3 Easy, Small Space Thanksgiving Dinner Seating Tips from Camille Styles

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Thanksgiving is all about celebrating with family and friends — but what’s the best way to squeeze all the people you love into a small space? Don’t stress — entertaining maven and style expert Camille Styles is here to save the day with her small space Thanksgiving dinner seating tips. 

Don’t forget to check out Camille’s new book, Camille Styles Entertaining, for even more of her clever tips and tricks. PLUS, stay tuned for our new exclusive feature with Camille launching next week!

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I love a super cozy vibe at Thanksgiving — everyone sitting shoulder-to-shoulder around a table overflowing with food. Here are 3 ideas for embracing the coziness at your Thanksgiving dinner without feeling cramped:

1. Rethink your furniture arrangement. So your 4-person kitchen table won’t fit all the friends and family you’d like to seat for the feast? Consider moving the dining table into the living room, and extending it with folding tables that you can line up end-to-end and cover with a pretty autumnal tablecloth. It’ll make the dining table the unexpected focal point of the room, plus open up all kinds of space you didn’t know you had. 

2. Ditch the table altogether. Just because it’s Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to embrace traditional seating arrangements. If your guest count exceeds the number that can be seated at a table in your space, consider setting up a buffet with all the food on the counter, a self-serve bar in the living room, and let people fill their plates and lounge on the couch, floor cushions, kitchen island – wherever they’d like to perch! This kind of party creates a really relaxed vibe where guests are truly invited to kick off their shoes and stay awhile.


3. Don’t strive for perfection. Hosting Thanksgiving does not require Martha-like perfectionism. This is a holiday that’s about counting our blessings, so ditch the pressure, stress, and unrealistic expectations, and instead embrace an attitude that puts the focus back on having fun and creating great memories with the people you care about. Remember, your guests don’t want to be impressed – they want to be welcomed into a warm and inviting atmosphere to eat delicious food and savor great conversation!

See more of Camille’s amazing Thanksgiving tips and tricks, here. 

Photos by Buff Strickland

How to Set Your Table for Thanksgiving with Paprika Southern Magazine

Entertaining, Holiday | | | 5 Replies

Thanksgiving Tabletop

Written exclusively for Inside & Out by Christy Hulsey of Colonial House of Flowers

Thanks to my mom my sister, I’ve been setting a proper table for as long as we can remember — basically since we were two. I believe a table is one of those things that we all should know — uncomplicated and effortless. So, I’ve asked Paprika Southern to help me break it down for you, with pretty pictures to look at of course!

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you eat a meal starting with the utensils moving from the outside and working your way in. Here’s some more table setting tips and tricks to show you how to set your Thanksgiving table in proper style this year:


Plates. The largest chargers sit under the entree plate — choose something pretty and fun for color and texture! Top the entrée plate with an appetizer plate. The bread and butter plate rests at the top left in the 10:00 position with the butter knife on top of it at a slight angle.

Stemware. Glasses sit to the right at the 1:00 mark. Choose red, white (Or both!) or a beer glass to sit close to the plate. Pick any number of glasses up to five. The smaller glasses always go up front. Water and champagne glasses sit right above the wine glass, barely to the left.


Flatware. I always lay the silverware last, making sure they’re evenly spaced. Put the dinner knife to the right of the dinner plate. The cutting edges of knives face toward the plate. Spoons go next to the knife. The largest fork goes to the left of the plate moving out with the salad fork with the specially shaped fish fork last. Any remaining flatware, like a dessert fork or coffee spoon, should be placed horizontally above the plate at 12:00.


Napkins. Traditionally, the napkin goes on top of the dinner plate. However, depending on the aesthetic of the event, I like to mix it up to match the party. The napkin is the perfect place to add a festive touch of whimsy, like a sprig of rosemary, a mini-gourd, a feather or a dried autumn leaf.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Paprika Southern

Centerpieces. I love a party that’s full of personal touches. And it’s no surprise that I believe a properly set table is incomplete without a centerpiece. Anything will do, and the possibilities are endless — from a clever arrangement of food, fruit, pine cones, leaves, flowers, evergreen boughs or a pretty mix of it all.

These basic rules will work for almost any event, but of course, rules are made to broken! These guidelines can be paired up or down to suit the personality of the affair.

