a rustic & collaborative thanksgiving

While it was once customary for the host or hostess to prepare the entire Thanksgiving feast themselves, these days, it’s far more common for everyone to chip in by bringing a dish to share or helping set the scene. Thanksgiving is only a week away, and if you need a bit of inspiration for the day, look no further than this lovely collaborative effort between Jeni Maus of Found and her very talented group of friends.

From the flatware and linens to the flowers and food, Jeni and her friends decided to repurpose found pieces and source local ingredients for a simple yet elegant Thanksgiving spread. If you’re feeling stressed about the impending duties of the day, consider paring down and calling for reinforcements. While you may not have florists, chefs and stylists at your table, as is the case here, a day of crafts and cooking will build everyone’s appetite and make the celebration all the more special :) Thanks so much for sharing, Jeni! — Kate

{Update: We’ve added recipes for the apple butter and stuffing griddle cakes from the event after the jump! Click on the links to download.}

This year, we wanted to create new traditions around our Thanksgiving table: a simple, sophisticated, clean version of classic Americana. The decor was pared down, purposeful and sustainable. We worked with our hands, made things at home and added some meaning back to our celebration of this quintessential American holiday.

Everyone brought something unique to the table: A repurposed linen runner, pies made from scratch and vintage china added warmth and personality. Setting the table wasn’t a task accomplished behind the scenes. We collaborated to create the space together. Our celebration didn’t consist only of turkey, stuffing and obligation, but was about the process of making the holiday our own. — Jeni Maus


Carondelet House: location
Braedon Flynn: photography
J and R Foods: food and menu design
Honey and Poppies: flowers
Found: furniture and decor
Casa de Perrin: tabletop decor and food styling
Pitbulls and Posies: paper goods
Dovetail: coordination

See more beautiful photos from this event after the jump!


  • Rolls and Homemade Apple Butter
  • Roasted Stuffed Turkey with Spinach
  • Cranberry Ginger Relish
  • Gravy
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • Sweet Potato and Yam Galette
  • Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
  • Slow-Roasted Five-Spice Carrots
  • Butterscotch Pumpkin Pie
  • Apple Pie
  • Ginger Bundt Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze
  • Thanksgiving Stuffing Griddle Cakes

The florals include dahlias and coppery roses (called Combo), along with a variety of autumnal accents, such as berries, crabapples, coleus, sweet potato vine and some foraged foliage and plum branches.


Pitbulls and Posies created paper goods inspired by deconstructed quilt pieces. They were constructed from chipboard with lasercut details.

  1. Sara says:

    This is so pretty. I especially love the mantel.

  2. Looooooved all the pictures. Rustic yet elegent!!

  3. Ana says:

    This is stunning. That venue is gorgeous and absolutely perfect for Thanksgiving. My birthday is coming up and I’ve been hunting for the perfect cozy feeling space to have it—wish I could transport my party there! Awesome and inspiring post.

  4. Cait says:

    I really enjoyed looking through all the images! I loved their whole philosophy about the meal this year and it went perfectly with the decor/settings they used. Lovely

  5. This is a great article. I have given my dining room a rustic feel with oak console tables and dining tables. its all about mixing and matching materials and fabrics.

  6. This is so lovely! I loved the teacups and that metal (?) cake stand.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Love the menu. Any chance we might see the recipes, say, for the Brussels sprouts, carrot, cranberry, and bundt cake? They sound delicious

  8. Amie says:

    This is really close to what my friends and I do! We have “afterthought” holiday parties, where everyone brings a dish, very potluck style, and we take whatever plates and cutlery and servingware we have. We are Canadian, so we do American Thanksgiving as friends, because we all go home for ours. And we also do Ukranian Christmas after the holidays, because that time is spent at home with our other loved ones. All these gatherings feel so warm and inviting because everyone contributed something to the night. And then we push the tables aside and dance it out!

  9. Kara says:

    Wow! Beautiful work by everyone.

  10. I don’t know what’s more enticing the space or the meal

  11. this is beautiful! I love that it is elegant, rustic, and traditionally thanksgiving all at once. LOVE the florals too!

  12. beautiful! i’m having a potluck thanksgiving tonight with friends this definitely sets the holiday mood!

  13. venu says:

    beautiful! I can’t wait to see the space in person!

