With the ghosts and ghouls stored away after Halloween, it’s time to start thinking about decorating for Thanksgiving.
Sprucing up the house for the coming holiday is more than just paper turkeys and pumpkins. Thanksgiving lends itself to warm, earthy colors with the glow of candles and warm feelings. Interior designer Sharon McCormick of Sharon McCormick Designs in Glastonbury reminds people not to forget about decorating for adults and children.
“What makes Thanksgiving more enjoyable for the adults?” McCormick said. “A contented group at the kids’ table.”
At the kids’ table, consider using a craft paper tablecloth so the kids can decorate while they wait for that pie to come out of the oven. Age appropriate activity books and their own crayons can go a long way.
At each kids’ place setting, put a small pumpkin with a marker. Have each child write something they’re grateful for on the pumpkin and pass the pumpkin around the table. Each child will write their own gratitude again. By the time the pumpkins go all the way around the table, each child ends up with their original pumpkin with good thoughts from the whole group to take home.
Use festive paper plates and cups so the adults don’t have to worry about breaking dinnerware.
Consider making place tags by writing on big leaves. Not only is it fun for your kids to go searching for them in the yard, it allows you to separate a few of the mischievous kids.
Another way to keep kids busy during the holiday while having fun is to give each child a disposable Polaroid camera. Make a competition out of it such as the funniest face wins a prize.
Decorating for Thanksgiving isn’t all about the kids though. You need some tips for making the house sparkle for the adults too.
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“Natural decorations are always a winner at Thanksgiving,” McCormick said. “Fall is the perfect time to scavenge for materials to use in your décor– pampas grass, pinecones, acorns, bittersweet, pussy willows, branches of leaves, dried hydrangeas, and whatever else you can find.”
Try wiring together your favorite materials to make a garland for the fireplace and line it with fairy lights to brighten it up. Add pillows and throws in rich colors such as rust, green, mustard and burgundy around the room.
Antiques are perfect for Thanksgiving, McCormick said, harkening to the history of the holiday. She suggests using old pails, lanterns, dough bowls, vases and apothecary jars to display the items. If the container is accommodating, use pillar candles in the center surrounded by the natural items.
Also consider being creative with your tablecloth. Plaid, wool blankets are unexpected and can make a beautiful table. Burlap is another option. Use warm metals like copper and brass as accents for candlesticks, serving platters and salt and pepper shakers, McCormick said.
If your dinner will be more formal, gourds and pumpkins can be spray painted or dipped in gold. To do so, fill a bucket with water and spray the paint into the water. Dunk your object and slowly pull it out of the bucket. Some of the original color will show through. A pumpkin can be any color you want or hollowed out and used for a flower arrangement.
Lastly, set the mood with dimmers on your lighting.
“I have all lights put on dimmers when I’m designing a room just for this purpose. It’s an easily forgotten but important detail,” McCormick said.