Design Recipes: Unique Thanksgiving Day centerpieces

Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service

With the holidays almost upon us, it is time to start thinking about how to dress the table. China, flatware and stemware take center stage, but so do the centerpieces. This holiday season, instead of going with the traditional, why not try the unconventional? Organic elements such as moss, grass, river stones and succulents — elements you may not normally think of during the Thanksgiving holiday — may not only pleasantly surprise your guests, but may even become a permanent part of your home’s decor.

When looking for interesting ways to dress your table this holiday season, here are some creative Design Recipes tips.


■Think to incorporate elements such as vegetables into your decor. Potted cabbages are a great choice and are hearty and long-lasting.

■Incorporate elements such as herbs and branches; they are a wonderful alternative to traditional flowers.

■Use interesting vessels for your arrangements. Elements such as clay pots and wood bowls are a creative alternative to vases.

■Create vignettes. A lot of times, you can make your most powerful statement using minimal decor in a grouping.

■Consider conventional decor items in unconventional colors, such as white pumpkins instead of orange ones.


■Overdo it. Less is almost always better than more.

■Use too many colors in your tabletop decor. You will likely make your most powerful design statement by sticking to a maximum of two to three colors.

■Use centerpieces that are too high. Remember the goal is for people to enjoy easy conversation.

■Stick to traditional decor. Experiment and think outside of the box!

■Forget to choose colors and elements that coordinate with the rest of your decor, as opposed to having a potential arrangement that feels out of place.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website