Rustic Thanksgiving Decorations For The Living Room

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Since both Halloween and Thanksgiving share autumn and harvest themes, if you’ve decorated for rustic Halloween, you’re already on your way to a beautiful country-style Thanksgiving living room. Once you put away your scary Halloween-themed decorations, any remaining harvest themed decor such as pumpkins and gourds will still fit right in with Thanksgiving. You can even turn a carved Jack-o-lantern around in a pinch to reveal a smooth, orange pumpkin!

If you’re just getting started with holiday decorating this year, these simple tips will help you transform your living room into the perfect canvas for your rustic Thanksgiving displays:

  • Use a fall palette: Work with autumn tones such as deep reds, warm oranges, golden yellows, earthy browns and metallic accents in bronze, copper or gold.
  • Hide other seasonal colors or themes: Store any summer themed or pastel colored items out of sight. If your upholstery is a bright spring or summer shade, consider covering it with a fall colored throw or slip cover. Neutral furniture picks up a fall feel with some throw pillows in orange, gold or brown, perhaps with an embroidered turkey or cornucopia.
  • Add a rug: Warm up the living room with a braided cloth or sisal throw rug in brown, cream, ochre or red.

Rustic Wall and Window Décor

Walls and windows are great spots to express your thankfulness this holiday season without sacrificing any of your useful living room space. Here are a few ideas that might work your homey, natural Thanksgiving design:

  • Leafy fall frames: Spray paint silk or natural leaves with bronze, gold and/or copper colored paint. Attach them to mirror frames and picture frames with double-sided tape.
  • Window garlands: Wrap garlands or red, orange and yellow silk leaves around your curtain rods. Be sure to change your shades and curtains to autumn or neutral colors.
  • Easy burlap wreath: Create a quick, distinctive wreath for your living room wall by wrapping burlap around a foam wreath form. Wrap and tie with rough twine or raffia and insert dried or silk fall flowers all around.
  • Twig wreaths and garlands: Weave together thin twigs and insert fall flowers, mini pumpkins, pinecones, fall berries or small gourds.
  • Stencils and silhouettes: Stencil or cut out some Thanksgiving shapes such as turkeys, pilgrims or Native Americans to create a wall border or window decoration.
  • Thanksgiving themed artwork: Hang some paintings or prints of fall harvest scenes, the first Thanksgiving or other Thanksgiving scenes. Frame and hang your kids’ original Thanksgiving artwork.

Decorating Bookshelves and End Tables

Shelving and end tables are great platforms for your homespun Thanksgiving displays. Start with shelving and tables made from natural materials such as wood, wrought iron or rattan to fit in with your rustic holiday design.

If your existing furniture and shelving clash with this down to earth style, consider covering them with burlap, cotton or woolen knit runners or tablecloths. Then add some Thanksgiving flair to these areas with these simple ideas:

  • Display some carved wood or ceramic pilgrims, Native Americans and turkeys. Rag doll or knit Thanksgiving themed characters also look great perched on a shelf or end table.
  • Arrange some fall-colored or Thanksgiving-themed candles.
  • Surround Thanksgiving characters with fresh fallen leaves and baskets of dried moss, acorns, Indian corn or tiny pumpkins.
  • Wrap Mason jars in brown paper and tie with twine. Display a few of these on a shelf filled with an arrangement of twigs and berries.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas for Your Coffee Table

Make use of the bounty of fall to create natural rustic Thanksgiving centerpieces for your coffee table. Here are a few you might want to try:

  • Classic cornucopia: Fill a cornucopia from the craft store with apples, pears, mini pumpkins and gourds. Display on a wooden plate or tray.
  • Flowers under glass: Arrange silk autumn blossoms on a wicker plate or tray and cover with an upside down glass bowl.
  • Rock garden: In a shallow wooden box, arrange river rocks, votive candles and stones that are carved or painted with words such as gratitude, blessings and other positive sentiments.
  • Pumpkin pedestals: Arrange an odd number of distressed wood or wrought iron candlestick holders topped with tiny white pumpkins or green gourds.
  • Harvest vase: Hollow out a pumpkin or a tall gourd and fill with an arrangement of wheat stalks, fall blossoms, twigs and Indian corn.

Lighting and Scent

Enhance the rustic Thanksgiving atmosphere of your living room with subtle lighting and scent:

  • Create soft, natural lighting with fall-colored natural and LED candles. For a simple country look, surround candles with leaves, berries and branches.

Arrange candles on a tray or use natural glass or wrought iron candleholders. Mason jars make terrific Thanksgiving luminaries.

  • Use potpourri, scented candles or essential oils in fall scents such as cranberry, vanilla, apple-cinnamon, citrus or pumpkin.

Rustic Accents and Extras

These homey finishing touches will work in just about any area of your living room to complete your Thanksgiving design:

  • Children’s Thanksgiving artwork displayed under glass tabletop
  • Wicker, wood or wire baskets filled with fall fruits, nuts or gourds
  • Pine cones tied to plaid ribbons and hung from shelves or on walls
  • Farm tools leaning against mantle or mounted on walls
  • Vintage glass bottles as vases for fall flowers or twigs
  • Plants in earth toned ceramic pots.

By combining natural materials with fall harvest and Thanksgiving icons, your rustic Thanksgiving living room will be the perfect place to spend time with loved ones and reflect on all the good things life has to offer.


Last Updated: November 13, 2012
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About Roberta Pescow Roberta Pescow holds a bachelor's degree in communications from City University of New York, Queens College and is a freelance writer and editor in the NJ area. The author of "A Life In The Service" and "A Monster's Tears," she enjoys writing informative articles, personal essays, fiction and music.  Roberta is a proud mother of two. Her other interests include fitness, photography, sculpture and meditation. She is a voracious reader and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Roberta enjoys decorating her hectic, but happy home and garden in original and affordable ways.  

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