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Thanksgiving Decorating  by Barbara Jennings

I love the holidays. Now that's saying something when you consider that I hate to cook. So there's really only two times each year when I really invest time and energy into cooking and baking. Those two times a year are Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So naturally those are the two times each year when I go all out to decorate for the dinner and surrounding areas and try to create an ambience that is warm and inviting, an ambience that totally compliments the room or rooms and the food at the same time.

Now while it is not unusual to decorate the table according to the colors in the room or the colors of the dishes and tablecloth, I'd like to suggest to you that you also plan your decorating to compliment the menu you will be serving.

What do I mean by that? Well, if I were decorating the table with pastel plates and napkins, I wouldn't choose to serve a dinner whose colors were hot and spicy, like in a Mexican menu. The colors in the food would be totally out of sinc with the table decorations and it just wouldn't work. So you really need to pick either the decor, based upon the room and the furnishings and plan the menu accordingly, or you need to start with the menu first, and if the menu calls for ingredients that are very, very different from the dishes, tablecloth and the room, then consider holding the party in a different room or location altogether.

The point is, the colors of the dinner or party food should be similar to the decorations, unless the decorations are very neutral, like a white table cloth and white dishes. In decorating, always remember that it boils down to "color" and "feeling". Make sure your colors blend and you'll have an excitingly beautiful decor that compliments the menu totally.

Thanksgiving Colors
Colors that are typical of this time of year are fall colors, such as gold, browns, wheat, greens, yellows, oranges, off whites, blacks, blues, rusts, coppers, burgundy. A typical menu that would blend beautiful with these colors might be: butternut squash soup, biscuits dripping with butter, cinnamon-rubbed turkey, chile, giblet gravy, corn bread, cranberries, pears, peaches, cinnamon baked apples, zucchini, carrots, string beans, fruit pies and pumpkin carrot cake.

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(2004-05 Copyright Barbara Jennings)

Barbara Jennings
is the West Coast Pioneer in Redesign, author of 7 decorating books, a published artist, corporate art consultant, and furniture arrangement consultant. For training in professional furniture and accessory arrangement, or to start your own redesign or art consulting business, please visit: