Thanksgiving is about a week away, which means it’s time to start buying those turkeys and getting out the nice china you keep in a box in the back of your closet. Planning for the big feast can be stressful—almost all energy goes into the food, while most people are lucky to even toss a tablecloth down before their relatives are diving into the mashed potatoes.
Why not try something a little different this year? Literature-inspired table settings are a great way to make your decorations as impressive as your cranberry sauce. We guarantee that a Moby-Dick or Anne of Green Gables table will please all of your guests—even those picky in-laws. So here are five settings inspired by classic novels to help you spruce up your Thanksgiving this year:
Pride & Prejudice
Mr. Darcy and Pemberley might have been all about crisp napkins and fancy china, but the Bennet family, with their modest home and income, would be much more down-to-earth. If you want to go all out like Mr.Darcy, strive for the above model. That being said, you could definitely spare some expenses and still enjoy a tasteful display going the Bennet route. Shabby-chic candlesticks and a side table are the perfect levels of distressed elegance, while the plates and cups can be charmingly mismatched. Casual flowers and an antique teapot only add to the hominess of a Regency-inspired setting.
Give your nautical-themed decorations a workout with this Moby-Dick-inspired table. Anything with a whale or an anchor is fair game, and bust out those old lanterns for a romantic, sea-worthy glow. Unique, patterned plates can pop against a simple, blue and white place setting. Plus this is the perfect time to use all those mason jars you have lying around—both for drinking glasses and holding simple flower arrangements.
Interview with the Vampire
Black and red are the colors of choice for a vampire-inspired meal. Blood-red roses and an ornate black table give it a creepy Gothic vibe, while silver serving platters and coasters add a romantic flare. Make sure to have plenty of candles on hand – and maybe some smelling salts for when Grandma first sees the bold color scheme.
Anne of Green Gables
An Anne of Green Gables table is all about vintage charm and clashing patterns, like these blue spotted plates and gingham tablecloth. Home-spun farmhouse might be a good description, with a rustic table, wooden platters, and simple tea lights brightening your meal.
Set a slightly more masculine table with this Outlander-inspired look, based on Diana Gabaldon’s popular novel (and now a popular television show!). The Scottish Highlands are a big influence here so make sure to have a tartan tablecloth on hand. Brass, wild-animal napkin rings are also a great touch if you can get them! Wooden plates and platters will look simple but elegant on your rough-wood table, and don’t be afraid of using antlers—you can never have enough with a Highlands-inspired design.