Making a table look beautiful is an art, and there are lots of ways to do it. Two of the most common ways is to use a tablecloth or placemats. Which is better really depends on the look you want and even the kind of table you have. Either option can make a dining room look fantastic and stylish or dated and dowdy.
Personally, I like using both, but with our current table, a tablecloth isn't really an option... keep reading to find out why.
When we had our round oak table, I loved using tablecloths. They gave the table, and the whole room, a soft romantic look. A table can look beautiful with a tablecloth when it's done right. I'm not a fan of plain white tablecloths, because they look a little too "banquet hall" to me in a home. A tablecloth has to have some kind of detail to elevate it from utilitarian.
|Beautiful table with a tablecloth|
|Table setting with china from the 1940s.|
|Pretty placemats give formal table a casual look.|
|Mixing different pieces on a placemat.|
|Table topper with round placemats|
|Another more formal look with placemats.|
We've actually donated these wood placemats, because the color clashed with the table and they slid around too much. But I loved the look of the gold plates with the black and white napkins.
As you can see, you can get lots of different looks with tablecloths and with placemats. You can get a formal look both ways just by the dinnerware you use.
|Pretty in pink with square placemats|