featured image for article on thanksgiving colors and what they mean -- a table set with white and blue dishes and multi-colored pumpkins as a centerpiece

Thanksgiving Colors and What They Mean — Plus, 7 Great Color Combinations

Let’s talk about Thanksgiving colors and what they mean. After all, there must be some reason why we associate certain colors with this holiday, right? 

Like Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving is also “represented” by a palette of colors. In this case, we’re looking at earthy, fall-esque hues. 

Today, we’re going to cover a list of Thanksgiving inspired colors, their meanings, a brief history, and some great color combinations that you can use to decorate your home this year.

Let’s dive right into those colors!

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Thanksgiving Colors and What They Mean

I don’t know about you, but fall is one of my favorite seasons! There’s so much to love about it: the changing leaves, cool evenings with bonfires, pumpkin spice lattes (okay, I’m not personally a big fan of pumpkin flavored drinks, but I know many of you are)….

If you love fall too — and the gorgeous colors that represent this season — then I bet you really enjoy decorating for Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving’s colors include red, orange, yellow/gold, brown, and white.

Here’s a breakdown of each of their meanings. 


Red represents the fallen leaves. (You’ll notice that most of the colors listed below are also the colors of Autumn leaves.) It’s also the color of the cranberries so often found in the Thanksgiving feast.

Red is a powerful color that can be either bold and dramatic, full of passion and drama, or cozy, warm, and earthy, depending on the shade.

It’s an important color at the Thanksgiving dinner table because it awakens the appetite.


Orange symbolizes the fall harvest. It’s also the color of fallen leaves and pumpkins — along with the pumpkin pie that’s devoured after the Thanksgiving feast.

Orange is a warm color that is often seen as bright, fun, and energetic. Like red, it can increase the heart rate and appetite, although not as much as red.

Yellow (Gold)

Golden yellow represents corn. Corn is a highly regarded Thanksgiving symbol because the Pilgrims were taught harvesting techniques by Native Americans, and the very first Thanksgiving celebrated the Pilgrims’ first successful corn harvest. 

It’s also the color of the squash that so many enjoy eating in the fall.

Yellow is another warm color, and it’s often associated with sunshine, energy, and happiness. Bright yellow can evoke optimistic feelings (when used sparingly).


The color brown represents wheat and the fruitfulness of the earth. It also symbolizes the connection to the soil, bonding the harvester with the harvest.

Brown is also the color of fallen leaves once they have lost their color, signifying the beginning of the death-and-rebirth cycle that begins in the fall.

Brown is a versatile, neutral hue. It can really warm up a space when done correctly. Lighter browns, such as caramel, can evoke feelings of happiness.


White is a reminder of the winter ahead. You’ll see white gourds and pumpkins amongst the Thanksgiving decor, contrasting the darker, earthier hues of the season.

White is the color of purity and cleanliness. It’s often associated with a “blank slate” and, when done well, it can provide a neutral background in any room.

You can learn more about color psychology in Interior Design here.

The History of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a holiday that’s celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November every year. It was declared a national holiday 1863 by Abraham Lincoln.

Americans today celebrate gratitude on this national holiday, although there is much more to the story — and, since this is a home decor blog,  I’ll let you read about the Thanksgiving story here if you’re interested in learning more.

Thanksgiving Color Combinations to Try This Year

Consider these beautiful color combinations when decorating your home for Thanksgiving this year.

Orange and White

orange and white table setting

These orange plates with white polka dots are so adorable! They’re simple, modern, and you can really add any other colors you like in the centerpiece.

Brown, Blue, and White

blue and white vases with thanksgiving decor on a white mantel

A simple arrangement of dried wheat sheaves and flowers looks stunning in blue and white vases on this white mantel. Throw in some brown and tan wicker balls and you’ll have a perfectly minimalistic Thanksgiving look.

Orange, White, Green, and Aqua

thanksgiving table set with blue and white dishes and pumpkin centerpieces in white, blue, and orange

Set the Thanksgiving table with some pretty white and blue dishes, then build a beautiful centerpiece with multi-colored pumpkins in blue, white, and orange. So easy, but gorgeous!

Orange and Tan

silverware on a burlap napkin with an orange fall sprig

I’m loving this burlap napkin and the string of twine tied around the utensils! Just tuck in a Thanksgiving-inspired stem or an orange berry twig, and you’re set.

Orange and Gold

gold sofa with orange and gold pillows

This living room is perfectly put together with its gold sofa and gold-and-orange accent pillows. And the candle inside the red bowl really is the icing on the cake.

Yellow and Tan

living room in a neutral color scheme with yellow and tan accents

A neutral living room is the ultimate backdrop when it comes to changing up your decor each season. For fall, we’re keeping it simple with yellow lemons and some faux autumn leaves — so pretty!

Red, Orange, Yellow, and Green

fireplace mantel decorated with a fall wreath, candles, and pumpkins in red, orange, yellow, and gree

On this mantel, we’re keeping in line with the traditional red, orange, yellow and green fall wreath decor. But then there are the black and white accents for a little contrast (which makes it much more interesting to look at!).

Now that we know all about the Thanksgiving colors and their meanings… Which are your favorites? And which color combination will you choose to decorate your home this year? 

Read More:

Top 10 Bedroom Colors (& the Moods They Evoke)

9 Rules for Decorating With Plants (& the Best Varieties for Beginners)

The 9 Best Succulent Boxes to Refresh Your Home Decor

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