Apartment Entertaining: Decorating for Thanksgiving

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You may be ready to prepare a big turkey meal in your apartment, entertaining family and guests. However, you can enhance the entire experience by decorating for Thanksgiving. Here are some ideas for turning your apartment into a festive fall gathering place.

Table Centerpiece

A woven basket cornucopia is a good start. Layer the inside with a collection of fall leaves and wheat stalks. Fill the interior with fall flowers. Yellow, brown and rust colored petals work best. Position the centerpiece on a small lace drop cloth. Scented candles can be positioned at either end, but make sure the flames are far enough away from the centerpiece. The materials are flammable! You can make candle holders by carving out miniature pumpkins. Purchase Thanksgiving napkins, or use table linens that match your fall colors.

The Dinner Table

Cover the dinner table with a nice table cloth that reflects fall colors. The pattern doesn’t really matter, as long as the color scheme goes with the rest of your decorations. If you have children, spend time the week prior to make custom Thanksgiving-themed placemats, with lots of Pilgrims, turkeys and fall leaf designs. You can find drink coasters at many stores with fall leaf or other decorations that will go well with your overall theme.

The Living Room

Place fall-themed throw pillows on your sofa. More custom-made fall baskets with flowers and leaves can be placed on end tables. Another centerpiece can be placed on the coffee table, as long as it leaves room for snack bowls. Attach fall leaves to picture frames around the room for an added touch. If you have vases or other centerpieces that don’t match the fall color scheme, make sure you put them away until after the holiday. Consider a nice stack of books to place on the coffee table as well: fall pictures, books on the Pilgrims or Thanksgiving stories. Another centerpiece location is on top of the television set or entertainment center. If you have a computer in the living room, you could even set up an animated turkey screensaver.


Fill a nice bowl with fall-scented potpourri and place it on your kitchen counter. Make sure the potporri displays the appropriate colors (reds, yellows, browns) to fit into your Thanksgiving theme.

The Front Door

You can find a nice Thanksgiving wreath at many flower stores, designed with fall leaves, pine cones and late-season flowers. Hang the wreath on your front door. Place an autumn welcome mat on your doorstep.

The Bathroom

Hang a matching Thanksgiving or fall leaf patterned towel set. Use a Thanksgiving bath mat on the floor, and place a scented candle on the sink counter top.

Those are some ideas to get you started in decorating for the big Thanksgiving day meal. While you may be limited by the space in your apartment, entertaining guests is still possible. Use your creativity when it comes to decorating, and remember that every main room that people will be in is fair game. Stick to a fall color theme in every room, and you can’t go wrong.

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