When you think about it, setting the table is really just another way of exercising creativity and expressing a mood or an idea on any given day. Of course, unlike some other creative pursuits, this one has the added benefit of being shared and appreciated by family and friends, who feel extra-welcome as they sit down at your beautiful table. Each holiday season, I inevitably end up designing multiple tabletop schemes for the blog, client projects and, this year, for my book. It’s always a fun challenge to come up with a unique spin on what’s been done before… though sometimes, embracing classic elements feels just right, too. Today I’m excited to share this Gilded Thanskgiving designed by POISE events founder Emmanuelle Accad, that’s a modern and glamorous take on the holiday table in shades of aubergine, blush and gold. Click through all the gorgeous images captured to perfection by Victoria Mello, and read below for Emmanuelle’s tips on adding a little glamour to the Thanksgiving table.

*images by Victoria Mello Photography


The whole table concept was created out of inspiration from the marbleized menu card (which is actually an invitation design by Kelly Wearstler for Paperless Post) and these espresso cups that I found whilst on a family holiday in France over twenty years ago. They look beautiful on their own but add a beautiful dose of glamour and character to the table. 

Having a printed menu at each place is important to me.  I do this as often as I can when I entertain as I like my guests to know what they can expect and what the menu they are about to experience consists of.

The spike napkin ring was the perfect accessory to add to the table scape.  It was like the piece of jewelry the table needed.  It complements the other gold elements without taking anything away from them and also gives the table additional dimension. 

The secret to achieving a glamorous look that stands out is by balancing modern yet simple basics with a few key accessories. I like the idea of subtle holiday touches and felt these pinecone salt and pepper shakers say holiday and fall in an understated way.

The pecan tart is from one of my favorite bakeries in Boston.  The rows of pecans in a rectangular shaped tart made it unique looking and unlike your typical Thanksgiving pecan pie. It complimented the look I was going for perfectly, and the taste is as wonderful as the presentation.

In addition to the table arrangement, this single-variety arrangement made a statement on the mantel. I went a shade darker on these flowers to create a monochromatic floral palette throughout, and the combination of colors in varying shades really pulled the whole look together.

Don’t skimp on the cocktail! Go the extra mile and create a special recipe for your holiday. It’s a detail that everyone will notice and appreciate, not to mention, a wonderful way to kick off your festivities.

To ensure I had the perfect modern-glam Thanksgiving cocktail, I partnered with Domingo Martin-Barreres from Market at WBoston hotel.  He’s one of the most talented and creative mixologists I know – a true cocktail artist! We collaborated on the cocktail and he came up with this gilded holiday martini that does a beautiful job combining the flavors of the holiday season with cranberry, citrus, cinnamon and cloves. He then topped the masterpiece with a gilded mint leaf. 

Click here for Domingo Martin-Barreres’ gilded holiday martini.


Going with all calla lilies in shades of purple and blush pink kept the flowers modern looking and impactful.

I always like to have some sort of food by the bar. It’s just another opportunity for guests to graze and mingle. A well-balanced cheese plate with aged gouda, blue d’auvergne and a triple crème goats brie garnished with figs is a lovely combination.

No matter how much your guests have eaten and how many cocktails have been consumed, always offer espresso at the end of your holiday celebration. It’s a perfect way to kick back and savor the holiday.

14 comments
  1. 1
    Krissy C | November 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    where is that gold cocktail shaker from? it’s gorgeous!

    Reply
  2. 2
    Phyllis | November 25, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Yes, was wondering the exact same thing about where to find that gold shaker! The entire table is stunning! Great job

    Reply
  3. 3
    Emmanuelle Accad | November 25, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    The cocktail shaker is from a Target holiday collaboration last year. It is Altuzarra for Target.

    Reply
  4. 4
    Arin | November 25, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    target seriously has the BEST holiday selection EVER! love the styling! HeartofChic.com

    Reply
  5. 5
    Kim | November 25, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    I love this. Nicely done!

    Reply
  6. 6
    Noreen - The Vanilla Bean Dream | November 26, 2013 at 1:06 am

    this is so stunning. such a refreshing approach to the thanksgiving table

    Reply
  7. 7
    melaniegrizzel | November 26, 2013 at 7:49 am

    This lovely and exactly the colors we chose for our holiday. Plus – we just painted our entire dining room this exact color, it’s outstanding!! Help, where can I find that tart pan?! It’s on my menu this year and I don’t have a tart pan.

    Reply
    • Emmanuelle Accad | November 26, 2013 at 9:46 am

      Thank you very much! You can find the rectangular tart pan at Williams-Sonoma both in-store and on-line.

      Reply
  8. 8
    Taylor Anderson | November 26, 2013 at 10:50 am

    beautiful! where are the gold square vases from?

    Reply
    • Emmanuelle Accad | November 26, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      Thank you Taylor! The gold square vases through a flower wholesaler in Boston.

      Reply
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