Published on September 29, 2020

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Photography by Yoshihiro Makino; Styling by Elaina Sullivan

An endless cheese board guests graze throughout the evening and shoulder-to-shoulder seating probably won’t be part of the Thanksgiving equation this year. We predict that West Coasters will move their gatherings to the backyard and whip out their outdoor heaters, and East Coasters will limit their guest list and set up pod-style seating. One thing is for sure: You’ll want to gather throughout the season, holiday or not, and these helpful tools will get the (socially distanced) party started. 

Spaced-Out Seating 

Pod-style seating, divided by family, will ensure the distance you need. Renting furniture is not the most appealing option this year, but most of us don’t have multiple card tables or folding chairs in our garage. There’s no time like the present to start your collection, and these wood options are attractive, affordable, and easy to store.

Subtle Sanitizers

Even the chicest hand sanitizers would look misplaced on a well-set table. Decant your go-to into an amber glass bottle or two, and if you’re feeling extra Martha Stewart, order a label maker for that special touch. For those in colder climates who are dining indoors, an air purifier is a must. 

Elevated Heaters

For those lucky enough to live in a place where outdoor entertaining is still an option in late November, these are for you. We’ve been admiring the Galanter & Jones heated seats for some time. And a standing heater with an on-trend concrete base sets it apart from the masses. 

Coordinated Textiles

When presented with the opportunity to match your tablecloth to your face mask, take it. Textile designer Heather Taylor donates 10 masks for each pack of 10 purchased. Plus your guests can keep theirs as a party favor. 

Mini Cheese Boards

You won’t want to share one large platter this time around, but spreading it out into one personalized curation per family will keep things uncontaminated. Besides, the only thing better than a cheese board is multiple cheese boards. Hot tip: Copper is an antibacterial metal, so try weaving it into your tablescape where you can. 

Solo Drinks

This is not the year to accidentally take a sip from Grandpa Joe’s glass, and these stylish drink tassels actually add to the tablescape. The less shared surfaces, the better, so reduce the risk even further by pouring wine into individualized carafes.

Our Fall Style issue has arrived! Subscribe now to get an exclusive first look at Ayesha Curry’s Bay Area home—and discover how design can shape our world.

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