Happy Thanksgiving from the Furniture.com team! Chances are you're most likely rushing around to finish cooking and getting the house ready for guests. But don't let your dining table become a last thought for decor. We've got 8 great (and quick!) ways to easily decorate your Thanksgiving table. So you can do it in between cooking the turkey, the pie, the cranberry sauce, and the gravy. And if you're looking for more Thanksgiving tips, check out our Turkey Day cheat sheet.
Turn to Mother Nature
If it's an hour before guests arrive and you've got absolutely nothing in your home, it might be a bit too late to run to the store. Look no further than outside. There is probably limited plant life thriving outside -- but this is perfect for the seasonality of the Thanksgiving table. Grab your coat and head outside. Look for pine cones, pine branches, fall leaves, or acorns. There's a lot you can do with Mother Nature's beauty. We love some of these ideas below that transform basic napkin rings or candles into fall masterpieces.
Add to the Table Setting
A simple yet elegant way to add some flair to your Thanksgiving table is to add to the table setting with a striking artichoke or pumpkin. Have some extra vegetables or starches around? See how you can incorporate pears, apples, artichokes, pumpkins, or squash with the center of your plate. This will offer up a finished look to the table. Finish it off with a hand-written name card attached to the top of a pine cone or tied to the pear stem for a personal touch.
Find Some Paper
If you're not into the natural look, then find some paper and get your craft on. Cut up fun leaf or acorn shapes to scatter across the table -- like a Thanksgiving confetti. Or create leaf napkin rings like below. And if you have kids, this is a great activity for them during the day while you're cooking.
For a clean and modern look, try transforming your favorite Thanksgiving decor with some paint. We love how clean and elegant these white and gold painted pears look. Or stack painted squash and pumpkins in jars for a new approach to the Thanksgiving vase. By adding some metallics, you're sure to make any table setting more glamorous.
Start Crafting with Vegetables
If you have some extra vegetables or starches left over, put them to use on your candles. We love how fresh and natural these asparagus and string bean candles look. Create an assortment and place them throughout the table for a farmhouse look. Just make sure you put the vegetables low enough around the candle to avoid a fire hazard.
Get the kids to work with some creative drawing and art on butcher paper. You can use it as a runner on the table and it will keep them busy during the day! And to make sure it's ready in time, opt for markers or crayons so you don't have to worry about drying time.
Thanksgiving is the best time of the year to sit down with family, say thanks, and enjoy a deliciously prepared meal. But it can also be the best time for things to go wrong. Your dog could eat the turkey (it happens quite often!), your pie doesn’t cook right, or there isn’t enough seating. It seems like there are endless things that can go wrong. We’ve got some tips for you to make sure that you’ll have a wonderful meal and a great time with family.
Gather Your Recipes
A week or two before Thanksgiving, lay out all the recipes you plan to use. Take inventory of all the ingredients you’ll need across all of the recipes. This will help with a couple of things. First, you can check your pantry and fridge to see what you already have. Second, this will then help you create a master grocery list in advance. You may have to buy certain things in increments. For example, you may need to buy pears a couple days in advance for ripening. Try to avoid shopping at the grocery store at least a day before (or on the day of!) Thanksgiving.
Make a Schedule
While you have all of your recipes laid out, take notes of how long each dish takes to prepare. This will help you create a master calendar where you can block off the exact stages of food preparation. This way you’ll know how early you need to wake up, how many helping hands you need in the kitchen, and when exactly dinner will be ready. Be sure to factor in time to set the table and add some décor items!
Before you head out to the grocery store, group your grocery items by aisle. You’re probably familiar with your grocery store layout so you can figure out which aisles you’d like to hit first. You’ll have a fast and easy shopping trip. And don’t forget your list!
Confirm the Guest List
If you’re having relatives and friends come by for Thanksgiving dinner, make sure you confirm the guest list a couple days in advance. This will help you keep tabs on that grocery list and also make sure you can plan for extra seating if needed. You never know when an extra guest will tag along! And we’ve got some great ideas for extra seating.
