Last summer, while shopping the Goodwill in San Francisco for the Headless Horseman's clothes, I spotted this fantastic wool blanket from the 20s. I'm always on the lookout for color inspiration, and here was a palette so unusual and pretty, particularly for a tartan plaid, I quickly imagined a Thanksgiving table setting that's unexpected, fresh, and fun!
Flash forward a few months, and I'm downstairs in our prop house searching for an early Wedgwood set of china in purple lusterware I thought would be perfect with the blanket. Lusterware, by the way, has such a nice sheen to it that's achieved by applying a metallic solution to the porcelain surface before the final firing. It comes in all sorts of colors, but purple and pink are my favorites. (Shocking, isn't it?) A pair of these, a set of those—oh, wouldn't they be perfect?—and here's what I came up with.
It's a little bit of rustic and a lot of refined. Modern but cozy. The colors I'm obsessed with, especially for Thanksgiving. I love a harvest palette, but why not mix it up? After all, when it comes to setting the table, rules are meant to be broken. It's your table anyway, so do what makes you happy. For me, it was hand-dipped tapers from this fantastic source, together with a centerpiece of cranberries, walnuts and white pumpkins, assembled in an ironstone leaf compote I picked up at the DC Flea. How easy is that?
The china is a total mix of periods, but I kept the soup bowl and charger quiet so the lusterware sings. The markings too are works of art in themselves. The creamware soup bowls I found at Elephant's Trunk in New Milford. I think it was the ferns and forget-me-nots that hooked me. The Wedgwood lusterware I found at the New York City flea market, while the charger is the more modern Edme pattern we use everyday. Remember the tea set from way back when?
With so much color and pattern in the tablecloth, I wanted to keep the flatware simple. It's a German set that's hand-engraved with an "MS" monogram. I found a complete set of 10 at the Annex Garage in the city years ago. I'm not sure whose it was, but they're part of my family now.
My surefire way to modernize a table is stemware. The wine glasses are handblown crystal from our Etsy shop, yours for the taking, while the cranberry glass goblets I found at Stormville last summer.
Jaithan and I must have dug through five boxes of newspaper before
unearthing a full set of 10. Check it out!
In my experience, memorable tables are all in the details. The set of six Heisey footed dishes I used for votives with a ring of cranberries to pick up the colors of the cloth. For a no-fail centerpiece, place a pillar candle on a platter surrounded by cranberries and walnuts. It's natural, colorful and quick! The pewter salt cellar is part of a pair I found antiquing in Hyde Park with "R" monogrammed spoons I found at a thrift shop in Millerton.
The way I see it, there are no hard and fast rules for setting a table, even for Thanksgiving. While I don't recommend reinventing the wheel completely, put your own spin on it—use unconventional elements, think outside the box, mix up the palette. Speaking of, what colors are you planning for your Thanksgiving table?
OH Eddie, I LOVE this table. The pink and purple tartan are a wonderful combination of color and texture. As always you think outside the box. You always keep me inspired what a beautiful Thanksgiving table. I hope you and Jaithan have a wonderful Holiday dinner with family and friends. Looking forward to Dec 6th, xoxo Kathysue
Every time I see your Goodwill finds, I recommit to scouring thrift stores for similiar finds. This time is no different. How lovely. All of the berry tones are so autumnal. I want everything on this table. Stat.
Love the table and the colors–lovely!
Eddie, I love this table for Thanksgiving, very artistic, the colors are unique and so luscious!
LOVE the color scheme!! That blanket is simply fantastic – I love when inspiration strikes at the Goodwill! The tapers are fantastic. And the placecards! Those little turkeys are too cute and blend right in.
I’m thinking of doing a very pale pinks/cream/gold with a touch of dramatic black… feathers? Hmmm… still brainstorming!
Your unconventional Thanksgiving color palette reminds me of a trip to Switzerland in December a few years back. So many of the Christmas decorations I saw were in persimmon & green instead of the traditional red. There was something so luscious about the unexpected — just like your tablescape is luscious (as, I’m sure, will be the food!)
Oddly enough, I have those same Heisey salt cellars and use them the same way and I always use walnuts & cranberries for the big day. A little strange…! I generally use a palette of purple, aqua, white and a hint of orange (little pumpkins)on an antique quilt. I have a set of Mason’s Fruit Basket in an aqua colorway that was reproduced in the 70s by Franciscan – the only time Mason’s has ever done that. We also have a set of 8 purple Heisey wine glasses that I combine with Waterford (my “wedding” crystal)and my mother’s silver. The mantlepiece is piled high with gourds, pumpkins, orange paper lanterns (the flower, not the lanterns themselves) and dried hydrangea from my gardens and 12″ tapers in more family silver and purple hand-blown votives. And the walls are almost magenta – I love the purple and orange with the magenta. Not at all your typical harvest scheme.
Please let everyone know about your trip to Richmond so I can embellish just a little bit. You two were too much!!
i want it all!!! the colors are gorgeous. and the best part is that you can cozy up with the blanket by the fire afterwards. haha.
