Nate Berkus reveals 4 final Thanksgiving preparations he's making today that you're probably missing

The design expert is also a super-organized and well-versed host

A headshot of a white man with brown hair smiling at the camera
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Besides his expert eye for design, Nate Berkus knows a thing or two about hosting the perfect get-together. The self-professed Thanksgiving fan (and proud family man) loves this particular holiday more than any other event on the calendar, which means he will, of course, be putting on a show for the occasion.

A time to give our thanks and share a treasured moment with family and friends, Thanksgiving is an important part of our winter celebrations, which also necessitates a lot of planning. There are so many factors to consider before you welcome your guests on the big day - from decking your modern dining room with seasonal decor to cooking up the delicious celebratory feast - so preparation is a must. 

With the big day just one more sleep away, you might think you already have everything under control but, as Nate is quick to note, even the best hosts forget at least one detail. However, as a master of organization (a result of being a triple Virgo), Nate is more logistical than most when it comes to planning so we've gone to him for guidance. Here he reveals four final Thanksgiving preparations he'll be making today that you're probably missing. 

1. Set the table the night before 

Thanksgiving decor using texture

(Image credit: Sarah K)

While Thanksgiving is about more than just food, the day certainly centers around the family feast. This is one of the reasons why Nate values this holiday so much. 'It’s just my all-time favorite menu, and I love gathering around the table with family and friends,'  the Nate Home designer says. As such, your dining room plays a very important role, and Thanksgiving table decor is a must. 

Don't leave laying the table until the last minute, however. Nate admits he's no cook ('that’s definitely Jeremiah’s domain,' he says) but he does take it upon himself to beautify the table for the occasion. 'My job is setting the table, which I always do the night before so it’s all ready to go the day of,' he explains. On a day when you'll inevitably be caught up in the kitchen or hurrying to find extra seating for all your guests, this tiny detail can make all the difference, helping to relieve an unnecessary burden on the day itself. 

2. Add some greenery

A themed garland by Leah Harper

(Image credit: Madeleine Harper. Design: Leah Ashlay)

A display of fresh foliage is a crucial element of any fall table decor, not least of which the Thanksgiving spread. 'Fresh greenery throughout the house and candles for the table are elements I always ensure we have for Thanksgiving,' Nate explains. 'Just because it’s the holidays, it doesn’t mean you need to only decorate with traditional holiday colors. I like to bring in a lot of greenery, extra candles, and some metallic décor around the holidays.'

Decorating with greenery falls under one of the last-minute preparations you can put in place today. You don't need to visit a florist to source some seasonal foliage, simply forage in your backyard or local park for some sprigs of berries and fall leaves, or even bare structural twigs for a striking display. The later you do this the fresher they'll be, meaning the eve of Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity. 

3. Make the bed in your guestroom

a bedroom designed for guests

(Image credit: Studio Sidika)

If you're offering guests a place to stay, don't forget to make your guest bedroom as welcoming as it can be ahead of time. Besides adding fresh towels and having a general tidy-up, this means refreshing the bed for a hotel-level of luxury. 

'I like to start with crisp, white sheets,' Nate says. 'Nothing feels more luxe.' We love his Nate Home cotton sheets, available from Amazon, for the best quality and comfort. 'I then love stacking four standard pillows and two or three decorative throw pillows so the bed looks really full and cozy,' Nate adds. 'Add a chunky knit throw to the foot of the bed to finish off the look and make it feel extra luxe.' for this we love the Nate Berkus Signature Collection Chunky Knit Throw, available at Bloomingdales.

4. Organize your pantry and cabinets

A pantry with cafe curtains

(Image credit: Bradley Van Der Straeten)

Pantry organization is an essential part of any food-focused celebration, and it's not too late to give yours a quick sort-out. Forgetting to spare a thought to your food storage is a common Thanksgiving mistake experts urge you to avoid if you want the big day to run as smoothly as possible. 

This doesn't necessarily mean reconfiguring your entire pantry, but you will need to make a quick audit today to double-check check you have everything you need (so you won't run out of cranberry sauce!). It might also mean rearranging your pantry so you have your ingredients within easy reach.

Nate encourages you to do an edit of your kitchen cupboards and pantry right now to get ahead for tomorrow. 'When you’re expecting guests and cooking and hosting, you don’t want to be scrambling to find what you need,' he says. 'Two of my go-to kitchen items are turntable organizers and wine and water bottle organizers.' If you don't have either of these, take out your important ingredients and lay them on the kitchen countertop so they're all ready for the morning.

If there's one man we trust when it comes to expert hosting, it's Nate. Follow his last-minute planning tips and your Thanksgiving celebrations are sure to run smoothly on Thursday, allowing you and your guests to make the most of your quality moments together. 

Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.