Pull Up a Chair—My Warm & Natural 2023 Thanksgiving Table is Here

Is it just me, or does life feel busier than ever right now? The days are so full, and while they’re packed with people and projects that I’m incredibly grateful for, I frequently long to slow it all down and soak up more unhurried days at home (anyone else bingeing #quietlife content?) Which is why I’m feeling extra excited for Thanksgiving this year. It means an entire week to bake cozy recipes, watch holiday movies, and read in front of the fire. And as you guys know from all the Thanksgivings I’ve shared here in the past, one of my favorite parts of the entire holiday is taking time to set an extra special Thanksgiving table for our families.

My usual approach to family dinners is laid-back and casual. Let’s be clear—I’m not usually designing elaborate tablescapes—my focus is really on making the food delicious and spending quality time our families. But—Thanksgiving is different! This is a day when I embrace the chance to go all out and make the table feel really special. I have so much fun planning it, and then when our family shows up and sees this really special table, it’s like a mental cue that says—today is a festive day.

In today’s post, I’m sharing my “practice round” for our real family Thanksgiving this year. I’m going with warm, natural wabi sabi vibes, and I’m using all dishes from Casa Zuma and incorporating some fall produce from the grocery store and olive branches from my backyard. And of course I’ll include links where you can find everything below. So let’s go set the Thanksgiving table!

Get inspired

I approach setting the table as a creative project and the table is my blank canvas. I always start by creating an inspiration board on Pinterest so I can hone in on my color palette and what materials I want to use. Then I shop my own house for vases, candles, and linens that I already own that fit the vibe of what I want to create.

The fun part is figuring out how to style everything in a way that feels fresh and different from last year. I don’t usually get super theme-y – I’m not a big fan of having things I only get out once a year. If I’m going to buy something new, I’m looking for things with a timeless quality that I can mix and match with everything I already own.

Keep it stress-free

My top priority with any Thanksgiving tablescape is that it’s not going to stress me out. That’s why my number one tip is to set the table completely the night before—on Thanksgiving, there’s already so much to do just to get all the food on the table, I want my table to be already set and ready to go. 

Color palette

I love a neutral color palette any time of year, so at Thanksgiving I lean hard into all the organic earth tones. I love all of those muted autumn colors, but I also want my Thanksgiving table to feel special, so I rely on lots of texture to warm things up. From the table linens to the woven serving pieces, I incorporate so much texture so my table feels warm and layered.

Laid-back linens

I am not one for perfectly starched linen tablecloths. My vibe is almost always a casual linen table runner or linen table throw that lets the beauty of our teak wood table show through. Today I’m using our white table throw from Casa Zuma and it feels really fresh, like the perfect palette to everything we’re going to layer on top of it.

Also hot tip: I almost never iron my tablecloths anymore. I love my wrinkle release spray, and give the entire linen tablecloth or runner a spritz before I shake it out or throw it in the dryer. The result is that perfectly rumpled (but not too wrinkled) look that I love.

Celebrate fall’s bounty

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to let food double as decor. Often I’ll set out a cheeseboard on the center of the table so its like a centerpiece and appetizers in one. This year, I kept it really simple and got inspired by the idea of a modern cornucopia, but instead I used my mango wood serving platter, and just filled it up with the prettiest fall fruits and veggies.

Bring the outdoors in

Instead of buying flowers, I headed into the backyard and pruned a few branches from our olive tree, then laid them simply down the middle of the table. The effect is so pretty—almost like a natural runner.

Warm & rustic dinnerware

If you know me, you know that I am a DISHES GIRL – beautiful stoneware and pottery dinnerware is one of my passions in life, and that love was one of the main things that inspired me to start Casa Zuma. All the pieces in our collection are in a neutral color palette, so that I can mix and match all of the pieces and continually come up with a fresh look. 

Today I’m using plates from our Playa dinnerware collection, recycled glass goblets, and our teak wood flatware sets. I gravitate towards pieces that are handmade and rustic and not too perfect. These are the things that really give a table its character and make it feel warm and welcoming. 

Spark conversation

I love to tuck simple conversation starters under each plate, to spark lively discussion throughout the meal. Creating connection and meaningful conversation is what it’s all about.