  14. Debi says:

    Gorgeous – LOVE the food!! Sometimes it is can be helpful to get 1 or 2 items catered to help ease the work and hassel. I wonder if J and R Foods does this?

  15. Danielle says:

    there are no words, except that i would be beyond excited to have my thanksgiving look like this. beautiful!

  16. mona says:

    this is simply beautiful…makes me want to rethink my plans for Thanksgiving and do more simplicity..maybe my Christmas table will take the inspiration from this setting..thanks for the beauty and creativity…most lovely

  17. Amber says:

    Would seriously love to get some of the recipes! Looks lovely, all of it.

  18. Ang says:

    Everything is lovely! However, I always get a slightly creepy feeling when everyone in a Thanksgiving party photo is the same age…

  19. love the inherent beauty of a collective table – the mismatched chairs and serving ware, the food and the flowers. Just like the collection of friends – all different, but so good together

  20. jacquie says:

    Cater any part of Thanksgiving, Debi? That sounds practically sacrilegious, especially after such a lovely post about a coming together of friends and food. Plan ahead to lower the stress, or ask for help, but cater? How awful.

    1. Kate Pruitt says:


      I have to step in say that calling Debi’s advice sacrilegious and awful is out of line. It’s true that this post celebrates collaboration and pulling things together from scratch, but that’s not the only acceptable way to celebrate Thanksgiving. The holiday is not really about where the food comes from, it’s about what it means to you and the people you choose to celebrate with. People are allowed to carry on traditions in their own ways. Let’s be mindful of that!


  21. suncica says:

    really beautiful and elegant…so inspiring!

  22. Peter says:

    As a nosy Brit eavesdropping on your Thanksgiving may I offer the advice given fifty years ago by Elizabeth David about cooking Turkey? After cooking a huge turkey on the day, resting it for thirty minutes while you race to get the veg cooked, carving it and passing it down the table it will never be piping hot. If you’re lucky it will be warm. Why not cook it the night before and carve it cool? This frees up your oven space on the day and guarantees that the bird is cooked. All she says is that you must have piping hot gravy. This simple hint has revolutionised our Christmas- no more stabbing through the thigh and seeing blood ooze out as friends finish their starters

  23. Shauna says:

    Beautiful post. Thanks for the tip, Peter. And I agree with Ang. Where are the parents? Grandparents? Children? Cousins? They probably also celebrated with family…This looks like a party for friends. What are we thankful for, anyway? And who are we thanking? Has Thanksgiving become just another excuse to party? Can’t help these thoughts coming this time of year…Where is the deep meaning?

  24. Edward says:

    For the people wondering where the other age groups are, I have this to say: What if you can’t go home? People move away from home for work all the time, and sometimes you can’t get home for the holidays. So your friends can become your surrogate family, and there shouldn’t be anything wrong with that. We should only be thinking about being thankful for those we care about, whether they be friends or family.

  25. Jonathan says:

    If anyone is looking for any additional recipes from this menu, feel free to email us at jandrfoods@gmail.com. We would be happy to provide you with them. Fair warning, the turkey is pretty labor intensive.

  26. this is a fabulous post – more, please!

  27. kate holt says:

    yum and pretty! wishing i was sitting at that table all next week.

  28. looks like a good time was had by all – what an awesome story these marvelous images tell. envious and aspirational

  29. I am inspired by the setting, the flowers and the menu sounds divine. I love it. It doesn’t matter whether it is friends or family not everyone can be with family on Thanksgiving. I agree friends are family for many people. As long as you celebrate it with those that you love and you are thankful for all your blessings that is all that really matters.

  30. jinny says:

    pretty! very very nice for dinner

  31. Jacqui says:

    I love this rustic and laidback table setting. Definitely putting the fun back into entertaining. Makes me think it’s time to invite some friend over!

  32. collaboration is key! this is beautiful.

  33. Loribeth says:

    This is really pretty! I love the juxtaposition of the rough brick walls with the crystal chandeliers. So pretty.

  34. CJ Foss says:

    Stunning photographs, and great table! I’m your newest fan! Love the outdoor chandeliers and mismatched chairs, and flatware. Lovely. ~CJ

  35. Stunning location, props, and photos. It’s all magical and inspiring! LOVE anything rustic and casual. Beautiful!


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