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Thanksgiving Centerpieces Ideas for a Festive Table

It’s that time of the year again… Thanksgiving is around the corner, and soon your tabletop will be full of delicious food and eye-catching decor! How will you decorate for the season? Today we feature 20 Thanksgiving centerpiece ideas to get your creativity flowing.

Should you go traditional with a formal floral arrangement? Are pumpkins essential? Is it better to have a spread of items rather than one large piece? When it comes to Thanksgiving centerpieces, follow this one hard-and-fast rule: there are no rules! That’s right–thinking outside of the box is allowed. Below we feature a variety of possibilities, from the elegant and refined to the delightfully unexpected. Which centerpiece best fits your style of entertaining?

Floral Centerpieces

Flowers are classic and timeless. Yet given the large amount of faux foliage used in today’s tabletop arrangements, a vase of fresh blooms can be a surprising touch. Below we see a centerpiece from floral and event designer Poppies & Posies, displayed in a vintage pewter vase. The strategic use of chicken wire at the top of the vase helps anchor this centerpiece and make arranging easier. [image from Jen Huang via Camille Styles]

A Thanksgiving floral centerpiece

The next image features a striking arrangement of white blooms and eucalyptus pods. Light and dark, soft and wooden, blossom and branch–many contrasts create true centerpiece magic. For a full tutorial, check out Design Sponge.

A blossom and branch Thanksgiving centerpiece

If you’re looking for real foliage that manages to be low maintenance, why not go with a preserved topiary? One of today’s best design secrets, the ever-fresh topiary consists of preserved greenery. In fact, the autumn leaves below have been soaked in a salt solution so they remain full of color. The best part: aside from a light misting from time to time, no maintenance is needed. [from Crate & Barrel]

A preserved autumn topiary

What better way to accentuate a vase of fresh blooms than with candles? In the next image, we see sparkling votives and tall tapers, as well as natural elements like fresh produce. The result: a multidimensional arrangement that’s a feast for the eyes. See all the details and more in this Thanksgiving-themed video from event planner Camille Styles.

A Thanksgiving floral centerpiece with taper candles

One way to incorporate a pumpkin into your Thanksgiving centerpiece: use it as a vase! The arrangement below, created by Jennie Love of Love ‘n Fresh Flowers, involves a real pumpkin that doubles as a receptacle, holding succulents and other foliage. Branches and a silver tray also play a role in this scene-stealing display! [from Design Sponge]

A pumpkin floral centerpiece

Elaborate centerpieces are stunning, but simple ones are equally powerful. For example, greenery in a jug can be striking, especially when accompanied by candles of various heights. Below we see the bronze and antiqued brass Emery Pillar Candleholders from Crate & Barrel.

A centerpiece featuring candles

Another way to make your centerpiece stand out? Go colorful! While subdued earth tones are often the hues of choice for Thanksgiving arrangements, nothing beats a display of vivid blooms. [photo by Kat Flower via HGTV]

A colorful Thanksgiving floral centerpiece

Feathers are a wonderful alternative to fresh blooms. In fact, many craft stores offer faux feathers that are surprisingly realistic. Below we see nuts and moss anchor a spread of pheasant feathers, arranged by Layla Palmer of The Lettered Cottage [via HGTV.com]

A Thankgsiving centerpiece made of nuts, feathers and moss

Cornucopia Centerpieces

We can’t showcase Thanksgiving centerpieces without featuring the cornucopia. This horn-shaped symbol of nature’s bounty graces many a seasonal table! But how can you put a contemporary spin on a traditional display? Change the color! The Terracotta Cast Cornucopia from West Elm is offered in white for a modern effect. [from West Elm]

A modern cornucopia centerpiece

Another update idea? Go monchromatic! Instead of an autumn medley of colors, stick to citrus tones, such as yellow. When combined with soft shades like grey and beige, the result is bright and refreshing. For more details, check out Better Homes and Gardens.

A cornucopia centerpiece in shades of yellow

Next we see the clever use of coiled wire to create a sculptural cornucopia. Instead of using fruit, fill this artful structure with pine cones for a modern twist on a traditional concept! [from Clandestine Craves]

A wire coil cornucopia

The final featured cornucopia is filled with flowers rather than fruit. Go for the unexpected by choosing radiant blooms in rich shades, such as violet and magenta. [photo by Joni Shimabukuro via Francoise Weeks]

A floral cornucopia

Centerpiece Vignettes

Sometimes it’s best to mix it up! Instead of focusing on one major statement, try an assortment of items, such as pumpkins. Below we see pumpkins, squash and other fall produce grouped at the center of a modern wooden table, along with strategically placed votive candles. [from Pottery Barn via Houzz]

An assortment of pumpkins

Serving pieces can even be incorporated into the display. The Sculpted Turkey Lidded Serve Bowl is a prominent part of the spread featured in the next image, along with taper candles and fall leaves. [from Pottery Barn]

A Thanksgiving table

Pay homage to Thanksgiving’s bird of choice with the Natural Turkeys shown below. These whimsical creations are made of natural feathers and other raw materials, Not to mention, they look great when displayed with large candle holders and an assortment of decorative items. [from Pottery Barn]

Faux turkey centerpieces for Thanksgiving

Speaking of candles, what if one artistic display could anchor an entire Thanksgiving table? The branch candle holder sculpture below creates an instant vignette, especially when combined with fall leaves and festive place settings. [from Focal Point Styling via Houzz]

A Thanksgiving branch centerpiece

Add some sparkle with mercury glass! In fact, arranging a grouping of several mercury glass items compounds the shimmer, and surrounding pieces with an array of pine cones results in a wonderful contrast. Silver vs. earth-toned, metallic vs. wooden. The juxtaposition is striking!  [from The Old Painted Cottage via Houzz]

A pine cone and mercury glass Thanksgiving centerpiece

We see a similar look in the mustard-toned room below. The warm glow of candles is the perfect complement to this golden space. [from Rambling Renovators via Houzz]

A Thanksgiving centerpiece with pine cones and candles

Another pine cone and candle creation can be seen in the next image, this time without metallic candle holders. The effect is soft and natural, emphasizing a blend of light shades rather than a striking contrast. [from HGTV.com]

A Thanksgiving centerpiece of seed pods, candles and pine cones

We end with a vignette that is modern and uncluttered. Branches of berries are placed in a clear vase, which is then situated in front of a Laura Zindel Thanksgiving Platter. This artistic serving piece features depictions of acorn squash, gourds, vines and blossoms. [from West Elm]

A Thanksgiving platter centerpiece

Don’t be afraid to combine your favorite elements from the centerpieces above. Do you like the feathers from one arrangement and the vase from another image? Mix and match to get a vignette that is right for your table. Don’t hesitate to add those special touches like votive candles and fresh produce. Most importantly, have fun arranging your Thanksgiving table!

Kate Simmons

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and design blogger with a love of all things decor. She spent her childhood writing stories and working on interior design-themed DIY projects. Kate’s published writing reflects her special interest in how design has changed through the decades. Her blog Mirror80 ( http://mirror80.com/) explores the fashion and [...]

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