The Easiest Way to Dress Up Your Table This Season
The case for placemats.
Published Oct 16, 2018 5:18 AM
The state of a dining room table can say a lot about a person. If it’s bare, it renders the owner either a minimalist or an eternal klutz who lives in fear of spilling things. A table cloaked in a tablecloth signals a proprietor who truly has their life together and caters to a frequent array of lavish dinner parties (probably). Placemats, on the other hand, emulate an aesthetic that falls somewhere in between—a way to ease into getting creative with layered textures and mishmashed colors. A gateway table linen, if you will.
And if there were ever a time to experiment with table linens, fall would be it. Cozying up the home front seems to be a top priority for almost everyone right now. We break out the throw blankets, light enough scented candles, and pile on the turtlenecks. Your table is just as deserving of a little TLC, and placemats are a low-lift way to go about adding a bit of warmth and texture.
Which is why we’ve scoured the market for the coolest placemats—and whether you identify as a traditionalist or want something a little out of the box, we found the perfect one for you.
Each piece from Hawkins New York puts quality at the forefront of design, relying on the crisp materials and stonewashed colors to make a statement. To stay truly minimalist, you can’t go wrong with the Flax or Light Gray options, which will complement just about every table setting down the road. Alternatively, opt for a bolder shade—we’re partial to the vibrant Rust or rich Pine—to instill a bright contrast to the table.
No one has ever looked at the graph paper and thought, “I bet this would look great as a wallpaper,” but that’s why designer Sandy Chilewich is such a genius. The gridded design looks elegant thanks to the slightly washed out effect, which is achieved by using eco-friendly TerraStrand vinyl yarn.
If you’re willing to splurge in the name of high design, this set of placemats is the way to go. Woven wicker pairs well with bold citron and green for something instantly reminiscent of a tropical holiday. You can almost taste the spicy margs and guac that would be served at the seaside restaurant where one might find these unique pieces.
The two-tone trend is one of our favorites; particularly as it relates to bathroom interiors—try your hand at it by picking up this charcoal gray and white placemat. The duality is all the more striking given the intense color contrast, which results in a visually exciting finish.
There’s a hidden charitable component to this stunning textile: Hand-woven by female Mayan artisans from cotton, every sale directly supports the Mayan Hands nonprofit in Guatemala. Philanthropic backstory aside, the placemats, themselves, are also just really beautiful.
Maximalists will love pairing these with equally vibrant dinnerware in every shade of the rainbow, layering in napkins in mustard yellow or cobalt blue for depth. Minimalists might want to stick to simple white stoneware plates, but with a backdrop as vivacious as this, rest assured that there’s no way your tablescape could look boring.
A sunny yellow can invite an uplifting element to just about any situation. Here, it’s juxtaposed with a cool black and white backdrop, it feels fresh and non-cliché. Pair with yellow dinnerware for a cohesive look—H&M Home has a set of mod gold-toned plates (Stackable Stoneware Plate, $9.99), and for a more high-end version, we love East Fork Pottery’s lemon-yellow plates (Dinner Plate in “Malt”, $42).
As previously stated, you really can’t go wrong with linens. This delicately woven piece will complement the pared-back tablescape thanks to its natural material and minimal detailing. Modern farmhouse never looked this good.
We love an ombré, and when it’s set against a vegetable fiber woven backdrop, it looks even more sophisticated. Purple is a bit unexpected for a tablescape, so have fun integrating the statement hue in a small dose. If you’re not sold on the color, Zara also offers this style in an ombré aquamarine—just as pretty, and a little easier to design with.
Experiment with new shapes and opt for a round placemat. Serena and Lily is a go-to for rustic beachy decor, thanks to the prevalence of cool woven items in their catalog, and this set of raffia placemats is a shining example of that. An unexpected bit of texture is all the dressing your dining table really needs.
You already know that Parachute is one of the best spots to buy quality, stylish bedding, but don’t sleep on their tabletop textiles. These understated placemats offer an easy way to bring home one of the perennially trendy colors for the season—a deep shade of red wine. Made with European flax, it’ll sate your rustic minimalism.
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