Entertaining

Setting a Southern Thanksgiving Table

Six Southern tastemakers on Thanksgiving table styling ideas and traditions

photo: Courtesy of Susan Hable


Whether your Thanksgiving celebration takes place with a small, intimate crowd or sprawls across tables set up for guests all over the house, it’s always fun to see how other folks bring the holiday to life—and to crib ideas for your own table. This year we asked six Southern tastemakers about their styling ideas and traditions: specifically the types of plates they love to use and why.


Tastemaker: Susan Hable, Hable Construction 
Southern by way of: Athens, Georgia

“For the past few years we have gone to a friend’s for the actual meal and then my house for dessert,” Hable says. “I have pretty plates and love to decorate for this part. I use Mud Australia plates in pale pink and mix them with pink lusterware (shown above). The kids think it’s fancy and the grown ups like it too.”


Tastemaker: Jane Scott Hodges, Leontine Linens
Southern by way of: New Orleans, Louisiana

“I love collecting china,” Hodges says. “Mixing and matching is my favorite thing to do with linens and dishes, and I have recently acquired pieces of blue and white Aptware [a French marbleized pottery tradition dating to the 18th century]. It’s my current ‘favorite child’ when I set the table.”


Tastemaker: Cece Barfield, Cece Barfield, Inc. 
Southern by way of: Dallas, Texas

“This year is actually my first playing hostess in New York,” Barfield says. “We have a baby due December 18th, so I can’t travel for the holidays. My family is coming up from Texas, which will be really fun. I plan to take the holiday as an excuse to use my Anna Weatherly wedding china along with my great grandmother’s silver.”


Clockwise from top left: Aptware; Anna Weatherly Seascape Waterlilly; Swid Powell Notebook; Lusterware; Astier de Villatte Marguerite; Richard Ginori Impero Fiesole.

photo: Clockwise from top left: The French Tangerine; Scully & Scully; Replacements Ltd.; RubyLane; Astier de Villatte; Gracious Style

Clockwise from top left: Aptware; Anna Weatherly Seascape Waterlilly; Swid Powell Notebook; Lusterware; Astier de Villatte Marguerite; Richard Ginori Impero Fiesole.


Tastemaker: Stephanie Scofield, 214 Modern 
Southern by way of: High Point, North Carolina

“I’m really into graphic elements in interiors at the moment, and I love the drama of this design by Swid Powell,” Scofield says. “The abstracted and exploded notebook pattern has a nostalgic nod.”


Tastemaker: Sarah Bartholomew 
Southern by way of: Nashville, Tennessee

“I like to keep Thanksgiving simple and casual,” Bartholomew says. “We like to use white Astier de Villatte ceramic plates.”


Southern Tastemaker: Barrie Benson 
Southern by way of: Charlotte, North Carolina

“Since I am a china hoarder, I am always choosing what I have not used lately,” Benson says. “My house is so modern, especially around my dining area, that I think it begs for traditional china. I love my Ginori Fiesole for Thanksgiving. Pulling out all of my family silver, linens, and china reminds me of great dinners and stories.”


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