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Three Turkey-less Thanksgiving Tablescapes


Three Turkey-less Thanksgiving Tablescapes

Cristina Soriano

It’s that time of year – when the oven seems to be perpetually on broil, the wine fridge stocked to the brim and the sultry melodies of Edith Piaf dance throughout the room. It’s the time for entertaining at HOME (now this gets me really, really excited), a opportunity to welcome family and friends chez toi and showcase your knack for preparing the most indulgent cheese platter and mastery for constructing a constant roaring fire. It’s an exciting time, but all that preparing can leave you anxious and paralyzed. Cue: Cristina Soriano!

Between stuffing the turkey, creating an awesome playlist and stocking the bar, who has time to devote to tablescape concepts, place cards and flowers? Well folks, your tabletop guardian angel has arrived, bearing inspiration for your Thanksgiving table. The best part? You can assemble them last minute. You don’t need to own a florist knife, you wont be spending a million dollars on bouquets of flowers and… (drum roll please)… they aren’t your average setting filled with gobbling turkeys and orange pumpkins! (At CSL we aren’t satisfied with ‘average’.)


So, get inspired domestic goddesses, and report back with evidence of a successful evening. Seriously, send over some gorgeous pics and maybe you’ll be featured?! 

Table One: A  Fall Harvest

If you read my post last week (if not, click here!), you learned how this year’s foliage profoundly inspired me. So, I figured, why not use some of the pressed leaves as decorations for the table?! As a twenty-something living in New York, it becomes impractical to spend oodles of money at a florist, so I thought it would not only be super unique and different to have pressed leaves on the table, but it would be friendly on the wallet as well!

First, I (gingerly) tossed some leaves onto a red and white tablecloth and then, in my typical layering fashion, put down an iconic CSL accessory - sea grass chargers - and then white plates. I tied brown cloth napkins with a piece of twine and then placed on top a leaf and a raw chestnut (which I also foraged in Millbrook). 

This is what a raw chestnut looks like, in its thorny shell. 

This is what a raw chestnut looks like, in its thorny shell. 

In the center, I wanted to add something alive, something organic, so I thought – apples! I made an arrangement with (ahem, I mean, I casually stacked) all the apples I collected in Millbrook, added accents of pomegranates and some more raw chestnuts. I then filled the gaps with more leaves. 

The table took me less than fifteen minutes to prepare, and in my humble opinion, looks like a time consuming masterpiece!

Table Two: Birds of a Feather

A few weeks ago I made some feather napkins (with the intention of hosting a Fall feast) and I was absolutely thrilled with the result of my crafting afternoon. If you have a afternoon craft session penciled in, I suggest you make these super festive accessories, but on the odd chance that you’re week is blocked off to the very minute, this table can inspire you to recreate your own feathery version. 

For your own variation, put a few larger feathers in a glass jar and position them in the center of the table. Or, neatly fold a cloth napkin on the center of the plate and lay a single feather on top of the napkin. Et voila, you’ve captivated the feather table spirit!

For my table’s centerpiece, I used pheasant feathers that (surprise, surprise) I plucked in Millbrook, but for the napkin rings, I purchased colorful feathers from the craft store. 

I put a colorful scarf as an accent/makeshift tablecloth (make sure to only invite your Emily-Post-approved eaters!!), with the same sea grass chargers and white plates. See what you can do with a bit of creativity and all the same dinner accessories, but how different is the outcome?! 

Table Three: Sunflowers and Pomegranates

A casual yet elegant and sophisticated (and yes, affordable, simple and easy) tablescape is a hostess’ goal. And my absolute favorite way to fulfill this objective is to use bud vases. They are one of my preferred ways to incorporate flowers without breaking the bank or spending too much time constructing a masterpiece because you don’t need too many blooms and don’t have much room to craft.

I walked by my usual bodega where, when I am strapped for time, buy beautiful blooms, and fell in love with the sunflowers. I usually think of Italian rolling hills basked in the summer sun, but I thought, why not incorporate the sun’s vitality into the table?! So, I strutted home with two bunches of sunflowers, filled my budvases with water and then simply snipped the flowers hard stems and casually filled the glasses. Easy peasy! 

Again, I used the same white plates, sea grass chargers, glassware and cutlery, but rather than a brown napkin, I used a starched ecru linen. I topped it with a pomegranate – another fall favorite – and wrote out place cards. For me, dinners with place cards are so special; it shows how much thought the host put into the gathering! (And hey, you could have put two minutes, but it makes such a lasting impact!)

Little Moroccan lanterns dot the center, et voila! 

I hope you’re inspired to create Turkey-less Thanksgiving tables that celebrate the very best of Fall and that subtly and elegantly scream gratitude, love for family and laughter with friends! 

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