Thanksgiving is the holiday that serves as a springboard to the upcoming winter holidays. It is a time to welcome family and friends into your home to share a comforting, hearty meal. Because Thanksgiving is stuck right in between Halloween and Christmas, many people find it a decorating challenge. Many forego it altogether and start decorating for Christmas. Local interior designer Tricia Huntley of Huntley & Co. has come up with some interesting and classic ways to make your home and table welcoming this Thanksgiving.
Tricia Huntley
Huntley & Co.
1655 45th Street NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 462-3030

After spending 10 years working in the hospitality and residential design fields, designer Tricia Huntley stepped out on her own to create Huntley & Co. Interior Design. The George Washington University grad has an MFA in interior design and experience working with a range of styles. She has worked on commercial and residential projects all over the world including projects in Florida, New York, Switzerland, London and of course, Washington, DC. Her design work has been featured in local and national publications, including the upcoming book, “INTERIORS Washington DC.”

Add Drama With Scale

“Huge, colorful fall branches and extra tall tapers in tablescapes. They make such an impact and feel both organic and modern. Get the kids involved by taking them outside before dinner to help you search for the branches and leaves. Be sure to play up the scale even more by surrounding the candles with small, low accessories like a collection of salt shakers, candy dishes and heirloom family photos.”

Create An Atypical Autumn Color Scheme

“You don’t have to stick with the typical Thanksgiving orange, yellow and brown tones. This year, I am using a deep chocolate brown, cream, plum and citrusy green, colors I pulled straight from a photo I shot in Battery Kemble last fall. Incorporate the different hues into your invitations, linens and other Thanksgiving accessories.”

Don’t Forget The Traditional Thanksgiving Emblems

“Honor the past with unexpected references to the natural and historical origins of Thanksgiving. Scatter chestnuts across a coffee table, use feathers in a centerpiece or vases with strips of leather and secure with a Thanksgiving themed pin. Add small cornucopias, mini gourds or a vintage Thanksgiving figurine.”

Related: Ask A Washington DC Expert: Best Fall Family Dishes 

Juxtapose Traditional With Modern

“Traditional pieces seem to have more gravitas when paired with something modern. Use black linen napkins with your elegant china. Place a collection of tall, contemporary glass vessels, containing a single bud each, in front of a gilt wood antique mirror. Instead of modern pillar candles, use vintage taper candles and holders in varying heights.”

Make It Personal And Special 

“Line your walkway with candles to welcome your guests. On place cards, print family members’ nicknames in a dramatic or fanciful font. Drape the kids’ table with inexpensive canvas cloth and place multiple canisters filled with crayons in the center. It’s a two-fold win; you’ll have a colorful, kid-friendly centerpiece, plus something to keep little hands busy. Create a signature after-dinner fall cocktail utilizing a brown liquor like brandy or cognac. Create a thoughtful toast by reading a passage from Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson or E.E. Cummings … remember, make memories!” 

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Christa Emmer is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in broadcast journalism. She has experience as a news writer, editor and producer in television news. Follow her on twitter @ChristaEmmer. Her work can be found at