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Thanksgiving and Fall Place Setting Ideas

Sometimes nature is the perfect inspiration. This time of year, brilliant hues of red, yellow, orange and brown reveal themselves, begging to be used on a celebratory table. These fallen leaves, fruit, squash and late blooming flowers can transform an otherwise staid setting to a stunning tablescape, as well as offer a charming DIY touch. Just step outside your door to source these simple, easy to find elements. In this article, we share our fall place setting ideas that revolve around bringing the outdoors inside. We hope it provides some inspiration.

Thanksgiving and Fall Place Setting Ideas

Thanksgiving Table Decorations - Fall Place Setting and Fall Napkin Ring Holder with Red Leaf, Gold Napkin
A fall place setting in Sonoma County, where Thanksgiving dinner served al fresco is possible.


Pluck a Boston Ivy Leaf from its vine during fall when it’s turning deep red. Place the leaf in a napkin ring with a golden linen napkin to make the leaf pop against the red wine in your glasses. Using this fall place setting over a matte, brown plate makes the floral table runner, place settings and Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon stand out from the neutral-colored table. If you have yellow leaves, choose a red or burgundy napkin.

coral napkin with copper napkin ring
Mini Millet and Millet Bronze complement a rich, rust-colored napkin.

Herbs and Flowers

Take a grevillea leave or rosemary and wrap in floral wire with Mini Millet and Millet Bronze. Place over a warm, earth-tone linen napkin like this rust-colored one, pictured. Metal wire napkin rings complete the elegant, wine-country look. These Food Network metallic twist napkin rings are very similar to ours ($12.99 for four). You could also tuck a small branch of bay leaves to bring another lovely aromatic to each place setting.

Rubeum Leucadendron and moss place setting on plate
A single Leucadendron flower makes a dramatic statement on a place setting.

In this fall place setting, we expand on the herbs and flowers idea using Rubeum Leucadendron and fresh, green moss. Use twine or wire to hold this mini bouquet in place. The vibrant colors contrast beautifully against a taupe or other neutral-colored napkin.

persimmon place setting
A fresh fuyu persimmon creates an elegant, easy fall place setting.

Fall Fruit

Fuyu persimmon season arrives in mid- to late fall, and it’s the perfect, firm and squatty fruit for a fall place setting—unlike the Hachiya variety, which is oblong and can’t stand on its own. Simply place the persimmon on a double-folded, tan linen napkin. We love using earthenware plates from NBC Pottery in Napa Valley, like this one pictured above, which has a sage-green color and rough edge.

pomegranate place setting
A striking, simple addition of a pomegranate and red ivy atop a dinner plate.

Nothing says fall as dramatically as a simple pomegranate place setting. Use a larger gray place as a charger and a smaller white one with a gray lip on top. Add a lighter gray linen napkin and place a small pomegranate and a boston ivy vine on top to complete the look.

Mini White Pumpkin Fall Place Setting on Brown Napkin
A simple fall place setting with a brown napkin and white mini pumpkin.

Mini Pumpkins

While pomegranates are reminiscent of the fall season, the pumpkin still remains the quintessential symbol of harvest and the fall holidays. Use a neutral color plate, a rustic brown napkin and a white pumpkin for a modern touch.

To complete the fall-themed tableau, be sure to read our Centerpiece Ideas for Thanksgiving Table Decorations.

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