Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Round Mats, Rectangular Table

Forgive the terrible photo. I’m enamoured of my new round placemats. They are, unfortunately, only luncheon sized at 9″ in diameter, but I don’t think anyone will twig to that during a dinner. And you won’t mention it, will you?

I didn’t buy the matching coasters. Most of our glasses are stemware during a dinner party. I’ve never taken to the water-glass on the table custom, preferring goblets if we must serve water at all. Besides, as The Architect has pointed out, the sooner we scratch the new table, the more relaxed dinners will be. Sort of like having a new car. Or throwing a new suit or hat against the wall to knock the hanger out of it, as Fred Astaire is purported to have done. The easy and elegant life is the goal, remember.

The round placemats just seem right on a rectangular table. Like mixing dots and stripes on your ties and shirts. Up to now, I’ve only used linen rectangles, or round chargers (which are never made in a nicer material — some are metal, some plastic, I even have some plaster ones) in white, gold or silver, aside from a marvelous orange linen and white lace that compliments my Kutani Crane pattern plates. I like the masculine black against the aged walnut of the table. It feels solid and not as fussy as lace, for example.

Do you use placemats? I so what kind? And if not, do you prefer a tablecloth?

5 thoughts on “Round Mats, Rectangular Table

  1. I sometimes use bright,solid colour vinyl placemats in the garden and on the terrace. I have a collection of beautiful vintage linen damask tablecloths but ironing and maintenance is excessive.

    I’ve always admired the plain white, heavy hotel linens so I ordered a dozen (the minimum order from a commercial retailer). They are perfectly plain with a simple wide border band and are 50 cotton, 50 polyester, the same as is used at Ritz Carlton and other luxury hotels.

    They are very easy to clean and quick press, stains fall out, and have a prestige hotel look. I use them constantly and they get softer with use. I swear by them, and would never use anything else now. They certainly make my life easy and elegant when entertaining.

    Just as no dress shirt is as elegant as a white one, no table covering is as elegant as an immaculate white one. And they go with everything from casual dishes to fine china with crystal and silverware.


  2. I love placemats! Especially the Pimpernel ones. I babysat for a nice family with a very formal home and the children always only ate at the table with antique stenciled japanned chairs and Pimpernel mats of a hunting-dog scene. Good memories. I will do the same with my kids one day.

  3. The size of your round placemats is perfect, so that silver (flatware) fits perfectly on either side. You are right not to bother with drink mats, (naff in my opinion), and possibly inviting accidents with stemmed glasses, if they are not re-placed properly. Round is also good on a rectangular table; I use rectangular on a round table, (and I can align the silver more easily), which you would have no problem with. Your colour looks as though it’s dark blue; I use black with gold trim. Both are elegant and add formality if required

  4. I would love those scalloped capiz shell placemats….and your round one’s are so handsome. Years ago, I bought a set of 8 – I need to drag them out – they are pretty lovely – and do not require ironing.

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