Simple, Elegant Thanksgiving Table

I absolutely love coming up with different ways to decorate our dining table for the holidays. We will be hosting a small gathering for Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks, so I decided a Thanksgiving tablescape was a must.

I started out with one of my favorite tablescape tricks – using wrapping paper as a table runner. I found this classy black and gold polka dot paper at Home Goods, and it was love at first sight. To use it as a runner, I simply tape it under the edge of my table on each end. It's doesn't get much easier or cheaper than that!

I wanted the table to have a touch of nature along with the glamorous black and gold table runner, so I used my new faux greenery that I picked up at Hobby Lobby to run the length of the table. The garland forms a pretty frame around the dried and ceramic gourds. Without those autumnal touches, this table could be appropriate for any occasion. I think it would be equally pretty with some small vases of white roses or magnolias.

Doesn't the garland look real? I can't wait to use it during for my Christmas decor. I found it in the normal faux greenery section at Hobby Lobby for $7.50 for 6 feet. (It was 50% off that day, so the normal price is $15.)

I was searching through my craft paper for place card inspiration when I spotted this box of thank you cards we've had for years. I was originally going to cover the "thank you" part, but then it occurred to me that it was actually completely appropriate for a Thanksgiving table. It could even be a fun way to interact with your guests, by asking everyone to write down what they're thankful for on their thank you card.

To make it lay down nicely on the plate, I simply folded the back side of the card in half, hamburger style. I added the sprig of greenery from my own front yard to each setting for another natural element. Just like the greenery on the table runner balances out the modern/sleek lines of the wrapping paper, this little sprig helps soften the hard, masculine pattern of the notecard.

The goblets are another DIY touch. I found a set of 6 on sale at Home Goods for $7, and I used a gold Sharpie to add tiny gold dots. I love the way they turned out; it reminds me of champagne bubbles.

I think this is one of my favorite tablescapes I've ever done, and it was so easy to put together. It took less than 30 minutes from start to finish, and that was with me brainstorming and coming up with ideas as I went along. It's SO simple.

Table runner/wrapping paper: HomeGoods; thank you notes: Target; garland: Hobby Lobby; chargers: Michaels; ceramic gourds: Wisteria; dried gourds: garage sale; candlesticks: Pottery Barn; table, china: thrifted; chairs (wooden): World Market; chaird (upholstered): thrifted

I created another Thanksgiving table with wrapping paper last year:

Do you decorate your table for Thanksgiving? Am I the only crazy one who does hers weeks in advance so she can enjoy it longer? (We never use our formal dining room unless it's a special occasion, so I can just leave it out and enjoy the scene for however long I want!)

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Four Years of Projects

It almost slipped by me again this year, but somehow I remembered: This week marks my 4th blogiversary! I know this is a small blog within the grand ol' blogosphere, but I treasure this piece of the internet and those of you who stop by to read what I have to say. THANK YOU!

I thought I would mark this grand occasion by recapping my top 10 blog posts of all time. Blogging is a weird thing: Sometimes you write a blog post that you think is going to be incredibly popular, and NO ONE CARES. But then you whip out a post about these Christmas cookies your mom used to make and the internet goes wild! It's a fickle beast, that internet.

1. Let's start with my most popular post of all time – thank you, Pinterest! Scott made me this fantastic outdoor fountain out of flower pots, and we are still using it three years later. People must search "flower pot fountain" on Pinterest all the time, which is how people find their way to my blog. Not that I'm complaining!

2. Back when I was trying to pretty up my dark dungeon of a closet in our first house, I came up with this idea to DIY a crystal chandelier with wedding supplies from Hobby Lobby. This is one of the few things I miss since we moved away.

3. I have to thank Erin at House of Earnest for my third most popular post of all time. It was her original idea that inspired the DIY dipped, colorblocked spoons I made for her friend's bridal shower gift. I liked this project so much that I've made it over and over again – one for myself, one for my mom and many more as gifts. Everyone needs kitchen utensils, especially cute ones.

4. My 4th most popular post is another DIY project that I continue to reinvent – most recently for the wall treatment in my guest bedroom makeover. These paper wall flowers are the easiest and cheapest wall decor of all time.

