How to Create an Eco- and Budget-Friendly Last Minute Thanksgiving Tablescape

November 13, 2016 4 Comments

This post is a really last minute one, and here’s why…
We have lived in the United State for over ten years, but have never hosted a Thanksgiving dinner. Most of those years we were working in customer service. Nadia used to work at Starbucks, and Dmitri at a casino as a table games dealer. So, holidays and weekends were the busiest days, thus everyone had to work. At Starbucks, at the beginning of the year we would come up with the schedule of who would be off on a particular holiday – one holiday per person. Since we did not have any close family here, we would always give an opportunity to our co-workers to spend this time with their families and always worked Thanksgiving. One year we were invited to a holiday dinner, and the last couple of years we have been so busy with our new townhouse remodeling that there was never time to worry about any table decorations – so it was just a very simple dinner for two. And every time we would tell to ourselves, “OK, next year…”

And another year passed… Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away; can you believe that!?! Time flies! And this year we are not only busy with the home improvement and decor, but also with our four month old baby girl.

Despite everything mentioned above, I succumbed to envy as I explored Pinterest and saw all those beautiful pictures of tablescapes. I just put it on the list of “must be done” things and went hunting decor elements.

As always, being environmentally conscious, I wanted to make it not only pretty, but also simple, budget- and eco-friendly. Simplicity is key in our home. We always go by the “less is more” rule.

So, I pulled things that I already owned and that could be used in my tablescape decor.
First I pulled a linen table runner. This is a family treasure. My great grandma hand wove it (at the beginning of the 20th century).

See these initials?

They are in Cyrillic letters. “H” stands for “N”, and “K” is “K”. My great-grandma’s name was also Nadia and her maiden name started with “K”. By coincidence, my married name also starts with “K” – so it looks like my initials in the Cyrillic alphabet. My mom presented this treasure to me when I got married :). I love love love when things have a story behind them, and you can pass them along to the next generation.

Next, I pulled a piece of linen material (leftover from some other project) and made no-sew napkins out of it. Uneven edges just gave them a beautiful, very organic look.

Then I pulled out a tray, vases, glasses, silverware, decorative wire (it was left over from some other project and has been sitting in my drawer for years)…

…and my beautiful Japanese china that I found several years ago in one of the antique stores in Staunton, VA. It looked brand-new and I bought the 42-piece set of fine porcelain china for only $160.

Staunton is a beautiful place, by the way. Not very related to our today’s topic, but if you are looking for a nice getaway – it is a beautiful place to visit! Shoot me a message and I will recommend some great locations to check out.

The china set has a very gentle, sophisticated design, thus, in order to bring simplicity to the decor, I used our “everyday” white plates over them.

My intention was to keep the colors neutral and calm, so I needed neutral colored pumpkins and some green branches to decorate.

I saw many pictures on Pinterest with white and blue pumpkin decor, but have never seen those pumpkins in our local stores. Our local ShopRite carries any pumpkins but white… Then I finally found them at Trader Joe’s. So, if you are like me wondering where to buy them, Trader Joe’s is the place to go for those beautiful pumpkins!

I also picked up some green branches to bring the decor to life.

Then I added a couple of simple candles to make it intimate and warm.

You see these “glasses” with the cucumber-infused iced water? They fit so organically into my tablescape. Yes, they are regular preserves jars. Dmitri loves this particular brand – Bonne Maman, and we buy it a lot. I used to put those jars into the recycling bin, but then I discovered some beauty in them, and realized they can be re-used as drinking glasses. So, for the last several months I have been saving them. No waste, you know! They are especially useful in more casual settings like outdoor summer parties.

And here it is. All I bought were the pumpkins and seasonal fall flowers and eucalyptus branches. And the great thing is that after the pumpkins serve their decorative function, they can be eaten! No waste here as well! Just the way I like it :).

I already know what I am cooking this year! The only pumpkin recipe that I knew and have been cooking was cream of pumpkin soup. But this year is special because of everything above :). So, I decided to cook something special, too: Pumpkin Fruit Bowl! Check it out, it looks so delicious and is not an ordinary pumpkin recipe. My real and blogging world friend Tania at Cooktoria is amazing at creating the healthiest and easy to cook recipes! And pictures! Even if you don’t cook, check out her pictures! I can easily sit down and scroll through her pics forever (and drool drool drool over them)!

So this is how we are going to entertain our guests. Please share your holiday ideas with us!

November 5, 2016


  1. Nastassia

    November 13, 2016

    Beautiful and inspiring! We miss USA and your home (that became our home so many times – thank you guys!!!) so much, that I think I’ll host a Thanksgiving dinner here in Belarus:)

    • Nadia Karpov

      November 13, 2016

      Thank you Nastusha! We miss you, too! Come to visit us soon!

  2. Tania (Cooktoria)

    November 13, 2016

    Your table decor looks simple and yet so elegant! I absolutely love the neutral colors. Thanks for the compliments, and Happy Thanksgiving to your family! XOXO

    • Nadia Karpov

      November 13, 2016

      Thank you Tania! Happy Turkey Day to your family as well 🙂

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