We know interior design may fall pretty low on your to-do
list when the kids are covered with gravy and the in-laws are on
their way, but don't neglect the ambience. We asked local interior
designers to share their best tips for Thanksgiving Day
"Thanksgiving is a time of bounty, and I love a natural
centerpiece," says Mary Lou Kalmus of Designing Edge in Clarendon
She suggests gathering colorful seasonal fruits and
vegetables, such as eggplant, squash, gourds, kale, pears, grapes
and persimmons. Display them in an unexpected container, like a
soup tureen, with the items spilling out (red and green grapes work
great for this). Add ivy from a houseplant and mix in some
decorative balls-you can pick some out at a local Pier 1 store.
Finally, keep the arrangement low, adding moss around the base and
in the arrangement itself.
"Everything is more casual these days, so instead of a
formal tablecloth, use placemats or place a runner on either side
of the table with the place settings on top," Kalmus says. Finish
off the look with soft votives that won't interfere with the
For an elegant Thanksgiving table, chocolate brown and
ivory is a great color scheme, says SuzAnn Kletzien of SuzAnn
Kletzien Design in Chicago. Opt for a deep brown
For the centerpiece, use various ivory ceramic vases and
candle holders mixed with white pumpkins and cream-colored gourds.
If you want a more casual look, use a mix of clear vases or
small-tiered servers filled with pinecones, acorns, large nuts and
leaves, with each item in its own container. For either
centerpiece, be sure to use various heights and odd numbers, she
"My favorite centerpieces are very simple," says Karyn
Musick of Divas N' Design, based in Buffalo Grove, Highland Park
She suggests heading to a local craft shop to pick up a
few bags of colored paper maple leaves. Spread the leaves out in a
sparse pile on your table, putting three pillar candles (all the
same color but different heights) on top, along with some small
pumpkins and gourds. For a more casual meal, you can swap out the
pillars for votives.
Or, dress things up by writing each guest's name on a
maple leaf and using them as place cards.
See more of Laura's stories here.
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