Prepare Some Appetizers
Chances are guests will arrive early, or things may not finish cooking right on time. If you’re still getting things ready as people arrive, this is a great time to have appetizers and cocktails ready. Have these out in the living room – away from the dining room and the kitchen. This way they will all gather in a separate room and you can “effortlessly” get everything together.
It's winter and your bedroom should be cozy. And whether you need a cozy bedroom for functional purposes (heat doesn't quite work right?) or you just love that comfy winter look, it's the perfect time of the year to transform your bedroom into your snowy oasis. It's also another great way you can embrace the holiday staycation.
Layer, Layer, Layer
You know what they say -- if you want to be warm in the winter, pile on the layers. And the same rule applies to your bed. Embrace comforters, throw pillows, and blankets in softer and thicker fabrics -- like faux fur or cable-knit. You'll want to look for these in more neutral colors, like beige, gray, white, and brown to bring the outdoors in. If you want to add in some accent colors, look for more subtle hues like forest green, burgundy red, or slate blue. To keep the look consistent throughout the space, add extra pillows and blankets on to chairs or benches.
Lower the Lights
There's nothing that makes a room more cozy and intimate than lowering the lights. Try turning off your main lighting and go for table lamps or floor lamps. Look for lower wattage bulbs or lights that have dimmers -- these will give the space a nice soothing glow. And for an even more intimate effect, skip out on the lamps and lights all together and light some candles. Add a touch of holiday spirit with a pine or cinnamon-smelling candle.
Bring in Winter's Light
Bring winter's beauty inside! If your windows have good insulation, then open your curtains or blinds to show off nature's beauty. Fresh snow brings in a stunning white light – which you can in our winter bedroom inspiration photos. To keep your bedroom insulated, look for thickly-lined curtains or drapes in velvet or canvas.
Stay on Your Toes
It's almost impossible to be cozy if your feet are cold. A great pair of slippers always does the trick, but when it comes to your bedroom, look for soft and furry rugs. Such as faux fur or shag rugs in neutral tones. These rugs will be comfortable under your feet but also keep the space white and light.
And learn how to transform the rest of your home into a winter wonderland with our staycation guide.
Staying in town this holiday season? Often times the stress of packing, traveling, and being away from home can take all the relaxation out of vacation. Plan a holiday staycation instead and you won’t be missing out on a getaway. We have some easy ways to transform your home into a winter wonderland so that you can relax and unwind, all from the comfort of your own couch.
Deck the Halls
The best way to embrace the holiday spirit in your home is to transform your place into a winter wonderland. No matter what you celebrate, bring out some seasonal or holiday-themed decorations and accents. Try out natural wreathes and garlands for a fresh, wintry smell. And add on some sweet-smelling candles like gingerbread or cinnamon. Take some tips from boutique hotels and opt for decorations that are elegant but not invasive. Like fresh floral or plant accents.
Bring on the Layers
You’ll want your home to look super cozy for the perfect winter wonderland retreat. And the best way to do this is to add in extra throw pillows and throw blankets – even more than you may have now – for that perfect comfy and cozy winter look. Mix and match patterns or even add in a new color to shake things up a bit. Try for different sizes and shapes of pillows too. Mix and match larger pillows (like 20x20) with smaller pillows (like 16x16).
It’s the only time of the year you can get away with playing your favorite holiday tunes. We love classics like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Have them play softly in the background so you really feel like you’re living in a holiday movie.
Host a Matinee
Host a holiday movie night at your home – complete with caramel popcorn, spiced apple cider, and roasted nuts. Invite friends and family over and turn up the coziness by using your fireplace or lighting some candles. And add on some fun! Make a game and keep tabs on how many times characters say a word like “holiday” and see who wins at the end.
Light a Fire
Have a working fireplace? Light it up to keep your home toasty and the holiday spirit high. And if you don’t have a working fireplace, try filling your fireplace with birched wood to embrace the winter spirit. For a cottage look, stock 2-3 logs in the fireplace, and for a sophisticated and elegant look, stack the whole space with logs.
And check out some more holiday posts to get ready for the season!
