Thanksgiving Table: Matt Armendariz


Thanksgiving can be a wonderful time. It’s one of the few holidays that require no presents, merely food, family and friends. It provides a warm closure to the fall season and a calm before the hustle and bustle of winter festivities. On the other hand, it can also be a very stressful time. If you’re anything like most Americans in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, you’ll be spending hours in overcrowded supermarkets, fighting for the last turkey and fretting over whether anybody will notice that you’re using boxed stuffing. Between making sure that you accommodate your entire family’s varied tastes and trying to remember if you ordered the correct pies, you might not even have time to think about table settings. Food is certainly the primary concern of any Thanksgiving host, and as a result, table preparation can often fall by the wayside.

Fear not, readers! Design*Sponge has you covered! We’ve asked some of our favorite artists, designers and shop owners for their takes on the Thanksgiving table setting. Each day for the next two weeks, we will be sharing one setting that features ideas and products for crafting a beautiful and appetizing Thanksgiving scene. Our first table setting comes from LA-based photographer Matt Armendariz. — Max

The full post continues after the jump . . .


This year has been particularly fun and joyful, and I wanted my Thanksgiving table to reflect this. A departure from past years’ monochromatic themes, I chose bold jewel tones of purples, greens and fuchsia accented with the gold and orange of flowers. Because I love mixing clean, straight lines with organically formed shapes, I mixed gold flatware from DVF with plates and soup bowls from ceramist Jan Burtz, along with many of her larger serving pieces, like platters and bowls, for serving food. The salt and pepper pinch bowls are from Elephant Ceramics.


For quick place cards, I used wrapping paper cut into squares and tied to gourds with blue string.


For stemware, I chose a mix of new and vintage gray glasses in a variety of heights and shapes because there are usually lots of different types of wine at Thanksgiving.


And my flowers, from my local shop here in Long Beach called Sweet Peas Flowers, bring so much life to the table, and it’s the one thing I never skimp on for Thanksgiving. Flowers can transform a table easier than anything else, and adding a few simple fall leaves and persimmons to the table can fill in the blanks while adding pops of color.

  1. I adore Matt and his Biteness! He is so adorable, accomplished, stylish and cuddly! He is quite a friendly blogging personality with an oversized appetite for mentschness. There should totally be more Matt everywhere on the web!! Thanks for covering his table.

  2. Uma says:

    Love the table, especially the contrast of the jewel tones with the rustic wood elements.

  3. Beautiful…I love the bold colors! I’m looking forward to the rest of the series, as this year will be my first time hosting Thanksgiving and I’m kind of stressing about it… :)

  4. Emma says:

    I love the use of rich, jewel tone colors! The various textures give the table a really welcoming feel and keep it visually interesting.

  5. Tana says:

    so pretty!!!!!

  6. Yelle says:

    Love tying the placecards to gourds. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because of the lack of gifts, it’s all about family and friends!

  7. I love this, purple is such an overlooked Fall color, I love the idea of pairing it with the orange leaves for Thanskgiving… and the persimmons!

  8. Lisa Schramek says:

    I always focus on dishes and food presentation for my Thanksgiving table because it is so full! I like that Matt considered that and added ideas for a layer of rich color in the table linens and kept serving dishes simple to let the rich fall foods shine. This highlights the food AND brings in more rich color.

  9. I love this table setting. The photos are beautiful and the colors are very comforting. Thanks for the post.

  10. Beautiful and elegant, just like we love it!

  11. Debbie says:

    Gorgeous design with new ideas instead of same old, same old! Love this idea of a new table setting every day…please do it for Christmas as well!

  12. lucrecia says:

    I lve the Jan Burtz plates and the bold color !

  13. A Day in May says:

    The colors are amazing – absolutely love this!

  14. Matt is absolutely someone that I look to for inspiration and guidance. I love that he makes everything so approachable, including his own personality in blogging and otherwise. This table setting is beautiful and very appropriate. Matt is clearly decorous in all that he does.
    I could not love this more. & those ceramics are absolutely perfect as well. Well done Matt & DS!

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