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You may have your Thanksgiving menu planned to a “T” – but have you carefully considered the table décor?

A beautifully appointed table is almost as important as what you serve, and takes careful planning and consideration.

To me, the aesthetic appeal of a table is almost as important as what you serve. A beautifully appointed table is a work of art that requires careful planning and consideration. It is also much easier to achieve than you might think. Whether you are entertaining two guests or 25, following are some simple ideas, which are sure to impress your visitors and make your Thanksgiving an extra special one:

  • Choose the right color palette. This will set the tone for your table setting. For Thanksgiving, I love to use a background of marigold yellow accented by harvest colors such as rich burgundy, clarender red, au chocolate and pale crème brulee.
  • Create a commanding centerpiece. As an example, a centerpiece could consist of at least seven to 10 candelabras with white taper candles – lit prior to guests’ arrival – and set atop a brightly colored table runner. This can also be placed at the center of a round table.  A dramatic focal point always sparks lively conversation!
  • Use large-scale florals in either one or two strong fall colors, and accent them with large white mums, bringing focus to your overall palette. Accompany these with large waxy maple leaf branches. Simple sunflowers mixed with white and deep red mums make an outstanding focal piece.

    Always use plenty of sparkling glasses, which make a great combination with candlelight.

  • Accentuate with plenty of fresh, natural elements. For example, incorporate pumpkins, gourds, berries or fresh fruit atop a bed of maple leaves into your centerpiece, or on a smaller scale, on a place setting.
  • Use sparkling glassware as much as possible illuminating a shimmery combination with the candlelight!
  • Invest in a few pieces of quality holiday China. I love Anna Weatherley’s hand-painted botanicals or a piece or two of antique Majolica.

    Invest in quality China. Pictured are the exquisite hand painted botanical designs of Anna Weatherley.

  • Always use cloth napkins in fun fall colors. These work well when accompanied by a fresh flower in the napkin ring. Or depending on your China, use printed linens, with a whimsical fall motif such leaves or berries.
  • Personalize each place setting. Tie a carefully written name card to each napkin ring, or place a miniature pumpkin at each place setting and cut a slit into the top and slip in a name card – try alternating white and orange pumpkins for a festive touch.
  • For a quick decorating fix and to infuse more holiday flair, dress up your chairs with handsome slipcovers, or ask children to hand make personalized Thanksgiving cards and affix them to each chair with a double up ribbon tie.
  • Place photo albums on coffee tables to encourage trips down memory lane among your guests.
  • Always send guests home with a memorable gift. For the Thanksgiving holiday, fun ideas might include a bag of jellybeans in fall colors, a specialized bag of coffee beans or a personal recipe.
  • Most importantly, keep your decorations consistent and simple – with an element of drama.

However you set your table – whether formal or whimsical – remain true to your own personal style and personality. A warm, inviting setting and décor will help spark camaraderie and generate memories for years to come.

This beautiful gravy boat which combines delicate colors and patterns is designed by Bernardaud and is ideal for the Thanksgiving table.

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What’s Old Is New: Reclaimed Materials Add Depth and Character

On November 6, 2012, in Posts, by Warren Sheets Design

There are many compelling reasons to use sustainable building materials. Reclaimed materials are eco-friendly while adding character and depth to any home. Not only that, older materials tend to be more durable than what is constructed today. And they don’t require much maintenance or upkeep, since they are already well weathered and worn.

Our design team has found excellent uses for many reclaimed materials, among them wood planks, bricks, glassware, metals, wall coverings, natural fiber carpets and more. In a recent example, we salvaged 100-year-old bricks from a turn-of-the-century factory in Northern California, and then reused them to bring character and history to an elegant La Jolla, California, beach home.

The Great Room at Lindbergh Cabin Overlooking Swan Lake in Big Fork, Montana

And for a one-of-a-kind collection of multi-million dollar homes at Kootenai Estates in Big Fork, Montana, we incorporated indigenous Chief Cliff and Moose Mountain stone and rock and maple flooring from old homesteader cabins that had dotted the property for more than 100 years. The patina and grain in this reclaimed wood was infinitely more beautiful than anything we could have ever found in newly cut, fast-growth wood, so in this instance we went out of our way to use as much of the antique wood as possible.

There are so many creative ways to incorporate reclaimed products into your décor to achieve an intriguing, vintage motif. Following are just a few of our favorites:

Reclaimed wood: Old wood is in hot demand, which is no surprise as it is an aesthetically pleasing, sustainable alternative to new raw lumber. Achieve a rich, aged patina with recycled boards from antique barns, historic homes, architectural salvage stores or even factories. If you own an older home, you may already have beautiful wood hidden under carpeting or behind drywall., Because old lumber is drier and thicker than virgin wood and less vulnerable to warping and cracking, vintage wood holds up wonderfully over time  adding textured style to floors, walls, ceilings, cabinets, moldings and more.

Furniture: Repurposed woods can be constructed into a number of different furniture items, among them coffee tables, night stands, dressers, armoires, dining tables and accessories such as frames, lamp bases and plant stands.

The Lindbergh Living Room at Kootenai Estates

Bricks and Stone: Antique specialty bricks, street pavers and cobblestones have charm, character and craftsmanship far superior to anything crafted today. Bricks, stone tiles and pavers can be used on interior floors for a cozy vintage touch, or on driveways, pathways, patios and terraces.

Metal: Salvaged metal is de rigueur in home design today – and includes aluminum, tin, copper and brass — which can all be used for a variety of distinctive accents, such as hardware, ceilings, sinks, door levers and escutcheons.

Pairing Reclaimed Materials:Mingling repurposed wood with other reclaimed objects and items often works beautifully. For example, antique plaster elements and turn-of-the-century wood moldings can merge to create a stunning decorative ceiling.

Vintage Breakfast Nook with Table Made of Reclaimed Wood

There is a caveat, however, to the trend toward using reclaimed materials: :some companies are procuring and producing products which appear reclaimed – and priced accordingly – but in fact are “fake.” To that end do your homework very carefully prior to purchasing your “new” materials – research precisely what they are and where they came from.

For this reason and more, we recommend that if you opt to use repurposed materials, work with an expert who can help you decide exactly how, where and when to incorporate authentic materials in your décor.

Kootenai Lodge

If you decide to use these time-tested materials, you will, no doubt, be thrilled with the end result. Not only will repurposed woods, stones and metals infuse warmth, history and character into your home – you will have made an important environmental difference.

Kootenai Estates Great Room

Please let me know what types of reclaimed materials you are using in your home. I would love to hear about your experiences.


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