Pour a glass 

I love using a mix of our recycled stemless wine glasses, tumblers, and goblets for a table that’s not too perfect. And I love recycled glassware for a few reasons:

  • It’s a sustainable option (it removes millions of pounds of glass waste from landfills)
  • It’s also beautiful and it’s more durable because it has this thicker wall – I always put these in the dishwasher.
  • And aesthetically, I just love the more rustic and casual look that recycled wine glasses and goblets bring to the Thanksgiving table.

Add sparkle with candlelight

I always say that flickering candlelight is the easiest way to make an impact on the table. You could literally let a grouping of simple pillar candles be your entire centerpiece, and it would still feel special.

I have a mix of ceramic and wood candlesticks that I’ve been collecting for years, and I like to mix and match them together on the table. Some of them are special marble and stoneware pieces I’ve collected through the years, while others are from Target—the high-low mix totally works.


And that’s my 2023 Thanksgiving table! I hope that you feel inspired to use what you have, infuse it with a little creativity, and take your cue from nature and the beauty of the fall season. With your own unique style as your guide, you can create a Thanksgiving table that’s all your own and that brings more joy to your holiday this year.

And don’t forget to hop over to the Youtube episode to watch me set the table start-to-finish—I’ve been loving creating these videos and hope that you’ll subscribe to our channel!

Drench Your Home in These Warm, Designer-Approved Shades to Lean Into Cozy Season

When the temperatures turn crisp, we love to get comfy with a luxe throw or cloud-like sweater. And since home is where we create our fall cocoon, it’s lovely to wrap our walls up in something cozy as well. Whether you’re rethinking a room or refreshing some cabinets, we tapped a group of designers for their expert insights into the top fall 2023 paint color trends.

Our design-minded guiding lights this fall include Becca Stern, co-founder and creative director of Mustard Made; Kristin Marino of KozyKasa; Sarah Tract of Sarah Tract Interiors; and Demaudecia Taylor, color consultant at Farrow & Ball.

Image by Kate Zimmerman Turpin

The following shades a trends may vary, but a sense of warmth connects them all.

#1. Creamy White > Crisp White

As we bid the sterile white wall trend a long overdue adieu, we’re welcoming in a new kind of neutral. “Going for a creamier, warmer white instead of the crisp, bright white we’ve been seeing in recent years is a great way to warm up your space while still keeping a neutral palette,” shares Kristin Marino of KozyKasa.

A few of Marino’s favorite warm whites…

Farrow & Ball’s Demaudecia Taylor seconds the trend with her own pick, Au Lait No. CB9, which will pair beautifully with all the fall colors in this story.

#2. Earthy Greens

“My favorite color for autumn 2023 would have to be Sage,” shares Mustard Made founder Becca Stern, who drenched her sons’ room in the calming, earthy shade of green—a perfect match with the Australian brand’s Sage-hued line.

“It pairs beautifully with deeper, traditional autumnal colors, like rust and olive,” Stern adds. “It’s also really versatile and can be used in just about any room, from a kid’s bedroom to a kitchen or workspace. If you want to go all-in sage is a great option for color drenching your space. Or, for a more subtle approach, it can be used as a highlight to a room, through painted trim or a statement furniture piece.”

Image by Suruchi Avasthi

#3. Jewel Tones

“Rich hues and jewel-toned colors are perfect for welcoming autumn,” shares Taylor, a color consultant for Farrow & Ball. “Here are a couple of colors that are quickly rising in popularity.”

#4. Warm and Timeless

Though we love the idea of eternally tweaking and redecorating, painting is still a pricey—and usually inconvenient—commitment. You can paint with confidence thanks to Demaudecia Taylor’s and Sarah Tract’s picks, which are as timeless as they are warm.

#5. Dusty Hues and Browns

Dusty lilacs and plums are a gorgeous part of 2023’s purple paint resurgence. A few of Marino’s favorites include…

“Just like in fashion, brown hues are also trending in interiors,” Marino adds. “Be careful with this one so you don’t date your space. Rather [than beiges], opt for rich brown tones to give a desert feel.”

A few of my favorites include:

A Zuppa Toscana Soup to Warm Up Chilly Nights

Every Sunday night through the fall, I make a big pot of soup. You guys know that I love my Soup Sunday ritual and it’s been so fun seeing all of yours this year! This Zuppa Toscana soup is what’s on deck this weekend, and it is cozy in a bowl. And one thing that I love about it is that it’s hearty enough to feel like a full one-bowl dinner thanks to the sausage, potatoes, kale, and cauliflower (this is a real meal you guys!) It’s definitely become one of our family’s favorite soups that’s on heavy rotation at our house, and I have a feeling it’ll become a new fave for many of you, too.