5. My #5 most popular post of all time is a repeat of #1, but one of the flower pots is tilted on its side. Ooooooh! I should just specialize in flower pot fountains because apparently those are really popular. Making a mental note...

6. This is one of our coolest projects of all time, so I'm thrilled that it has become one of our most popular posts. The husband worked so hard to build this full wall of custom closets from scratch.

7. This is one of those random projects we did that I'm surprised became very popular over time. (Again, thank you Pinterest.) We had a problem with our dogs digging up the garden in our old house, so we came up with this affordable way to build a custom garden fence.

 8. I don't have many food-related posts on this blog, but these Christmas cookie gift ideas are a big hit. Those Santas may be time intensive, but they are so cute and so tasty!

9. Our guest bathroom makeover is moving up the ranks and becoming one of the most popular posts on the blog. I think the finished product is one of our most dramatic makeovers, and the guests really love the new-and-improved bathroom.

10. This popular post was another project born out of necessity. Our dogs are so destructive, and they were destroying the bottom of our fence because they wanted to be able to watch what was going on and "patrol" the yard. We created a custom doggy peephole in the fence. We must not be the only ones with destructive puppies because it's a very popular post these days.

I know I've been a lackluster blogger lately, so I appreciate those of you who have continued to stick with me as my posting has become more sporadic. I've been working so much that it's becoming harder to keep up with the regular posting schedule. But I still love this blog and I'm going to keep going with it as long as anyone still reads it, so thank you so much for following along!

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Group Therapy: Paulette's Decorating Dilemma

Paulette reached out to me a few weeks ago to chat about her living room and how to best arrange the space. She has a long, narrow living room that makes it hard to configure her furniture to really utilize the square footage.

 Paulette has some really great pieces. How fabulous is that campaign chest and gallery wall?

This is what Paulette had to say about her family's living space:

I'm looking to change the sofa, rug and coffee table (it's just too much wood). I want to try to lighten up the space and figure out something to do in the area behind the chair. It's essentially another room which the kids tend to play because there is absolutely nothing there. I was thinking about using it as more of a sitting area, but I am not sure how to divide the areas and place the furniture.  My kids are 5 and 7, so we have finally hit the stage where toys are kept in the room, but I do want the kids to feel like they can also hang out there. I bought some simple white curtains from IKEA and add trim if need be for color. I would call my style transitional. I do have a tendency to be scared of color but am trying to step out a bit – thus the camping dresser in peacock blue.

Alright Paulette, here's what I would do – take it for what it's worth!

To split the living room and sitting area into two separate areas, I would move that tan accent chair into the sitting area and angle the two chairs in the corner. I would replace that chair with a chaise lounge or long upholstered bench – either of those options would allow you to have the same seating but keep the rooms opened to one another better than any furniture piece with a high back. The low-profile nature of a chaise lounge or bench allows the eye to see easily into each area and for the people in each room to interact easily, but it still provides the separation you're looking for to delineate the sections of the room.

Here are some pieces I think would look nice in the living area. I tried to find affordable pieces because what good is it to suggest furniture that is overly expensive? I hate it when people do that! This is real life; most of us can't spend a fortune on a throw pillow!

One thing I think always helps lighten up a space – like Paulette wants to do – is to get brighter rugs and incorporate mirrors. Mirrors bounce light around the room and really make a space feel lighter and more glamorous.

Paulette's Living Room

I would create the seating area in the back corner using the two existing tan chairs and bring in some colorful pillows to tie the two chairs together and coordinate with the red chairs from the dining room.

Paulette's Sitting Area

Another thing I would do is create a small desk area on that empty wall leading to the back door. If not a full fledged desk, that would be a great spot for a colorful console and some big artwork.

Paulette's Desk Area

Enough of what I would do – what would YOU do if you had Paulette's space? Share your thoughts in the comments section. Let's help Paulette tackling this decorating dilemma!

If you have a tricky situation in your own home that you want us to discuss on the blog, shoot me an email at jgrantham106@gmail.com. Thanks so much for writing, Paulette. It brings me true joy when blog readers reach out to me with thoughts and questions, and I LOVE to discuss decorating!

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