All of that from a $5 blanket? Oh how I wish I could spend a day in your head! That table is A. Maz. Ing. Love the cranberries and how you lightened up the table with the white pumpkins and silver. So beautiful.
Stunning! LOVE the color palette! The candles really make a statement too. 🙂
Love that…simply beautiful! Every little detail. The colors are bar none…
And you didn’t give the stunning MS monogramed silverware to Martha?? That’s a good thing.
Your prettiest table setting EVER…
Just lovely. 🙂
Wow! I’m not usually a fan of those colors, but it looks beautiful. Thank you for all the inspiration!!
Gorgeous! I love that you stepped out of the traditional Jewel Tones for this holiday dinner. Wonderful. Gosh, I think I am inspired to set my table so NON TRADITIONAL this year. Simply exciting. Funny, a gorgeous table can make the meal taste so much better!
Thanksgiving is always at my parents place. She has used the same Blue Willow china since I was a little girl. I don’t think it would be Thanksgiving without it! I do your love your color scheme. It is gorgeous and honestly just perfect for Thanksgiving!
Thank you for the inspiration!
I love the simplicity of the centerpieces and the color palette is heavenly. I’m always inspired by your work.
i just LOVE this!! i’m not really a big fan of the traditional harvest palette, so this is the perfect twist for me.
This is wonderful!!! Thanks for all of this inspiration, I love it. As always, you have a perfect eye. And I have just decided that I will be calling the shelves that hold my rather extensive collections of dinnerware etc. my prop room, it seems so much better that way!
Oh, how lovely!
the most stunning thanksgiving table i have ever seen! that blanket as tablecloth is so clever and so beautiful – i would never have thought of that. and i truly love the monogram flatware and the salt cellar, so gorgeous.
i love it all.
thank you for the beauty and inspiration.
I love the tablescape! The blanket is just gorgeous, and perfect for a cozy Thanksgiving table!
What a delightful Thanksgiving table! I like that you mixed it up and didn’t use traditional fall colors. I love the natural elements you used as well. Happy Thanksgiving!
Absolutely stunning! Love the color combination in the tartan also! Wow!
Love the colors! I did a Christmas tree in these colors last year. Here’s a question for you, how do you make foggy flea market glasses clear and shiny again? Do you use a special cleaning solution? I’d love to hear your secrets on how to spruce up those finds that may be less than sparkling.
E&J… What a beautiful table and such a twist on the usual fall colours. Brilliant!
I adore this table setting! I’m inspired now to introduce an unexpected color to the table I was planning with creamy whites and moss.
Thank you for your fabulous tips. I’d love to work for you someday!
julie – eab designs
Eddie, I ADORE THIS TABLE!!!!!!!!!!! So unexpected for Thanksgiving but GORGEOUS!!!! Bravo! XO, Pinky
Nicely, nicely, nicely done!
That’s beautiful! Very unexpected with the eggplant color, but perfect!
Did you realize that these are also the colors of Advent? 3 purple candles and 1 pink make the traditional Advent wreath, and the first day of Advent is the Sunday following Thanksgiving.
This always throws me for a loop because my room doesn’t go well with those colors. I’m thrilled to have some new inspiration.
We used to live in Marin County in the San Francisco Suburbs. The Goodwill store there is tiny but amazing! Great find!
Eddie, I love this tablescape. I am usually not drawn to purple or pink but I love the way the cream & pumpkins make the color scheme more vanilla, then the sparkle of the silver accents & the crystal really makes it all shine! Alas, we are going away for the holidays so no table scape here. my last Thanksgiving was a pewter, cream, & yellow color scheme.
My french table was lathered in crisp cream linen with hand thrown plates in a cream / yellowish Sara Lee color, my inheristed Fostoria crowned drinking glasses and water goblets and about 6 old pewter small julep cups ran down the length of the table with Texas yellow / orange colored rose boquets. It was not too fancy but had that sense of relaxation & fall.
Your idea will have me even more so thinking outside the box! Love the thrift stores by the way!!
Happy Holidays to you & Jaithan!
Loving all your beautiful place settings and flatware and the like – it is making me desperately miss all my stuff that is in storage in CA. Need bigger place here is NYC to bring it all back.
I have my silver out for next week as I type this…I’m going for a black and white table this year. The set I have is from family; plain with no monogram. But we use it often. Your table is pretty and unique for Thanksgiving! Thanks for a great post!
Love your site! Could you please give us a tour of your “prop house”. I always wondered were you kept and how you organized all your treasures. What’s a suburbanite supposed to do if we’d like to collect such stuff? Humm..I wonder if I could convince my husband to allow me to have a “prop house”.
I am astounded. This is gorgeous. When I saw the pink tartan, I thought no way, but it totally works. Love, love the look. White pumpkins are a favorite and I will be mixing them with the berries and walnuts in the near future. Thanks for the inspiration.
I am again at the Sprint store as my Blackberry is not working so not in a good mood and I wanted something to brighten my day so first thing I checked out your blog. What a wonderful present to start the day. My grandmother has passed on and as the holidays approach I am missing her and this blanket would have made her squeal with delight. Even though the coloration is nostalgic for me, the presentation is so fresh and inviting. Thanks for the early holiday gift. Now I am rethinking my Thanksgiving table. Oh, and the candles are always a nice touch. Hope your holiday bounty is plentiful.
