How To Set A Table For The Ultimate Thanksgiving Dinner
That's why we rounded up some of the best tablecloths, dishes, glasses, silverware, napkins and napkin holders, and table decor for Thanksgiving. But first things first: How exactly do you set a table? While formal settings can get more persnickety, the step-by-step instructions below for how to set a table are a good guideline for dinner parties.
- Cover the table with a tablecloth and/or charger plates or placemats.
- Lay out the plates. If you're using charger plates, don't put dinner plates out ahead of time — when dinner's served, you'll want to remove each charger and replace it with a dinner plate. Otherwise, dinner plate is in the middle, salad plates or bowls on top, and bread plates go above the dinner plate and to the left.
- Place the napkin to the left of the plate, though it also can be placed on top of the dinner or salad plate. Your call!
- On the left-hand side of the dinner or charger plate, place the salad fork and dinner fork, left to right. On the right-hand side of the charger or dinner plate, place the dinner knife, salad knife, and soup spoon, left to right. For knives, the blade should face inward.
- Place the dessert fork and/or spoon directly above the dinner plate. Dessert is typically served on the dessert plate, so that does not need to be set out ahead of time.
- For drinkware, water glasses go to the right, above the knives. Wine glasses go to the left. If you're pairing wines with courses, set the glasses from right to left in the order they'll be served.
Tablecloths and Charger Plates
Zara Home Linen Tablecloth ($109)
Go classic fall with this burnt orange linen tablecloth.
This watercolor-inspired tablecloth has just the right amount of autumn color while tempering it with cool shades of mauve and blue.
MagicLinen Linen Tablecloth ($51+)
If you're using warm colors and wood on your table, they'll pop against a light blue.
Made from soda glass that's 10% recycled, this charger plate sets the scene for all the plates and bowls that will top it.
Invite some natural elements to your table with this deep-gray charger plate.
Modern and minimalist, this stoneware collection keeps a low profile while adding a pop color.
Our Place Everyone's Invited ($375)
All the items in this 36-piece hand-glazed ceramic dinnerware set have a natural, satin-finish exterior and a glossy inside that's scratch-resistant.
Tinted glass is a pretty way to invite some subtle color to dinner.
This earthy porcelain dinnerware is a full set, and it includes bowls, coffee mugs, and dinner, soup, and dessert plates.
Made with 100% reclaimed fabric, these napkins will add some quick depth to your table.
H&M 2-Pack Linen Napkins ($13)
You'll want to stock up on these linen napkins that look pricier than they are. You can use them year-round.
When colors coordinate, mismatched napkins can be a fun, playful moment. Of course, it's much easier when they're sold as a set.
Three interlocking rings of beach wood will ground napkins with an earth element.
Create a macramé moment with these woven napkin rings.
Macondo Forever Autumn Orchid Napkin Ring ($7, was $12)
Handwoven with straw, these boho napkin holders in marigold will be the first thing guests notice on your table.
If you ever wanted to try gold silverware but were afraid it'd be too much, this matte champagne set is gilded without feeling gaudy.
Silverware isn't typically where we think to add color, but maybe it should be? Mix and match colors or run with one.
Hay Colour Chopsticks, Set of 6 Pairs ($28, was $40)
If you're serving a dish that'd be better eaten with chopsticks, don't be afraid to include them at each place setting. Just center them directly above the dinner plates.
Toast the 1920s with these color coupe glasses that can be used for cocktails or Champagne.
Possibly the lightest glass you'll ever lift, this all-purpose wine glass is one you'll want to keep forever.
Oake Stackable Water Glasses, Set of 4 ($50, was $71)
Made with soda lime glass, these stackable water glasses can hold plenty of H2O.
Made with 100% crystal, these glasses are just begging for an oversize ice cube.
Mixing warm and cool tones, this glass vase will complement a variety tables while bringing in a hint of color.
Instead of one big vase in the middle, try scattering a few small ones throughout the table's center.
While fresh flowers are always a good idea, dried bouquets feel made for fall's final days.
Mix and match taper candles to vary height around the table.