For a meal that already requires days of prep, serving food buffet-style is a surefire way to lighten the load on the hostess. And on a holiday that's as food-centric as Thanksgiving, there's no better way to give guests the freedom to come back for a second (and third!) helping of their favorite dishes. I set up my buffet on a vintage wood sideboard. This is a great time to get creative and think about repurposing furniture from other parts of the house — an old dresser, desk or even a wood door propped up on sawhorses would make a perfect buffet.
This year make hosting Thanksgiving as easy as pie by celebrating potluck style. You provide the basics (turkey, beverages and a few sides) and ask guests to bring their favorite dish. Thanksgiving is all about the food, so set up a handy to-go station for leftovers so everyone leaves with a few tasty bites to enjoy later.
Don't limit your decorating to the dining table. Create small, casual bouquets to display on a buffet or hutch. Repeating the natural elements from the dough bowl will add a greater impact to the entire space. Fill the bouquets with simple flowers, dried bittersweet branches, wheat sprigs and even fruit or mini pumpkins on skewers.
Assign dishes or ask your Thanksgiving guests what they'd like to bring to dinner. When they arrive, transfer everything to all-white platters and serving dishes to create a striking display that allows the cuisine to take center stage.
When setting your Thanksgiving table, don't forget to add fall touches to the other main elements in your dining room. A few organic additions to the chandelier, buffet, hutch or cupboard will pull the seasonal look together.