Designer Fran Keenan shares her clever styling tricks for a formal affair.
1 of 4Hector Manuel Sanchez
"More is more in this setting," says Keenan. At first glance, this table is formal and traditional, but that doesn't mean fussy. Take a closer look and you will see how the designer included a few fresh, unexpected pairings with the trusty Spode Woodland Turkey by Spode (from $33.90; macys.com) for a fancier table setting. "Because of the dining room's orange walls (Fresh Nasturtium (8-12) in high gloss by Pratt & Lambert), I emphasized the brighter tones in the turkey plate, and the high chandelier allowed for tall candles," she says.
2 of 4Hector Manuel Sanchez
Play with Color
Citron-edged napkins seem like a far-out choice for Thanksgiving, but they accent the china's often overlooked yellow background. The brass flatware with lapis-colored handles (Hammered Brass Flatware in Sapphire, set of 5 for $42; anthropologie.com) contrasts with the napkins and the setting's autumnal palette. Classic crystal wineglasses (Colleen Tall Stem Claret by Waterford, $94.95; replacements.com) paired with stemless wineglasses (used here for water) complete the table's ritzy, high-shine vibe. "Guests like to know their seats," says Keenan, who slips simple place cards into the prongs of forks.
3 of 4Hector Manuel Sanchez
Clip Your Own Arrangement
"I'm a bootleg florist," says Keenan. Instead of spending a mint on flowers, she snips foliage from her yard. "It's pretty hard to cut an ugly magnolia branch. The best choices for making a taller arrangement have two or three smaller offshoots coming from the main limb," she says. A few pieces of gray-tinged silver dollar eucalyptus and one bunch of bright orange tulips elevate the yard clippings. "Keep the tulips clustered together to get a single concentrated punch of color," she advises.
4 of 4Hector Manuel Sanchez
Decorate Every Inch
Keenan upcycled glass lanterns into striking dining room decor. "I like to create tall arrangements that fill a room's perimeter and can also be moved around easily," the designer says. To re-create this look, place a cylindrical vase filled with water and bells-of-Ireland inside a lantern. Surround the vase with clementines.