American Grown Pine Cone Lilies: Margie Tygart and Peggy Beam
California Grown Organic Lavender: FloraOrganicaDesigns
Santino Stemless Wine Glasses: Pottery Barn,
Florals: Amanda Currier, Christy Hulsey, Melissa Bottoms of Colonial House of Flowers
Produced with Camp Makery
Styling & Photography: Siobhan Egan + Bevin Valentine Jalbert of Paprika Southern
Venue: Cohen’s Retreat
Wine: Cameron Hughes Wine

Give Thanks: What Jeffrey Alan Marks is Thankful For

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It’s been so fun hearing about what some of our favorite designers and bloggers are grateful for this year — doesn’t it make you appreciate all of the little things in life?

Today, we’re featuring Jeffrey Alan Marks in our Give Thanks series. Read on to hear what he’s thankful for this year!


“I am truly thankful for all my friends and family,” he says. “I love this time of year because it’s perfect for entertaining and spending more time than ever with those you love. I love using these mugs (just like our new Moscow Mule Mugs) for the perfect Moscow Mule to enjoy with friends and family! All my mugs are monogrammed on the bottom for a personalized feel.”

Don’t forget to check out part 1 and part 2 of our Give Thanks series with designers Becki Owens and Nicole Davis, and designer/blogger Kirsten Krason.

Whip Up 5 Classic Thanksgiving Recipes in 5 Hours or Less

Entertaining, Holiday, Recipes | | | 1 Reply

Written for Inside & Out by Alison Strickland of Two of a Kind

Easy Thanksgiving Recipes copy

I did it. I cooked my first turkey and prepared a Thanksgiving spread on my own with one oven in five hours — and you can, too. The trick? Keep the menu simple and plan ahead.

Heres what we had:

Herb-Roasted Turkey with Wild Mushroom Gravy: I chose this recipe primarily because I love mushrooms and didn’t want to bother with brining a bird. I followed the instructions to the letter and the meat was moist and flavorful, but recommend rubbing half of the herb butter under the skin versus placing it all in the cavity as outlined in Step 2.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Honey-Balsamic Glaze: (recipe can be doubled)

Roasted Butternut Squash with Onions and Rosemary (recipe follows and can be doubled)

Mulled-Wine Cranberry Sauce (recipe follows)

Ciabatta Bread Rolls: If you enjoy baking bread, give this recipe a go. Divide the dough into 12 pieces for dinner-size rolls.

Candied Pecans: These are delicious as a snack or in a green salad.

(Served on Pottery Barn’s Napoli Dinnerware, Napoli Platter, Vintage Wood Serving Set, Thatcher Ticking Stripe Napkins)

Ciabatta Rolls

You might be asking, “Where’s the stuffing and homemade pie?” They’re definitely among my classic Thanksgiving recipe favorites but, if made from scratch, require a lot of ingredients and hands-on time. I settled on these easy, classic Thanksgiving recipes because they’re tasty and can be served hot or at room temperature, and can be reinvented as fresh “bestovers” the following day. (Stay tuned to see how I transformed this meal in an upcoming post.)

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If you’re in charge of single-handedly feeding a small crowd (4-6 people) on Thanksgiving, follow my countdown for a stress-free and satisfying holiday. From start to finish, you can have food on the table in about five hours.

Several days before (That’s today!):
Buy ingredients
Defrost turkey, if frozen
Make the candied pecans

One day before:
Buy or make the ciabatta bread rolls
Pull out all your serving platters and dishes

Day of:
Five hours before you plan to eat, prepare and roast the turkey – It takes about 30 minutes to prep and 3 hours to cook, and you should let it rest for at least an hour before you carve it.
While the turkey is cooking, prepare the cranberry sauce. Once the cranberry sauce is cooked, put it in the fridge to cool.
Next, sauté the mushrooms for the gravy; set aside until the turkey is done cooking.
Then prepare the Brussels sprouts and butternut squash for roasting.
As soon as the turkey is done cooking, roast the Brussels sprouts.
Once the Brussels sprouts are cooked, roast the butternut squash.
While the squash is cooking, transfer the turkey to a large platter and garnish with red, green and black grapes and fresh sage.
Finish making the mushroom gravy.

That’s it — you’re done! Now transfer everything to serving platters, invite guests to grab a plate and dig in.

Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts copy


Roasted Butternut Squash with Onions and Rosemary
Makes 6 servings 

1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 medium onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place butternut squash and onions on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with fresh rosemary, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread squash and onions in a single layer.

Bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and stir gently. Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.

Mulled-Wine Cranberry Sauce copy

Mulled-Wine Cranberry Sauce
Makes about 3 cups

2 large navel oranges
1 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups dry white wine (like Chardonnay)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Finely grate zest from 1 orange and set aside. Remove rind from both oranges. Supreme oranges into a small bowl and squeeze the juice from the membranes into another small bowl. Cut orange segments in half crosswise.

In a medium sauce pan, combine cranberries, wine, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, orange zest and reserved orange juice. Cook over medium-high heat and stir until sugar dissolves.

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst and juices thicken slightly, about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat; stir in the orange segments. Transfer the cranberry sauce to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover and chill.

Give Thanks: Kirsten Kranson Tells Us What She’s Thankful For

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Spending time with our family and friends during the holidays always makes us appreciate the little — and big! — things in life. This year, we’re celebrating them all with our new series: Give Thanks.

This week, we asked designer and blogger Kirsten Krason to share what she’s thankful for this year:


“During the Holidays I’m most grateful for my cozy bedroom. I stay in bed as long as possible on snowy days here in Utah. My kids usually climb into bed with me and we cuddle under the blankets.”


“I love the big windows in my room as well. It’s magical to watch the snow falling as we get ready for the day. Lighting a holiday candle sets the mood even more. These cozy moments remind me what life is all about.”


Photos by Jylare Smith
Seen in photo: Lily Task Lamp, Gold Leaf Tray

See what designers Becki Owens and Nicole Davis are grateful for, too. (Hint: It takes place in one seriously stunning kitchen.)

Camille Styles’ Easy Holiday Entertaining Tips for Your Best Thanksgiving Ever

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Thanksgiving is exactly one week away (!) — are you ready? To be honest, we’ve been procrastinating on prepping for one of our favorite holidays, which is why we reached out to the lovely and talented Camille Styles for help! Camille’s new book, Camille Styles Entertaining, is chock full of creative tips and tricks to get you through the holidays (and the new year, too).

CSBook_Thanksgiving-759 pg 89

Take a look at her favorite Thanksgiving must-haves from Pottery Barn, below — and keep reading to get her easy holiday entertaining tips PLUS one incredibly delicious fall cocktail recipe.

Plus, don’t forget to subscribe and stay tuned to Inside & Out for the rest of the holiday season — we’ll be launching a special feature with Camille after Thanksgiving, and sharing more of her expert tricks all the way through Christmas!

Thanksgiving Top Picks from Camille Styles

1. Cast Leaf Metal Earthenware Gravy Boat and Cast Leaf Metal Serving Platters/2. Napoli Stoneware Dinnerware/3. Harvest Olive Wreath/4. Flameless Birch Pillar Candles/5. Vintage Wood Footed Bowls and Vintage Wood Baguette Tray/6. Antique Silver Pitcher and Antique Silver Three-Tiered Stand


Pottery Barn: Uh oh — your in-laws are arriving for a last-minute Thanksgiving trip. What are your suggestions for adding more people to an already set menu + table setting?

Camille Styles: First, don’t panic. This is an all-too common predicament, and one that I’ve even run into as a result of my own mental miscalculations as I laid down table settings before a party. The best strategy is to leave yourself a little wiggle room from the start. If possible, create enough space at the table so that you can scoot guests closer together and make room for two more if needed — no one will mind being a little cozier! It’s always a good idea to have 2 extra place settings and blank place cards waiting in the wings for surprise arrivals (like when your cousin brings his new lady friend that he met the week before.)

CSBook_Thanksgiving-pg 87

CS: As far as the food goes, guests are surprisingly adaptable to taking a little less if it looks like a platter might run low. If one menu item is dangerously meager for the new guest count, have a special signal for your significant other that means the two of you will be abstaining from it to leave more for everyone else. But since it’s Thanksgiving, the holiday of culinary abundance, the unexpected guests will most likely just mean fewer leftovers the next day!

PB: What’s your no-fail table decorating trick for Thanksgiving?