I really wish we were friends so I could come see this in person! You continue to blow me away.
I love it when I manage to find something that is just perfect and has the right price.
In my case, the price was free and the thing was a ironware turkey platter. We had just moved into our house and I opened the shelf above the refrigerator to find a large turkey platter.
We’ve used it for every holiday since. If it doesn’t break, I’ve half a mind to leave it for the next family!
Holy smoke, that’s gorgeous! You give us such great ideas! Thanks, Eddie!
Such a stunning table! I love that its all around the one Goodwill find, so chic and cozy for a fun Thanksgiving table!!
perfection. the blanket/tablecloth is brilliant and what a steal!
Love it! What time is dinner?
ditto the above…what more can I say?
oh my goodness it’s gorgeous!!! ok, you are really starting to make me like tartan!!! how in the world?!!! it’s beautiful!!! (you and Jennifer from Newlywed Diaries- her guest bedroom has a beautiful tartan blanket.) Anyway, huge hug- hope you’re staying rested & thanks for the super-sweet comment on our bedroom!!! miss yas!!
I was just packing up props to bring to the Berkshires for Thanksgiving. Ironstone compotes get in the crate!
Are you going to be around?
It’s a gorgeous table, so vibrant and festive. And everything comes together so beautifully. Happy Thanksgiving!! ; ) Trina
Those colors pop! And what a nice contrast for Thanksgiving. I’m excited, I just found 4 vintage mother of pearl plates like you wrote about on your blog a while back. Now i have to search your blog so I can see how it was that you used them! Thank you for many inspirations!
Gorgeous and unexpected. I think it’s one of my E&J favorites!
I love that color palette! What a bonus that you scored such a deal.
The pink-y tartan and pink goblets with hand dipped tapers are fabulous!! Great post and a lot of fun!
this is so pretty….where did you get that imagination?:)….
This tablescape SO speaks to me!!! I’m gaga for the goblets! Happy Thanksgiving, you two!!! xoxo, Elizabeth
Pink & purple for a Thanksgiving table? No way! Add in, that they’re on a wool Tartan throw? Couldn’t work . . . unless, that is, it’s an Eddie’s Ross idea.
You never cease to amaze and delight me, Mr. Ross! Many thanks for another lesson in Decorating The Eddie Ross Way.
You really need your own tv show. HGTV . . . are you listening?!?
Well done, you are so gifted, it looks appropriate and fresh!
Is there anything more exciting than seeing those Goodwill price tags?? The things I have found there and other thrift stores . . and years later I can tell you where I found my treasures and what I paid for them:)
And Tartan . . . sigh . . I ADORE Tartan. I have been drawn to it since I was a child – it makes me happy and it comforts me. And this unique table setting is inspirational, rich and charming!
You boys have a wonderful and warm Thanksgiving!
Gloriously out of the box!! If I see another turkey I may need a straight jacket. HGTV, FLN attentiion!!! This is talent you need to sign on the dotted line.
I must say your Goddwill luck far outweighs mine. I’ve never been that fortunate with finds.
Love the color combo! you two are brilliant!
You come up with the most incredible and inspiring ideas. WONDERFUL!
perfect. plain perfect
This is gorgeous in every way. I just adore the tablecloth itself… now I’m in search of plaid fabric for a tablecloth. Thanks for the inspiration.
I love how you’ve used the Edme! I know it’s versatile– I use mine daily to dish up morning oatmeal and serve weeknight dinners–but thank you for reminding me of what fun I can have with it on special occasions. The Tartan table covering is so charming!
Love this! I have a tartan wool blanket that I picked up while antiquing because I loved the colors but it doesn’t really “go” with my house. Now I know what to do with it…tablecloth!
Thanks for the inspiration…
Rusty orange, pink, cream, lilac, all with lusterware flame-lit bronze!
YUM! That site is more delicious than the dinner!
Thank you so much for this gift of a Thanksgiving color scheme!
Well, I’m very impressed that you already have your table set for Thanksgiving!
Lovely color scheme idea!
I love to use plaid wool blankets on the table in the winter — and for a larger table I just place them on the diagonal over a homespun-type cloth.
Your colors are awesome! Boxes and boxes of props…yeah! I drooled when I saw. You amaze.
Wow your table setting is very charming and attractive. I like the colors and choice of china. Nice! Being of Scotish decent I especially love the Tartan table coth! Thanks for sharing. Ciao
I die for the plaid blanket, GORG! Well done what a beautiful tablescape.
EVERYTHING looks absolutely LOVELY and your choice of colors is inspired (as always) and to die for. I have to say my FAVE FAVE FAVE are those fade pink glasses that had been cozied up in the newspaper! AWESOME!
How do I get on your email notices for your blog? this is the 2nd great decorating blog I’ve found in a week–the other is the inspired room….Absolutely love your table; need to go read more….
Bryn just sent me over- this tablescape is Gorgeous!!!
A Charleston, SC fan.