy Rock Creek Park above?), found at the DC Big Flea, to welcome out-of-towners. Leave their name and a welcome message on the back.

For one dollar a piece, these postcards serve as place cards and souvenirs.

This article appears in the November 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

Design & Style Editor

Hillary writes about interiors, real estate, arts, and culture. She is the former digital media editor of The New Republic, and her work has also been published in Glamour, The New York Times Book Review, and The Washington Post, among others. You can follow her on Instagram @hillarylouisekelly or on Pinterest @hlkelly.

Assistant Editor

Hayley is an Associate Editor at Washingtonian Weddings. Previously she was the the Style Editor at The Local Palate, a Southern food culture magazine based out of Charleston, South Carolina. You can follow her on instagram @wandertaste.