We asked designer, event planner and Celebrations.com expert Shawn Rabideau to share some of his best tips for creating a festive home for Thanksgiving, a holiday he's fond of. "For me personally, I love this time of year; I love the colors, the crisp weather and all the fruits and veggies that are in abundance," he tells us. "Therefore it influences me to incorporate those elements into my home decor by using accents in either arrangements or organic table displays."
First things first: If you want to create a festive, Thanksgiving-inspired atmosphere, you need to take the seasonal hues into consideration, Rabideau explains. "Fall is my favorite time of year, so I love to incorporate stunning colors such as orange, burgundy, terra cotta, plum and yellow," he says. "These are warm and inviting colors and really create a cozy mood within your home." Rather than spend money on all-new decor, use what you have at home and tweak it to represent the season. Rabideau fills crystal candy dishes he already has with mixed nuts in the shell, whole cranberries or mini crabapples. He also likes to incorporate mini mum plants or ornamental orange, red or purple pepper plants, add accents of moss and put those in decorative pots or serving pieces from his china cabinet. "This creates a colorful and warm feeling to the overall table setting," he says.
Decor inspired by nature always looks both chic and festive. Try using decorative leaves, wheat, moss or grapevine spheres to give your home an autumnal feel, suggests Rabideau. He also paints pumpkins or gourds with white or ivory paint and then speckles them with gold or silver metallic paint for a unique and eye-catching effect. "Put these items around your home in bowls on your dining table or in key focal points in your home, and guests will be wowed by your modern harvest decor."
While decorating your dining table for Thanksgiving is a fun and festive way to welcome the season, Rabideau recommends removing most of the components on Thanksgiving Day so the food can become the focal point. "I like the food to be the star of my table, so I would say don't overcrowd your dining table."
With so many colors and decorative items to choose from, it can be tempting to go overboard when it comes to Thanksgiving decor, but scale back to keep things elegant. The best way to keep it chic and classy is to "dot" your home with harvest decor in key focal points, Rabideau says. "You certainly don't want your home to look like a farm stand -- unless you're going for country chic." Focus on items such as autumnal candles and candle stands or votive holders, earthenware pots or vases for your seasonal blooms and decorative pillows in fall-inspired hues.
Rabideau also creates his own potpourri on the stove for added ambiance. Simmer water, orange slices, lemon slices and lime slices with several cinnamon sticks and small handfuls of whole cloves, and whole allspice. "It creates an amazing aroma in the home," he says, "and you can use this to make you feel warm and cozy in the winter."
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