Miss A Columnist

Denise Willard has over a decade of experience transforming the homes of clients in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia. Her work has been showcased on ABC Affiliate, News Channel 8 and published in The Washington Post, Home and Design Magazine, Washington Home & Garden, The Washingtonian, and Elan. She writes a regular design column for Viva Tysons, and has a blog where she shares her interior decorating insights, DreamDesignLive.com .

Denise specializes in creating simple, but elegant transitional interiors that are reflective of her clients' personalities and lifestyles. The combination of her southern roots and urban lifestyle can be seen in her personal design style, which combines the comfort and hospitality of the South with the flair of the big city.

Make Your Table Memorable This Thanksgiving

Set the table and the mood this Thanksgiving with creative name place cards for your guests. This can be a tedious task when you are head chef to the largest meal of the year, but your extra efforts will make for a memorable holiday with family and friends.

Martha Stewart’s website has no shortage of name place card ideas but here are a few of my favorites. First on the list is the cracked walnut. Simply crack a walnut just enough to slip a name place card inside. The place card should be slightly larger than a fortune in a fortune cookie; coordinate the paper and ink to match your table setting. Next up is painted miniature pumpkins. Martha has these tiny gourds painted gold on her site and I love them! Gold is worth its weight right now and I highly recommend incorporating it into your holiday decor. Spray paint your baby pumpkins with gold paint and prop a complimentary paper place card in front of the pumpkin. I advise coordinating the place card ink with the pumpkin color and remember to use your best cursive handwriting.

Here's a stunning place setting complete with the gold pumpkin place card trick (Photo Credit: www.marthastewart.com)

Last on my Martha list is the photo place card. This idea is not new but Martha has improved it by utilizing the new features on our digital cameras and photo editing websites. To make the photo card, copy childhood photos of your guests in black-and-white or sepia; then glue the images to cardstock and trim with a decorative edge.


Another interesting idea I have come across in my years of thankful feasting is to use keep-sake holiday ornaments personalized with your guest’s name. And, one final idea I absolutely love because it is so different is inspired by our friends at Good Housekeeping that is both creative and a space saver – tie a ribbon of your preferred width and color to your guests chair and hang a folded place card from it.

Here's a creative way to note your guest's seat (Photo Credit: goodhousekeeping.com)

However you decide to dress your Thanksgiving table this year, I hope your day is filled with lots of fun, laughter and of course, great food.  Happy Thanksgiving!


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