Friend, I’m the first to admit it can be hard to feel thankful right now. As the holidays bear down and the pandemic rages, it’s very tempting to just throw in the towel. That was my first inclination – to just say f*** it and skip it all. Why go to all the trouble and effort for a little family of three?
But there is something to be said for marking special occasions, say nothing of lighting up a child’s eyes with joy – no matter how nontraditionally you’re marking a holiday. When my son saw me break out candles to prepare a Thanksgiving table he said “ooooh, something special must be happening.” It was the perfect reminder that even in dire circumstances, a magical moment can still be found.
It is with this sentiment that I offer an intimate Thanksgiving table inspiration for you today. I pulled this table for four together in 20 minutes which means you can too. Jumping in and creating this table made me remember how much I love doing them and how much I’d miss skipping this ritual.
When thinking about creating a mini Thanksgiving scene this year, I had three goals in mind; keep it simple, make it easy and try to have a little fun.
Now, I can’t take all the credit for this look. I was given a head start by some of my favorite San Francisco-based flower fairies, Marigold SF, who are currently offering pre-packaged floral centerpieces and as well as The Gathered Table, a collection of gourds, floral flotsam and even candles to give you a ready-made Thanksgiving table to-go.
I used some of the foundational pieces of The Gathered Table to create my table’s centerpiece. I plucked the oversized white pumpkin from the mix to become the centerpiece’s anchor as well as the inspiration for the muted color palette. I set the pumpkin off-center in order to give the centerpiece a more organic, asymmetrical feel – I was going for a modern update on the cornucopia concept.
From there, I simply started filling in gaps both with bits from The Gathered Table and with items I foraged from my own pantry, adding everything from champagne grapes and pears to purple kale, acorn squash and heads of garlic!
Little blue glass votive holders by Hawkins New York kept the table profile low. When you’re feeding a small group, I like keeping the vibe intimate. There’s no need to have to peek around big floral bouquets or try to navigate between a sea of pillar candles. Simple votives feel low key, yet still elegant.
My subdued palate and desire for laid back elegance also informed my table setting choices. I loved the subtle sheen of this two-toned flatware from CB2. Ceramic plates with an organic edge offer a casual feel, but the modern ombre tumblers kept the look from going too rustic. While I’d originally planned on using cream linen napkins, the soft gray blue picked up the color of the votives so nicely, i just couldn’t resist.
While I’ve yet to set my Thanksgiving Day menu, I do know what I’ll be pouring. Diora Wines from Monterey. If you’ve followed Apartment 34 for any length of time, you know my long love affair with and true passion for wine. It started when I lived in Italy as a university student and then studied wine while in Santa Barbara. A typical fall season would include multiple weekends in California wine country, looking to discover a new vintner or two, but this year has been very different.
I’m so grateful Diora reached out to introduce their wines to me. Grown on the hillsides of the Santa Lucia mountain range, they specialize in Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Rosé of Pinot Noir. After tasting their wines I was immediately smitten. While the Pinot Noir is silky and luscious, the Rosé is bright with a vibrant acidity. Both would work wonderfully for a Thanksgiving meal.
My husband and I have created a little quarantine routine of enjoying a glass of rosé at the start of a meal and ending the evening with a yummy red and Diora wines are perfect for this.
Here’s a fun little distanced Thanksgiving activity. Everyone can bring their favorite under $30 bottle to their table and share tasting notes with the group – aka why they like it. Doing a remote cheers might not feel quite the same, but you’ll be a lot happier when your friends and family are still around to cheers with you in person next year.
Thanksgiving might look and feel quite different this go ’round, but right now it’s important to celebrate anything we can be grateful for. I hope you find ways to make the day feel special for you.
photography by etincelle studio
this post is in collaboration with Diora Wines. all thoughts and opinions are my own. thanks for supporting collaborations that have kept apartment 34’s doors open.