Less is More for Charleston Thanksgiving Decor

November 24, 2014

Margaret Talks Charleston Thanksgiving Decor

Margaret and Delta talk with Charleston’s Post and Courier about Charleston Thanksgiving decor and how to decorate your table for Thanksgiving.

Delta Amrhein, a designer with Charleston-based Margaret Donaldson Interiors, hears a common concern from clients during the holiday season: how to comfortably fit a big crowd of family and friends in the house for the Thanksgiving meal.

Today’s modern homes don’t often have large, formal dining rooms or big dinner tables. So that’s where a more causal, buffet meal style works perfectly. In fact, it’s exactly what Margaret Donaldson does for her own Thanksgiving celebration. With extended family and friends, she might have 15 to 25 people in her Mount Pleasant home. Ranging in age from babies to 80 years old, the focus becomes on enjoying each other’s company rather than an elaborate, formal dining experience.

The Donaldsons’ 1905 family home in the Old Village has a spacious porch and water views so if the weather cooperates, many guests will fill their plates and sit outdoors. It’s like an open house, Donaldson says, with some guests coming early for the meal and others arriving later in the day just to visit.

“We’ll linger and get a fire going outside,” she says. “It’s more about gathering with family and friends than a big, fancy meal.”

So Amrhein and Donaldson take that same approach when it comes to clients’ holiday decor and creating a lovely Thanksgiving tablescape.

For Donaldson’s table, they gathered greenery from the yard – cypress and pine branches and leaves – and placed them on a large silver tray. Adding some smaller, colorful pumpkins and a larger white pumpkin in the center give the centerpiece variety in color and height. Silver candelabras provide additional height and visual interest. The rest of the table is lined with plates, glasses, napkins and utensils, creating a sophisticated buffet without a lot of work.

Amrhein encourages people to incorporate natural elements such as greenery or oyster shells for a blend of indoor and outdoor decor.

“It’s about people using what they have and adding a little bit of bling,” she said.