Best Table Decor Ideas for a Mid-Century Modern Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is going to be quieter than usual this year, so let’s make it an intimate and memorable event! I’ve rounded up several ideas to style your table for a mid-century modern Thanksgiving.

Try modern table linens, serving platters and centerpieces to make this year’s dinner special. Don’t miss the DIY floral arrangement, mid-century style printable placemats and more ideas for your Thanksgiving table.

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Thanksgiving Table Linens

Start with the linens. Look for neutral, textured fabrics with splashes of fall colors.

Modern Tablecloths and Runners

Usually I stick with a white tablecloth and a colorful runner, or skip the tablecloth to show off the table. There are lots of pretty linen tablecloths like this that can warm up the table decor.

Orange textured table runner for Thanksgiving
Modern linen tablecloth for Thanksgiving
Modern jute table runner
Mid-century modern tablecloth with fall leaf pattern

Mid-Century Modern Placemats

For the placemats, layer on the mod shapes and fall style. I designed these autumn tree placemats for a mid-century modern Thanksgiving. The touch of turquoise adds retro vibes to the fall color scheme.

Fall tree placemats for a mid-century modern Thanksgiving

They are designed to print on legal 8.5 x 14-inch paper, a little smaller than standard placemats. You can get legal paper here, and make sure to select the legal paper size in your printer settings. Or you could have them enlarged and printed at a print shop.

Both placemat PDFs are available for free in my resource library. Sign up for the H & H newsletter to get instant access to these placemats and all of my home and garden printables.

Napkins and Napkin Rings

Fabric napkins are a sure sign we’re getting fancy. When I was a hostess back in the college days, we would fold napkins like this.

Find more creative napkin folding ideas here, or simply roll them up with a modern woodsy napkin ring.

Gray fabric napkins
Wood napkin rings for the Thanksgiving tablescape
Modern linen dinner napkins in mustard for Thanksgiving
Olive wood napkin rings
Stonewashed linen napkins in orange for Thanksgiving

Modern Thanksgiving Dishware

For dishware, I like to collect modern pieces that will work for every major occasion. White serving platters are a good start, with silver serving utensils. Acacia wood bowls are modern and give you the Thanksgiving feels.

And if you want to go totally mid-century, don’t forget the Jell-O mold!

Modern white serving platters
Stainless steel serving spoon and fork
Acacia wood serving bowl
Modern white snack bowl with cute squirrel
Orange mid-century modern serving tray
Gold bundt cake pan or Jell-o mold

Thanksgiving Table Decor

Next, layer on the Thanksgiving accessories.

Display an abstract pumpkin centerpiece or natural tapers in mid-century candle holders with gold accents. Or head out to the yard and hunt for fall colors to display in a vase.

Fall Floral Arrangement

I put together this simple Thanksgiving floral arrangement with spent crocosmia, barberry, blueberry and Elijah blue fescue cuttings.

More Table Decor

Dried wheat stalk stems for the Thanksgiving table
Modern white vase
Mid-century modern vase set in fall colors
Wood bead pumpkin for Thanksgiving table centerpiece
Beeswax taper candles
Gold candlestick holders
Mid-century modern tealight candle holders

Have a Mid-Century Thanksgiving

Once the table’s all set, you can make Thanksgiving extra memorable with a throwback recipe. Try a vintage desert or side dish that the family won’t forget.

I went with a retro Jell-O mold delight, but I had trouble getting it free from the mold. So I checked with my baking source, the mom-in-law. She said make sure to apply generous amounts of nonstick spray to the bundt pan first.

You can also warm up the pan with water to help release the Jell-O. And throw in some vanilla vodka for extra delight. Find more ideas in these books.

Retro Recipes from the '50s and '60s
The Vintage Baker cookbook
Holiday Jubilee - kitschy party ideas and retro recipes

You might also like these mid-century modern holiday decor ideas.


2 thoughts on “Best Table Decor Ideas for a Mid-Century Modern Thanksgiving”

  1. Lots of great ideas for a memorable Thanksgiving. (I had a trip down memory lane of when we spent Thanksgiving with all of you 4 years ago and you and Eric hosted a great holiday of memories for all of us. smiles…). The placemats are very clever and your holiday table looks very festive! Awesome job on the mid-century look!! (Your orange jello mold looks yummy!) (Yes the holidays are certainly going to be “different” and quieter this year for most families, but hopefully the future will hold some kind of normalcy.)

    • Yes, looking forward to a little more normalcy sometime! The Jell-O was really yummy with the vanilla vodka. We have had some fun Thanksgivings together over the years. I’d like to go back to the one at the Vegas buffet!


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