What is Zuppa Toscana soup?

Let’s start by talking about Zuppa Toscana soup (pronounced zoo-pah to-scah-nah). There are a few different versions, and let’s be honest most Americans only know about the one from Olive Garden. The actual meaning of “zuppa toscana” in Italian is “Tuscan Soup,” and here’s where it gets a little confusing. The classic Tuscan soup is typically full of chopped veggies—carrots, onion, kale, potatoes—plus white beans, tomatoes, sometimes some pancetta, and roasted bread. It is absolutely delicious—on my first trip to Tuscany when I was in college, I ate a bowl of Tuscan soup every day and fell in love. But is this that classic Tuscan soup? Not even close.

Enter, the “classic” American version of Zuppa Toscana soup which is also incredibly delicious, it’s just different. It’s rich and creamy, and typically can be a bit heavy, so I wanted to try making a lighter version that would still feel really nourishing. I kept the sausage and potatoes but used less cream and lots more veggies. If you’re looking for an exact copycat version of the beloved Olive Garden soup, this is not it—however, it’s every bit as delicious and packed with protein. And it makes the perfect leftovers to enjoy all week.

How to make Zuppa Toscana soup

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • mild or hot Italian sausage (your preference!)
  • red pepper flakes
  • onion
  • carrots
  • garlic
  • chicken broth
  • potatoes
  • cauliflower
  • lacinato kale
  • milk and half-and-half
  • thyme
  • parmesan

The method is super simple. You’re going to start by cooking the Italian sausage on its own. The best way to cook Italian sausage is to brown it in a sauté pan until it’s crumbly and flavorful, and it’s well worth doing this as a separate first step. Then you’re going to drain and set aside the sausage while you sauté the other ingredients.

Warm up some olive oil in your pot, then stir in the chopped onions, carrots, minced garlic, and Italian seasoning. Cook it all for about 5 minutes. Then you just add the broth, cubed potatoes, kale, and cauliflower and simmer until it’s all tender, about 20 minutes. The final step is adding in the milk, half-and-half, and cooked sausage. Once the sausage is warmed through, you can serve it in bowls and top with thyme, parmesan, and olive oil.

How to store leftover soup

One of the best things about soup is that usually, there are enough leftovers to eat for lunch all week. Sometimes I’ll even double this recipe so I can store half in the freezer so I’ve got a full family dinner ready to go on busy weeknights. This soup can be refrigerated for up to 5 days, but if you’d like to store it for longer, here’s how to freeze Zuppa Toscana soup (or any other soup for that matter):

  1. Let your soup cool completely.
  2. Then, pour soup into freezer-safe containers or gallon-sized freezer bags.
  3. Label the container with the name of the soup, as well as the date when you made it. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months!
  4. To thaw, I take it out of the freezer about 24 hours before to thaw in the refrigerator, then I warm it in a soup pot when ready to eat.

Scroll on for the recipe for this Zuppa Toscana soup, and be sure to follow along on Instagram for all our Soup Sunday recipes throughout fall.

Other Soup Sunday recipes you’ll love:

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

Cozy Tortellini Soup


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This is a lightened-up version of the classic Zuppa Toscana soup, thanks to a little less cream and lots more veggies. It’s nourishing and delicious and packed with protein—and it makes the perfect leftovers to enjoy all week.

  • 8 ounces mild Italian sausage (1/2 pound)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 68 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1″ cubes (about 3 cups) – or sub in sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into 1” pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 bunch lacinato kale, destemmed & coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup half and half (you can swap in coconut milk for all dairy)
  • garnish with fresh thyme, lots of grated parmesan, and olive oil

  1. Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until the sausage is crumbly and browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Warm a tablespoon of olive oil in dutch oven, then stir in the chopped onions, carrots, minced garlic, and italian seasoning; cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the cubed potatoes, kale, and cauliflower and simmer until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium; gradually stir in the milk, half-and-half, and cooked sausage. Cook and stir until the sausage is warmed through. Serve immediately topped with thyme, parmesan, and olive oil.


  • Store in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • This soup is gluten-free, and can be made dairy-free by swapping the milk and half-and-half for a nondairy substitute like coconut milk.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40

Keywords: zuppa toscana soup