The Thanksgiving holiday, focused on themes of gratitude for the autumn harvest, is right around the corner. If you’re planning to host this holiday season, a luxuriously designed Thanksgiving tablescape can make all the difference in creating feelings of cosiness and togetherness for you and your guests. We sat down with Lesa Forwood, Co-founder and Director of Forwood Design Ltd. Aside from using her unique and expert eye to manage and curate interior design collections for Forwood Design, Lesa is an adventurer at heart and a fantastic dinner party host. So, of course it makes sense that Lesa deeply appreciates a beautifully curated tablescape with all the festive components that remind us of this holiday’s roots. Here’s Lesa’s take on how to host a Thanksgiving filled with gratitude, along with her must-haves and favourites for your tablescape.
Read on as Forwood Design reveals a behind the scenes look at Lesa Forwood’s ideal hosting must-haves this holiday season as well as our intro to styling your luxury Thanksgiving tablescape.
What is your favourite Thanksgiving tradition?
“One of the things we always do is say what we’re thankful for. It’s the perfect time of year to reflect and talk about that. About the food, the togetherness – and really focusing on those things we’re thankful for, that we tend to overlook in our day-to-day lives.”
What are you most thankful for?
“To name a few: food, family, friends. It’s all about the simple pleasures– joining at the table together – this is what Thanksgiving was originally all about.”
What do you love most about the Thanksgiving holiday?
“The memories. Both of the past as well as the anticipation of the new ones waiting to be created. The excitement of an occasion to be shared with family and friends. The amazing smells coming from the kitchen!”
How would you describe your design style?
“Eclectic, natural décor combined with memories and life’s adventures. My Thanksgiving design style is all about tradition. Formal, yet cosy and welcoming.”
What are your must-have items to include in your Thanksgiving tablescape?
“Candles, sparkling coloured glass and large white cotton napkins.”
Any on-trend items you’ll be adding to your Thanksgiving tablescape this year?
“Consider incorporating ceramics and centrepieces. Ceramics are a key element of 2023’s design themes and are a perfect addition to your thanksgiving tablescape. Ceramics add a touch of clean, earthy design to your table, reminiscent of the origins of the Thanksgiving holiday. Add the finishing touches to your tablescape by choosing centrepieces like these.”
What are some key Forwood Design decor elements to elevate any room this holiday season?
“Cambodian Pelican Bookends or Seed Tealight Holders. Nothing creates a cosier atmosphere quite like candles, especially during the autumn and winter seasons as the days are cooler and the nights are darker. Your guests will be naturally drawn to the candlelit table set with warm, soulful comfort food. The Cambodian Pelican Bookends are incredibly detailed and create stylish organisation for your bookshelf.”
Any other honourable mentions?
“The Lapis Drinks Tray, Woodstock Drinks Trolley, and peacocks! The Lapis Drinks Tray is gorgeously designed and adds rich colour to a tabletop. Our Woodstock Drinks Trolley injects a luxurious touch to your holiday happy hour– whilst keeping everything organised and aesthetically pleasing.”
Which is more important when hosting Thanksgiving? Functionality or aestheticism?
“In short, both are key components of festive hosting. I always find that good preparation allows for both to exist simultaneously!”
Intro to Tablescaping (Just in time for the holidays!)
A tablescape can be defined as “the act of creatively and intentionally arranging a tabletop so that it conveys a specific theme, mood, or experience.” When planning your luxury tablescape for the holiday season, you’ll want to keep a few important concepts in mind before setting your table.
- Layering & Clean Design: To create a luxury tablescape, it’s important to keep your layers in mind while also considering what you plan to serve to your guests. Tablescaping incorporates elements of ornate design while avoiding the creation of a cluttered look. When conceptualising your tablescape, consider each element of a tablescape and how you plan to arrange everything, step by step. For example:
- Base Layer: Table Cloth and or table runner + placemats, drink coasters, and wine bottle coasters
- Layer 1: Ceramic plates stacked under bowls and salad plates, with properly placed cutlery
- Layer 2: Candle holders or tea light holders, candles, and sculptured centrepieces.
- Layer 3: Jewel-toned glassware, linen or cotton napkins, and luxury napkin rings
- Layer 4: Natural elements such as freshly cut sprigs of white pine, holly or poinsettia.
- Pops of Colour & Texture: Using warm-toned, rustic colours and naturally derived textures with an organic feel is perfect during this transitional season. Thanksgiving, in particular, originated from the concept of giving thanks for the harvest. What better way to pay homage to this tradition than through naturally sourced tableware? Consider using textured placemats with ceramic plates. Add some additional luxury cosiness with linen napkins and a linen table runner to complete the look.
- Themed Decor, in Moderation: There’s a fine line between over-decorating and adding well-designed centrepieces to your table’s decor scheme. The main focus of the table must incorporate the theme of the event without creating a gaudy feel. Since this year is all about natural moods and organic accents, consider cutting some sprigs of pine or adding maple leaves to your table on the day of your party. You’ll want to strike a balance between luxury and fussy, and the key difference between the two is balance.