This Thanksgiving will be the first I’m spending away from Virginia (we’re having both of our families at our house for the first time!), so I’ve got a little bit of homesickness for ideas and decorations from the south. Thankfully, Elizabeth Ulrich, the stylist/designer behind and in Nashville, TN, wrote me an email and was up to sharing an incredibly beautiful Thanksgiving tablescape idea that makes the most of autumn flowers and branches. Inspired by the rustic style at (where this was photographed), Elizabeth made placecards and styled the table to create a relaxed but festive look for the holiday. Christie Craig of crafted a beautiful floral centerpiece with dahlias, marigolds and smoke bush, and she’s sharing her how-to steps here for anyone who wants to pull together a beautiful, last-minute look for Thanksgiving. Thanks so much to Elizabeth, Christie and everyone in Nashville for sharing this gorgeous table idea with us today! xo, grace
-Branches of autumn foliage
1. Start with a small, low vessel that fits well when nestled into your table setting. Low is key.
2. To give your arrangement stability, cut a small square of chicken wire (in this case, approximately 4in x 4in) and shape it into a convex ball that will fit inside your vessel.
3. Start the arrangement with a shape builder, usually twigs and branches. In this case, we used autumn foliage, which guided the arrangement into the particular shape we envisioned.
4. Next, add your filler flowers, the ones with bulky greenery that fill out open space. This will allow you to focus on the details later. In this arrangement, we used incredibly fragrant marigold.
5. We now have a great base to start filling in with color and detail. At this point, you can start adding your main “face” flowers, the ones that will be the predominate focus of the centerpiece. In this case, we used locally grown Cafe Au Lait dahlias at the height of their season.
6. Start adding in detail greenery. Here we used smoke bush and a wild vine from just outside our door. The greenery will add movement and more shape to the centerpiece, filling in any spots that may seem bare.
7. Once you’ve created the full look, be sure to give your flowers plenty of cool water, and if you’d like to go the extra mile for these beauties, give them a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar water to keep them around a bit longer.
Putting together the tablescape
The Farmer’s Florist, (/)
Textiles + Tabletop Decor