By Megan Arpin / Special to Sunday Market
With family and friends due to gather around the Thanksgiving table in less than two weeks, it’s time to prep your place with entertaining essentials that celebrate the season and make guests feel welcome.
We’ve rounded up some items to help you decorate your home and serve the meal with ease, so everyone can have a carefree day that focuses on what’s really important.
A warm welcome
Greet guests at the door with the Acorn, Berries and Leaves Wreath ($20 at Cost Plus World Market), which will last until it’s time to hang your wreath of evergreen. Simmer Citrus Ginger Mulling Spices ($13 at Williams Sonoma) with cider or wine on the stove to create aromatic ambiance.
An apron in a classic print, such as the Meyer Textile Apron ($45 at Butter Home, Capitol Hill), keeps you stylish even when you’re cooking. And an autumn-inspired pillow ($78 at Lucca Great Finds, Ballard), featuring animal figures harvesting corn, makes for a cozy addition to an entry bench, sofa or armchair.
Serve up guests’ favorite drinks on the Threshold Wood and Brass Finish Bar Cart ($130 at Target). Whiskey fans will love trying the local, newly released Westland American Single Malt Whiskey ($55 at Westland Distillery, Sodo).
For wine lovers, Marc Papineau of Bar Ferd’nand recommends serving the 2012 Analemma Oak Ridge Gewurztraminer or the 2011 Memaloose Idiot’s Grace Cabernet Franc (both $27 at Bar Ferd’nand, Capitol Hill). Both of these Washington wines pair well with rich, savory Thanksgiving dishes. Serve drinks in Stemless Gold Rimmed Glassware ($25 for four at West Elm), which move easily to the dinner table.
For the ultimate cheese spread, Sheri LaVigne, owner of The Calf & Kid Artisan Cheese Shop on Capitol Hill, recommends Northwest favorites such as Cherry Valley Dairy’s Dairy Reserve ($25 a pound) or River’s Edge Chevre’s Up in Smoke ($12 for about 5 ounces, both at The Calf & Kid). Display the cheeses on an Olivewood Cheese Board ($17 at Crate & Barrel) and serve on Pier 1 Imports Party Plates ($6 each), which have a cutout to support a wine glass for easier mingling.
Time to eat
Give guests a peek of what’s to come by listing menu items on the Farmhouse Chalkboard ($50 at Cost Plus World Market). The Likgiltig Check Tablecloth ($20 at Ikea) is a strong anchor for the table, and its dark hues hide drips and spills. For a dessert or kids’ table, roll out a Chalkboard Table Runner ($46 at Anthropologie) or Kraft Utensils Kitchen Paper Table Wrap ($24 at West Elm).
Place a statement-making candle holder, such as the Lincoln Hurricane ($40 at Crate & Barrel), in the center of the table, or scatter votives in warm hues, such as glassybaby’s Jane’s Caramel or Sweet Patootie ($44 each at glassybaby).
Distinguish guests’ places with Soaré Placemats ($4 each at Ikea) or Wood Slice Chargers ($19 each at West Elm). Napkins in a festive gold color, such as West Elm’s Ikat Mini Lattice Napkins ($16 for four), are utilitarian and add to the texture of the table.
Layer on dinnerware that pops, such as the earthenware Verde Dinnerware Collection ($60 for 12 pieces at Cost Plus World Market). Shanna Murray Salad Plates ($6 each at West Elm) send heartfelt messages to guests. Welcome Flatware ($15 for three pieces) and Slate Placecard Holders ($13 for four, both at Crate & Barrel) add modern elements to the table, and pair well with wood, glass and metal.
Finally, serve up the bird on a statement-making platter, such as the Embossed Thanksgiving Serve Platter ($30 at Sur La Table).
Your pumpkin or pecan pie will be festive in an oven-to-table Stoneware Pie Dish ($20 at Sur La Table). For an unexpected take on dessert, Jody Hall, owner of Cupcake Royale, recommends her shop’s Pumpkin Cardamom, Pumpkin Maple or Gingerbread cupcakes ($39 a dozen) served with a scoop of Pumpkin Cardamom Ice Cream ($8 a pint).
For after-dinner group fun, challenge guests to a round of The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert: Take a Whiff of That ($16 on Amazon.com). New party games such as Wits & Wagers Party Edition ($30) and Geek Out ($20, both at Gamma Ray Games, Capitol Hill) will keep the party going long into the evening.