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(Photo credit: Eleanor P. Labrozzi)

It’s easy to get so wrapped up in Thanksgiving menu details that you forget all about the atmosphere. But setting the scene for a beautiful holiday table is about more than just aesthetics. It’s about making your family, friends, and wayward surprise guests (there’s always one or two) feel comfortable and welcome—and if you can dazzle them a little with some Turkey Day table magic, all the better.

With 180 years in business, Hildreth’s Home Goods has learned a thing or two about creating cozy, unique, welcoming spaces. For Colleen Hildreth, her husband, Henry, and their three grown children—Hailey, Sayre, and Henry—the Thanksgiving holiday is an opportunity to slow down and make memories. “With everyone working at the store, or in school, or married, it’s nice to have the day to just gather,” she says. “It’s really more about being together in a relaxed atmosphere.” 

One of her favorite Thanksgiving memories? “We had Thanksgiving dinner in our barn! We sat on hay bales around the table, near the horses we have that I love,” she says. “It was really special.” Hildreth, the family’s sole vegetarian who raises turkeys and chickens, also loves to pull out her in-laws’ special China, and silver from her own mom. “I think it’s really nice to bring in something meaningful from your life and your family.”

This year’s trends are all about creating a cozy, warm space, whether you’re having the holiday meal for a crowd, or just a few.  Here, Hildreth helps with modern-style tips and using the beauty in your own backyard or basement to make beautiful memories.

Bring the outside in

“Embellish your table with natural elements—pumpkins, gourds, cuttings from plants in your own yard,” says Hildreth. Not only is this a way to create a one-of-kind table feature, but also brings the unique beauty of the east end right onto your table. Think late season summer beach grasses that have gone frondy, a few red-berry laden branches from a hawthorn tree, or even some particularly beautiful autumn leaves. Hildreth, a self-described plant lover, also uses rooted clippings from summer plants to add color and get a jump on overwintering plants for next season. It’s also a nice way to fill out a table for a more intimate gathering. 

(Photo credit: Eleanor P. Labrozzi)

You can also use your natural fiber placemats, glass holders, and earthenware to add to the effect, as well as linens in hues that emulate natural elements—soft greens, sandy tans, and rich browns add a complementary pop of warmth, too. 

Golden hour

As gold kitchen accents became one of the hottest trends over the last few years, that glittery glow now has spread to tableware, too. From flatware to serving pieces, Hildreth is a fan of sturdy, golden-hued pieces to add the warmth of sundown (and a little bling) to the Thanksgiving table this year.

Texture, texture, texture

Plain white is always a good, classic safe bet for dishes and serving pieces, but why not add a little texture to the mix? Hildreth recently began stocking these creamy, subtly rippled earthenware dishes, platters, and soup terrines (always a course she incorporates on her holiday table) for the extra element of texture they add to a tablescape. They also have a wonderful practical side: “These can go from refrigerator to oven to table to dishwasher,” she says, of the ones she’s currently stocking by Sophie Conran for Portmeirion. 

Blue is the hue 

(Photo credit: Eleanor P. Labrozzi)

“I think going non-traditional can be really fun,” says Hildreth, of the trend toward concentrated shades of indigo for tabletops this holiday season. From napkins and other table linens, to candles, trays, and other serving elements, bringing in the deep Atlantic Hamptons blues, like the “Festival” line she stocks from Sferra, feels at once up-to-date and warm and welcoming.

Hildreth’s Home Goods is located at 51 Main Street, Southampton, 631-283-2300. Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday 11am-4pm. Closed Thanksgiving.