A Debi Lilly Design for Safeway
Debi Lilly’s aptly named event planning firm, A Perfect Event, recently planned Oprah’s televised 50th birthday bash. With other high profile events in the works, and a local fan base to attend to, Lilly has a lot on her plate—or should we say, "plates." In addition to planning her own family Thanksgiving in Peoria, Lilly is organizing a handful of holiday meals for other Chicago families. Here, the busy hostess sets the perfect Thanksgiving table in five simple steps.
1. Customize your tabletop with ribbon.
HOW TO: Using taupe and orange ribbon, measure and cut ribbon strips to fit the width and length table plus 24 inches (12-inch overhang on each end). Lay varying colors of ribbon across the table, weaving pieces over and under to achieve a grid.
2. Arrange seasonal floral centerpieces.
HOW TO: Fit a green ti-leaf around the inside of a square glass vase, pressing in the corners to fill the shape. Remove leaves from seasonal-hued roses and cut to desired length. (Blooms should fill the vase with a nice, round shape.) Tuck and overlap three stems of curly willow into the top of the arrangement.
3. Use pantry staples to create candle displays.
HOW TO: Layer dried pinto beans, unshelled pistachios and raw almonds into a clear vase. Wrap a pumpkin spice candle with twine and fasten in a fall leaf. Push the candle into the vase until it is level with the top of the vase.
4. Turn mini pumpkins into votives.
HOW TO: Remove pumpkin stem and trace the outline of a tea light on pumpkin top. Using a paring knife, carve around the line and through the center so that the tea light fits neatly.
5. Make napkin rings using fresh herbs.
HOW TO: Twist a sprig of fresh rosemary into a one-inch ring. Fasten loose ends with wire and slip over rolled napkins.