- Host a holiday get-together with limited space
- Get your guest bedroom ready for surprise visits
- Maximize seating during the holidays
During the holidays, you need a lot more space. Space for guests, gifts, and of course -- food and drinks. Apart from Thanksgiving and holiday eve dinners, most family get-togethers take place in the living room. And you may realize that you're running tight with table space for kettle corn, hors d'oeuvres, board games, and egg nog. Here are some quick tips to get the most out of your limited space.
Squeeze in a Sofa Table
The sofa table is the perfect piece for small spaces -- especially around the holidays. It's narrow but has enough surface space for a variety of dishes and drinks. Try sliding it behind a sofa or against a wall. Usually sofa tables are 12-20 inches -- like the Shannon sofa table. Add on some holiday decor touches, like a tall vase of flowers or a wreath hanging above. It will help tie your look together.
Double-Up with a Side Table
Take advantage of your end tables for extra food and storage space. Move off any current items -- like lamps to make more space. And it's always good to look for side tables with two shelves so you can store extra board games or drinks. The best part? The second shelf will help minimize any additional clutter. We love the new Charo bar side table -- it's a must for holiday entertaining.
Try a Tray
Have an ottoman? Use it to your advantage! Ottomans are great for extra seating -- but it's also good for food and drinks. Just simply add a chic serving tray to avoid spills and you've got an extra spot for apple cider and gingerbread cookies. Or double-up with trays to get even more space for food.
Fitting in Decor
If you're crammed for space, you may be worried that you won't have room for holiday decor. But you will! Opt for tall and narrow decorations that will bring extra drama to your room but won't take up too much width or depth. Like winter branches or a tall vase with ornaments stacked. Or look to the walls! Wreathes or hanging ornaments are a great way to add on decor without taking away from extra space.
It’s that time of the year again. Friends and family are popping by for surprise visits and overnights. Most of the year, your guest room is forgotten. It’s probably used to store that treadmill or extra school projects. But during November and December, your guest room should be ready to become the perfect oasis. After all, you don’t want your mother-in-law complaining of a bad mattress every morning!
You probably haven’t used your guest bedroom in almost a year. Since then, you most likely have used the space for storage and miscellaneous items. The guest room usually becomes a catch-all and that’s okay. But now it’s time to clean it up and de-clutter. Try and find another location for any miscellaneous items or if it has to stay in the room, invest in chic storage bins that will help clutter look clean.
Make Your Bed
The first step is to choose a bed that is hypoallergenic, comfortable, and relaxing so that your guests feel right at home. Start with the mattress: everyone has different mattress preferences so find one that’s in the middle of being too hard or too soft. That way it’s likely to suit any guest’s preferences.
And make sure you have a plethora of pillows – both soft and hard. This will help the room look homey but also help if your guests have a pillow preference. And with a combination of heavy comforters and lighter blankets, your visitors will sleep well whether they have a tendency to get too hot or too cold. And here’s the true test: spend a night or two in the guest bed to see how you feel the next morning.
Give Them Space
You’ll want to make sure your guests have storage space and table space for any unpacking or work that they need to do. You’ll want at least one nightstand, a dresser for clothes and accessories, and if room allows – a desk where they can use the internet or catch up on work. Adding in these pieces will help them feel more at home.
In The Details
It’s the smaller details that will really make your guest feel at home. From extra hangers in the closet, to fresh towels, to a bathroom stocked with fresh toiletries. Most likely your guest will have forgotten something. As the host, you should act as a hotel and make sure they have what they need.
If there’s extra space in the room, create a small reading nook or sitting area. This can take the form of a bench or wing chair. Either are great – but choose one that will work best in the space. This will allow your guests some “getaway” time from all the holiday craziness.
With Thanksgiving, football season, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, and other gatherings, you’ll be entertaining a lot more in the coming months. And most likely you’ll have guests gather in the living room to be near the fireplace, the tree, or a holiday movie. And with more entertaining, comes more guests – and a need to maximize seating. Your sectional for six or sofa and loveseat may be more than enough during the year, but now you’re scrambling to find seating for friends and family. We’ve got some tips to make sure everyone has a seat while your living room stays clutter-free.
