A tablecloth can beautify an unsightly table, hide a worn wooden top and instantly change the feel of a dining space, indoors or out.
“It’s the foundation of hosting and hospitality,” says Olivia Capuano, the founder of New York-based interior design firm Olivia Jane Design. “You are literally laying down a layer for guests to sit comfortably at the table.”
With so many designs available — such as plain linen and graphic-patterned fabric — tablecloths provide a way to instantly customize the look of your table, said Ms. Capuano, whether you want to evoke the feel of a rustic French farmhouse or set the stage. for a casual pool party.
Another benefit? A great tablecloth will make almost any table look luxurious, even if it’s a cheap folding version or something you found on the sidewalk.
Regardless of what’s underneath, Ms. Capuano said, “A tablecloth is the perfect canvas for the art that is the meal.”
How big should a tablecloth be? Ideally, it should completely set the table and finish just above the guests’ laps, Ms Capuano said.
Does it have to have a pattern or just plain? “It depends on the crockery and the meal you serve,” she said. “If it’s a sophisticated meal or the plates are subtle, it’s fun to play with pattern. If it’s a family-style casual meal, I like a simple one, where the food is the star of the show.”
Can you layer tablecloths? “Layering is always fun,” says Ms. Capuano, who sometimes adds a runner or smaller patterned tablecloth as a decorative accent over a larger, plain tablecloth.
Linen Tablecloth Indigo Natural Provence
Striped linen tablecloth made in Lithuania
From about $90 at LinenMe: 312-233-2929 or linnenme.com
Metronome Peach Tablecloth
Cool patterned organic cotton tablecloth
From $135 at Block Shop Textiles: blockshoptextiles.com
Black Mosaic Mud Cloth Tablecloth
Tablecloth with pattern handmade in Burkina Faso
From $425 at St. Frank: 800-948-4105 or stfrank.com
Déjeuner d’Été Tablecloth
Antique linen and cotton tablecloth hand-embroidered in France
From about $985 at Oeuvres Sensibles: oeuvres-sensibles.com
French flax linen tablecloth
Plain linen tablecloth in different colors
From $100 at Bed Threads: 011-61-1300-371-571 or bedthreads.com
For weekly email updates on residential real estate news, sign up here. Follow us on twitter: DailyExpertNews†