Stylist Allegra Hsiao Keeps the Thanksgiving Table Looking Its Best

San Francisco-based food and prop stylist Allegra Hsiao is often recruited by family and friends to decorate the Thanksgiving table. She typically finds the biggest challenges to overcome are constraints on time and resources. "One is usually presented with tacky leftover Thanksgiving decor that has been stored in a closet since the '80s."  
After many years styling tabletops for trendsetting clients like Crate & Barrel and Williams Sonoma, Allie has come up with a few sure-fire ways to keep Thanksgiving dinner looking its best. Here are Allie's tips to liven up your holiday table:

1. Grab your clippers, go outside and forage! Take advantage of the changing leaves and snip off a fresh branch from that gorgeous red Japanese maple in the front yard. Most everyone has at least one tall vase to display it in, and if you don't, a freshly cut branch will last at least a day out of water. Just lay the branch on the table and display your food in an organic pattern through its meandering shape. 

2. Work in 3D and build up your buffet. Use risers of varying heights (small wooden stumps or cake stands) to present your dishes. Not only does added dimension make more room on the table for all of your dishes, it makes the table much more visually compelling.

3. Use food as decor! Thanksgiving dishes tend to be brownturkey, potatoes, stuffing and bread. Light your table up with some color. It can be as simple as adding an herbal garnish or assembling some bright, creative dishes. Use ingredients like pomegranate, persimmon, beets, radishes, tatsoi greens or red chard.

For more Thanksgiving inspiration, visit Allie's image portfolio at

#thanksgiving #tabletop #foodstylist