During the holidays, a larger ottoman becomes your best friend. The cocktail ottoman is usually square or rectangular and takes the place of the coffee table. When you need two to three extra seats, you’ll be able to use your ottoman. And, with the addition of a serving tray, you can still use your ottoman for food and drinks. Having an upholstered ottoman in the center of your room also adds coziness and luxury to any room. Like the Diamondback cocktail ottoman shown below.
If you’ve got the space for it, invest in one or two accent chairs. For a larger space, invest in two wing chairs to add a statement of elegance. For a smaller space, look for one or two slipper chairs in a fun color or fabric to add some pop. We love the sophisticated style of the Diamondback accent chair for some extra seating.
If you plan on keeping your main coffee table, then look for extra seating in smaller ottomans. These smaller ottomans are great because they tuck under furniture (for example a sofa table or coffee table). And they’ll add a bit more visual detail and color to your living room. Like the Ritz ottoman, which is perfect for someone in a much smaller space.
If you’ve got a long or narrow space, a bench is a great way to add a lot of extra seating (usually about three to four per bench!). Like the Avenue bench. And when the holidays are over, you can store your bench somewhere else – like the foot of your bed. It’s a great multi-purpose piece that you can use in any room of the house. And if your bench is high enough, you can use it in the dining room for extra seating.
Whether you’ve just moved into a new space or are looking to update your dining room before the holidays, choosing a new dining table can be tricky. Especially when dining tables come in so many sizes and shapes, it’s important to make sure you find a dining table that is both right for your room, your family, and for existing or new chairs. This way everyone can gather around the table this holiday season. We love how the Ashton dining room collection fits so well in this room.
First, think about the shape of your dining room. If your dining room is rectangular – then a rectangle or oval table makes the most sense. If your dining room is square – try for a square or round table. Once you’ve figured out what shape will work best for the space, you can plan out size and seating.
Table size is very important to scale just right in the dining room. Try cutting out butcher paper or folding a bed sheet into the size of the table you plan to buy. This way you can see the size and shape come to life in the room. And, if the table has leaves, try and “create” this size too. You’ll want to know how the room will look once family is in town!
When measuring, there are some standard rules that will help you find the perfect table. First, take a look at the width. For round or square/rectangular tables, make sure your table is at least 36” wide so you have room for place settings and food. Usually as the table length increases, so does the width.
You’ll also want to make sure that your guests can get up and move around the room easily. Try to allow for 42” to 48” inches between the edge of your table and the walls (or the closest piece of furniture, such as a sideboard).
Speaking of entertaining for guests, this is where seating comes in. It’s very important to think about seating and eating space, especially for the upcoming holidays! Once you’ve decided on a table size, it’s good to know what the table can fit. This can vary on shape and leg/base placement. For a quick and easy answer, the table manufacturer or retailer should be able to recommend your table’s seating amount – even for when the leaves are extended. A great rule is to make sure that each person has about 2 feet of table space. Here are some standard seating recommendations for different table sizes:
When you’re planning for a rectangular table, think about how many feet long the table is:
- 4' long seats 4 people
- 5 to 6' long seats 6 people
- 7' long seats 8 people
- 8 to 9' long seats 10 people
- 10 to 11' long seats 12 people
And when you’re planning for a round table, think about the pedestal bases:
- 3' wide with a pedestal base seats 4 people
- 4' wide with legs seats 4 people
- 5' wide with a pedestal base seats 6 people
- 5' wide with legs seats 4 people
- 6' wide with pedestal base or legs seats 8 people
- 7' wide with pedestal base or legs seats 9 people
If you want extra seating for when the table is extended, invest in two extra chairs. When they’re not in use, you can place these on either side of an entry way for a polished look.
Make sure when you’re investing in new tables or chairs that you measure the chair seat height and the table height. You wouldn't want to get a new dining room table where the chairs are too high – or even too low – for eating. Most dining room chair seats are between 16” and 17” high for a table that is 26.5” tall, and 18” high for a table that is 28” to 30” tall.