Classics are classic for a reason, so we will never turn down a cornucopia centerpiece at Thanksgiving. However, we also try to avoid being too traditional, so we’re obviously drawn to this rosy Thanksgiving table by Camille Simmons. Camille is the stylist, photographer, DIY-er, and writer behind Planning Pretty AND recently launched a home décor, gift, and flower shop in Long Beach — which is also available online! As you may have guessed, this busy gal lives to host, so we’ve asked her how to pull off a modern Thanksgiving without a hitch.

What inspired your Thanksgiving table’s updated aesthetic?
Thanksgiving is a very welcoming holiday, but can sometimes be a bit hectic. Often times it isn’t possible to style an elaborate table because there are so many siblings cousins, aunts, uncles, and so on attending dinner. This table is inspired by the idea of a quaint Thanksgiving dinner with closet family. Of course it can be extended and repeated for large parties.

I think there are so many beautiful fall color palettes besides the typical browns and oranges. I was inspired by rosy and deep colors often in found in autumn weddings. A neutral tablecloth such as the taupe grey is the perfect canvas for layering mixes of gold, mercury glass and pinks. I think pink can be a very sophisticated color in muted or dusty tones. The simple and inexpensive touch of custom menu and place cards elevates the table design to be more formal yet still inviting. I love adding simple fall touches like white pumpkins and fern greens to create a natural setting. Best of all, this look doesn’t take hours to setup!

Other than a gorgeous table setting, what are your tips for hosting a successful Thanksgiving?
Definitely have an estimate on guest count and then expect a few more. There’s always an extra date, child, or friend that decides to tag along for the celebration. Which is totally fine, if you’ve prepared a little extra ahead of time. If you can send out a email invitation to request RSVPs then do so, it helps to get an accurate head count. Being strict on a no plus one policy is nothing to be ashamed of either. It is your home and you should only host as many people as you feel comfortable. After all you want to avoid as many headaches as possible!

Another crucial tip is to set or style the table as early as possible. If you don’t use your dining area every evening, then go ahead and pull out all the dishes, serve ware and decorations a few days in advanced. It will save you from trying to cook, get dressed, welcome guests, and setup all on Thanksgiving day. Perishable décor like flower arrangements can be designed or picked-up the day before.

Any favorite dishes?
It’s actually funny, I’m not a huge fan of turkey! I always go for the side dishes and desserts. I love the assortment of pies and cakes that family creates. We have a very multicultural Thanksgiving between my husband’s and my families. We get to sample a world of flavors. My favorite dessert is German Chocolate Cake, which I learned isn’t actually from Germany at all. It’s still delicious with its coconut and walnut frosting. My mother’s recipe is the best!

Mom’s recipes always are! Any last pieces of advice?
Thanksgiving, like the other holidays this season, can be quite stressful. I always say have a glass of wine in hand and just keep going no matter what burns or breaks. It’s all about being with family, celebrating life and being grateful for everything. I tell customers at my Long Beach shop that a wonderful party is only possible with a happy host.

We’ll toast to that!