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Design Your Thanksgiving Table: Tasty & Tasteful

The Thanksgiving meal is a feast for our eyes as well as our bellies. What host or hostess doesn't hope for a few oohs and aahs as the table is revealed?

Design pros know how to make things look their best, so the Boston Design Center was a good place to start for tips. There we got referrals for Boston-area designers with ideas for easy and inexpensive ways to make your Thanksgiving table unique and welcoming.

Pumpkin Containers: Don't have enough matching candleholders? Mark Needleman, design director of Signature Interiors in Framingham, suggests cutting a hole in a mini pumpkin and placing a candle inside. Ellen Wallack, from Ellen Wallack Interiors in Boston, takes a scooped-out, regular-sized pumpkin and uses it as "a unique vase for the centerpiece." Place a clear glass vase filled with floral clay inside the pumpkin in order to hold your arrangement.

Color Schemes: If you want to emphasize certain colors, Carol Krieger, from Carol S. Krieger Interior Design in Cambridge, gives some pointers. For greens, Krieger uses artichokes, Brussels sprouts and pears. For reds, she uses persimmons, pomegranates, cranberries and walnuts. Display items in clear vases of different sizes and shapes. But she warns, "Make sure not to make the displays too tall and obscure the view of your neighbor across the table!"

Family Heirlooms: Susan Shulman, from Susan Shulman Interiors in West Newton, suggests looking for family heirlooms, like a special dish from your great-grandmother. The holiday meal is "a way to invite people to the table who can't be there," she says. She also suggests not opening up the table as long as it will go, so people can be seated closely for a more intimate feel.

Dual Uses: Shari Pellows, from Shari Pellows Interiors in Sharon, likes the decorations to preview the meal. She says, "Use herbs that you're cooking with, like thyme, rosemary and sage." Combine with sedum and stalks of tall grasses to make sprigs and place in napkin rings. Needleman fills a large, tall vase with water, uncut lemons and cranberries. He says, "The cranberries float to the top and after a few days have a nice lemon scent." Pellows also suggests using old blankets, quilts, or three yards of fabric finished with Stitch Witchery, instead of a traditional tablecloth.



Picture courtesy of Shari Pellows Interiors
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