We tapped design pro Kaitlyn Du Ross Walker to show you how to set a Thanksgiving table everyone will want to linger around.

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
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Kaitlyn Du Ross Walker sets a Thanksgiving table
Credit: John Kernick

Kaitlyn Du Ross Walker knows how to set a scene. She makes indoor spaces and fashion models photo-shoot ready for clients from food magazines like ours to clothing brands, such as Madewell.

While admittedly the spread she set—pictured above and below—took serious prep work, Du Ross Walker firmly believes your holiday table needs nothing more than a little forethought and a few key pieces. "You want to make your guests feel special," she says. "Going that small extra step is always impressive." If you are looking to go bigger, find these beautiful table and chairs at West Elm.

Buy It: Mid-Century Expandable Dining Table, WestElm.com (from $559), Classic Cafe Upholstered Dining Chairs, WestElm.com (from $127.20)

Here, her picks, plus practical do's and don'ts, for a table that shines.

Thanksgiving Table setting

1. DON'T buy pricy napkins.

"Spending $100 on napkins that someone is going to get cranberry sauce on? That would be a bummer. These cheap tea towels look really cool."

Kaitlyn's pick: Tekla, $0.79 each, ikea.com.

Thanksgiving Table setting - white plate, wooden salad plate, cloth napkin, silverware and wine glass

2. DO keep dinnerware minimal.

"So many accessories seem to fall onto a Thanksgiving table. But really great dinner plates are where it's at."

Kaitlyn's picks: Piet Boon High Plate, $6 and up, infavorof.com; Barre Alabaster Dinner Plate, $45, simonpearce.com; Andrew Pearce Black Walnut Wood Side Plate, $150 for 4, simonpearce.com.

4 sizes of white plates

3. DO invest in one statement serving piece.

"It can anchor the whole look of the table and be functional." Think: a clay gravy pourer or special wooden bowl.

Kaitlyn's picks: Black Clay Simple Pourer, $89, infavorof.com; Scoop Bowl, $250; infavorof.com.

small masa pourer

4. DO set out both stemmed and non- stemmed glassware.

"Stemmed glassware is beautiful, but as the night progresses, I switch to shorty glasses that won't get knocked over during lively conversation."

Kaitlyn's picks: Duralex Picardie Tumblers, $13.81 for 6, amazon.com; Bristol Red Wine Glass, $75, simonpearce.com.

wine glasses simon pearce

5. DON'T bother with a florist.

"A trend right now is floral centerpieces that seem haphazard and ethereal, not precious. Go into your backyard or buy some inexpensive greenery or flowers to create something yourself."

Kaitlyn's pick: Beachstone Round Vase, $275, simonpearce.com.

rounded vase with small opening, cream and gray

6. DO use (unscented) candles.

"I love little votives scattered throughout a table. They set a really warm tone."

Kaitlyn's pick: Walnut Tea Candle Set, $120, infavorof.com.

wood candle holders with white candles

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Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Set, Ready, Feast | EatingWell November 2019