3 Nontraditional Centerpiece Ideas for Your Thanksgiving Tablescape

Creative Thanksgiving centerpiece ideas for both casual and formal celebrations.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas Red Flowers

photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

There’s something about a traditional tablescape that we will never tire of. The classic holiday hues, seasonal accents, and timeless dish collection work for a reason. But in the spirit of switching it up, we sought out some expert help from New York City floral and design company, L’Atelier Rouge. Keep reading to discover three centerpiece ideas brought to life by Owner Caroline Bailly and Head of Floral Design, Takaya Sato.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas Buffet Style Setup

photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

The Friendsgiving, Buffet-Style Dinner

Looking for an easy way to avoid having to make arrangements or take care of the centerpiece all on your own? Whether you’re hosting family or friends, this is a fun way to get guests involved. Simply assign your guests a color and tell them to bring a few (2-4) of their favorite stems in whatever small vase or glass they have at home. This way, you’ll get a spontaneous hodgepodge of florals (in a color palette of your choosing!) featuring mismatched vessels.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas Golden Yellow Flowers

photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

If leaving the presentation of your table isn’t for you, spend the next few days scouting your local secondhand shops for vintage vessels or pull from your existing collection. Collect a few florals here and there to create a nice mix.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas Red Orange Flowers Mushrooms

photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

Bailly used (from left to right) orange dahlias, mimosas, garden roses, lady slippers, parrot tulips, birds of paradise, gerbera daisies, orange ranunculus, and marigolds. Bailly also added large, dried mushrooms to add a rustic feel to the table, but you can use whatever accents you have around the house.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas Orange Flowers

photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

She said of her design, “I like working with color blocks, so I think that was the whole inspiration there, where you have some red, some orange, some yellow, with a smooth transition. I’ve been very inspired by those mushrooms for the past couple months.”

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas Yellow Flowers Wood Table

photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

The Nontraditional Tablescape

Draw inspiration from the deep plums and purples of the season and stage a softer centerpiece. If you’re looking to try something new—aka not orange or expected—consider carving out the inside of a purple kale plant. Beginners can place in a vase for easy display while more experienced arrangers should look to floral foam, a pot, and moss to create a base.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas Purple Kale Pink Flowers

photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

When we asked Bailly about her kale design, she said,  “We thought it’d just be fun, we like to have fun, we don’t take ourselves too seriously over here. We thought it’d be really fun to have flowers coming out of the cabbage.”

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas Pink Peonies

photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

Next, it’s time to arrange your flowers in the kale plant! Bailly used protea, peonies, and caricalpa, which create a nice color variant against the leafiness of the kale head. Accessorize your table with a darker plum tablecloth and jewel tone (or blush!) accents.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas Pink Florals

photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

The Formal “Who Needs Florals Anyway” Centerpiece

Commit to a non-floral centerpiece and opt instead for this statement-making fruit and vegetable piece, arranged around an oversized candelabra. You’ll be scavenging the farmers’ market for your meal anyway, right?

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas Candelabra Vegetable Fruit Arrangement

photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

Sato said his centerpiece was inspired by the spirit of Thanksgiving, celebrating our appreciation for food. Get the look by first, taking stock of what fresh fruit and vegetables are available to you. We love how Sato stuck the smaller gourds where candles would usually be placed and used fruits that are normally associated with summer, like pink-hued summer radishes and pineapples. He also used more seasonal produce like brussels sprouts stems, eggplants, clementines, and broccoli, finishing off the look with the leafy wild smilax.

To recreate this adventurous centerpiece in your own home, get your hands on an oversized candelabra and pick up wire from your local craft store. It’s okay to opt for a smaller candelabra to create a centerpiece that scales correctly to the size of your table. From there, it’s up to you! Wire the larger pieces first, then work the smaller pieces onto the arms, adding leafy accents where necessary.

Bonus: You can eat your centerpiece after your feast is over!

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas Pineapple Radish Arrangement

photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

Published on November 17, 2016 - 5:00am EST

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