CS: Think beyond the floral centerpiece. In the fall, I love to forage for beautiful leaves and interesting berries or acorns to incorporate into a centerpiece. Pomegranates, winter squash and pears also make unexpected additions to the table and are a modern spin on the iconic image of an abundant cornucopia.


PB: What are your favorite, easy fall cocktails for Thanksgiving?

CS: My current favorite is the Orchard Punch from my book (see the recipe, below). I love the throwback vibe of a big punch bowl at a party, and this one’s brimming with the cozy flavors of cider and spices, using apples and their juice in three different ways. And the best thing about punch? Guests can help themselves to seconds without having to ask!

I mix up a big batch of fruity, boozy punch at my company holiday party every year. This year, I quadrupled the recipe and still had to make a second batch to satisfy, ahem, thirsty guests!

½ 750 ml bottle sweet Riesling
1 red apple, cored and sliced
1 green apple, cored and sliced
1 cup apple juice
Whole Star Anise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
750 ml hard apple cider

Pour the Riesling into a large pitcher and then add the apples, apple juice, and lemon juice. Let marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

Just before serving, add the cider and divide equally among ice-filled highball glasses. Garnish with star anise and serve.

Photo credits: Buff Strickland

Don’t forget to subscribe and tune in to the Pottery Barn blog for more of Camille’s amazing entertaining tips throughout the rest of this holiday season! 

Dream Thanksgiving Flower Arrangement Tips from Juli Vaughn

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© www.haleysheffield.com-14

Seasonality is the key to a successful flower arrangement — as Juli Vaughn of Juli Vaughn Designs knows.  But this is no easy task in the fall, particularly when you’re designing flowers for a dinner party and have size, shape and scent to keep in mind. Although it took a little extra planning (and plenty of foraging), Vaughn flowers make this Thanksgiving table setting look professional, chic and stylish.

Read on to learn just how she did it!

PS: Don’t forget to check out our Thanksgiving table decorating tips and 2 delicious Thanksgiving stuffing and chutney recipes from the same stunning shoot.

Flowers: Juli Vaughn
Styling + Concept: Ashley Pepitone + Camp Makery
Photography: Haley Sheffield
Recipes + Food: Simply Catering

© www.haleysheffield.com-16

Q: What are your tips for choosing fall flowers for a Thanksgiving table?
A: I bought a few flowers from the market just because everyone loves flowers, but I actually prefer herbs and foraged foliage for a Thanksgiving arrangement. To me, it’s more authentic to that first Thanksgiving to use the beauty you find in your yard more than just purchasing grocery store flowers. I combed my yard (and maybe the neighbor’s — shh!) for vines, berries, maple and oak branches, pinecones and even flowers that had lost their petals but still had a fun shape.


Q: Any suggestions for flower arrangements on a small table?
A: Instead of one large arrangement, make a series of mini arrangements — maybe 3 to 5. You can have them placed in the center of the table when everyone arrives and then tuck them in between the dishes when the food is placed. That way, you don’t have to move them to a side table — best of both worlds: food AND flowers.

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Q: How should scent come into play when creating an arrangement for a dinner table?
A: Don’t use heavily scented flowers like roses or lilies. The floral scent will mess with your delicious stuffing and turkey aromas. Instead stick with herbs like rosemary and sage while you mix in unscented blooms. These will contribute to the overall smell of Thanksgiving rather than fighting it.

© www.haleysheffield.com-2

Q: Love the flowers on the chandelier! How did you attach them?
A: Thanks! I started by making a simple garland with a roll of wire. Then I attached it to the chandelier with wire by twisting it just like a twist tie at the top, middle and bottom. After it’s attached, you can tuck flowers into it without worrying about them getting messed up while you’re attaching it.

© www.haleysheffield.com-6

Q: What are your top centerpiece tips?
A: Whenever I make a centerpiece for a large dining table, I focus on 3 things. First, make it low. The last thing you want is for someone to not be able to see the person across from them and stare at flowers instead of faces. Second, keep it skinny. It’s ok if the flowers are organic-looking and not all squished together, but no one wants to accidentally stick their fork in a leaf because it was infringing on their plate. Third, make it beautiful. A beautiful arrangement can become a break from or a topic of conversation. Either one is welcome and contributes rather than hinders an evening of family and loved ones.