Sophie Conran Shares Her Guide To Thanksgiving Tablescaping

Think the Conran clan and think creativity. The only daughter of designer and restaurateur Sir Terence Conran and food writer Caroline Conran, Sophie is also sister to fashion designer Jasper, restaurateurs Tom and Ned and product designer Sebastian.

Having started as an apprentice for couture milliner Stephen Jones, Sophie went onto interior buying for both The Conran Shop and The Design Museum. From there, she migrated into homeware design, curating and collaborating with leading suppliers and manufacturers before starting her eponymous line for

With all this know-how and right in time for Thanksgiving, Sophie shares her top tips for setting a dining table that’ll impress your guests.

Begin with a tablecloth

It’s the perfect canvas for building your Thanksgiving table using the season’s beautiful colors. Plain white is crisp and clean, a plain color brings a certain mood depending on your chosen color, and a pattern can bring more vibrancy and depth.

Bring the outside in

During the season of Thanksgiving, pumpkins and gourds are in abundance – pile them up along the length of the table in a tumble of color and texture. Add foraged berries and Autumn leaves in ambers and crimsons to make a unique and personal centrepiece.

Bring on the bows

Making beautiful bows and including them in the centerpiece will add texture and make it looks so pretty. Buy a ribbon with metal wire inside so the bows bend into place more easily and hold their shape better. Dot as many as you like into the foliage.


With the Winter nights drawing in, the soft, warming light of candles – tapered and tea lights – helps to create a sense of magic around the table.

Time to reflect

Adding reflective pieces such as silver candlesticks and silver vases to the table and mantlepiece will bounce the light beautifully around the room, adding to the twinkle.

Golden glow

Accents of gold on glasses and plates add an element of warmth and a glamorous dimension.

Set a place

Using a chalk pen, you can write your guests’ names on a variety of charming things. I like to use miniature gourds for name placeholders or a collection of leaves gathered on a walk in the ombre colors of Autumn.

Nice napkins

I have an embarrassingly large collection of napkins and tablecloths and will tie napkins in with the colors of the table. Use napkin rings tied with ribbon or string. Add a sprig of rosemary for fragrance, or use more of those beautiful autumn leaves

Add some treasures

If you really want to go to town, search ‘pumpkin salt and pepper sets’ in google, and so many wonderful vintage cruet sets are available to buy – they are so cute.

Pumpkin soup

Use the vibrant orange pumpkin flesh to make a wonderfully warming soup. If you get a really nice big handsome one, you can carve it out to make a magnificent soup terrine.

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