Stevie Weissman set this table, inherited from her mother, in the dining area near her kitchen, with a dramatic view into her lush, green backyard. The colors are all the reds, golds and browns of fall. Pears are autumn fruit and symbolic of bounty, while the crimson color catches the eye. The base plates are heirloom Haviland china, but the top plates are quite modern and reflect Weissman’s love of craft pottery. The soft pink colors in the plates are picked up by the handles on the tableware.
Weissman, who owns Stevie Weissman Events, also is comfortable with a houseful of guests, as her children and grandchildren join her for dinner. “We set this table, which is where our family always ate. But when everyone is here, we just spread out into the rest of the house,” she says.
Our favorite touch: The beautiful, fresh pears on each place setting, for eating or for taking home for breakfast the next day.
Melissa Guerra – Tienda de Cocina at the Pearl Brewery was particular fun for us. A huge, rustic mesquite table is part of the store decor, and generally is set with Mexican pottery and other wares. Guerra gave us the run of her store to add our own favorite touches from among her collection of art, pottery, flowers, linens and much more.
This Mexico-inspired table setting was all about color. We loved the lime-green glassware, so built some of the other table dressing around those. The linen napkins were perfect, and we set them at angles to fit in with the liveliness of the other elements. A single green crepe-paper flower accented the center of the table, but didn’t interfere with the line of sight for people on either side of the table. We also loved a little net protective cover, weighted by ceramic beads, for the drink pitcher.
Our favorite touch: The tiny, colorful ceramic whistles scattered around the tabletop added not just color but whimsy. These, too, would be great take-home gifts for guests.
Hanley-Wood at 5611 Broadway is known for its elegance, whether you’re in the market for china, silver or something for the bar. Each table setting seems more lavish than the next. Yet for Thanksgiving, the setting includes a homey touch amid the splendor. Sure, the the china, Woodland from Spode, has a rustic, autumnal feel and the linen napkins add luster, yet the table is intimate, as if the hosts were truly thankful you’d joined them for the big meal.
A copper serving dish with a water pan and burner underneath is a practical yet stunning way of keeping a serving dish warm. Even green bean casserole seems a little more refined when served from such a beauty.
Our favorite touch: The centerpiece is a wreath made by Hanley-Wood’s owner, Annabell Ames. “It’s real easy to make,” she says. For those with no time left before the holiday, the store does sell them.
Neiman Marcus in the Shops at La Cantera, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, reminds us that not all Thanksgiving dinners are over-sized family affairs. For some, the holiday will be a time for a private tête-à-tête. This table features both a sense of seasonal charm and a touch of romance. The Spring in Budapest china from Anna Weatherley, atop a Simply Anna charger, is complemented by Flower Garden, a piece of art glass designed by Amanda Brisbayne.
Our favorite touch: The turtle napkin holder from Jay Strongwater strikes a playful note that softens the formality of the setting. The exquisite, hand-enameled piece features Swarovsky crystals.
John Griffin contributed to this article. Photos by: Nicholas Mistry