Between sending invites to your loved ones and popping the Champagne, hosting an elegant gathering is exciting. Whether celebrating a birthday or inviting family over for a holiday dinner, just about every party revolves around the dining table—so you may as well set it with care!
Any host, from an experienced pro to a novice, should be able to create a stylish table setting. Learn how to style a table for any gathering, discover the many benefits of setting the table, and grow your collection with our high-quality linen home goods today.
The Importance of Setting the Table
Setting the table is about more than presentation—it can set the tone for the event and show guests they’re welcome. Pairing linen placemats and napkins of different colors together can curate the aesthetic of your table and elevate any occasion. Show off your delicious menu and design an unforgettable table with linens.
Using linen napkins doesn’t have to be reserved for formal dinner parties. Start an intentional tradition with your family by setting the table with linen placemats and napkins for everyday dinners and elevate your weekly family meals. Involve family members of all ages and create a cherished tradition they’ll continue as they grow older.
Why Is Linen the Best Material for Table Settings?
Linen is the chosen fabric for napkins, placemats, and tablecloths because it’s sustainable, durable, and oh-so-stylish. The process of making linen makes the textile one of the most eco-friendly fabrics for home décor, and with that comes countless benefits.
Linen tablecloths are naturally absorbent, moisture-wicking, and get softer with every wash, making them the perfect material for years of hosting. Linen napkins and placemats can also be used to set a table for any style, whether serving your average Tuesday night dinner for your children or hosting an elaborate celebration.
3 Essential Types of Table Linens
Table linens can be narrowed down to three essential categories. As a host, owning a few of each is a game changer:
1. Linen Tablecloths
Linen tablecloths are designed to cover the entire dining table and act as the base layer for every other item in a table setting. Any gathering is instantly transformed when you set down a charming and elegant linen tablecloth.
While the plain rectangular linen tablecloth never goes out of style, you can choose between different designs to make the look your own:
- Embroidered edge linen tablecloth—for a minimalist detail
- Bordered edge linen tablecloth—for a vibrant color combination
- Plain round linen tablecloth—for any elegant, circular table
When Should You Use a Linen Tablecloth?
Many people think linen tablecloths should be reserved for special occasions, but that’s not the case! Our contemporary styles can be dressed up or down, depending on your tastes. Don’t let anything stop you from enhancing the look of your breakfast table with linen tablecloths and setting your table for any casual or formal events.
Insider tip: If you want to skip using a linen tablecloth but still crave that sophisticated touch, style a timeless linen table runner. Use it in your tablescapes or keep it on during the day for a charming look.
2. Linen Placemats
Linen placemats can be set on their own or on top of a tablecloth. Placemats are more than just a decorative choice—they help protect your table from scratches, heat, marks, and spills during mealtime. Cleaning up after dinner is easy with linen placemats—just remove them from the table and throw them into the wash to be used again.
Our contemporary linen placemat designs inspire you to set your table with care for any occasion. Change the look of your table with the seasons (or whenever the mood strikes!) by keeping different colorful sets on hand, from plain peach linen placemats to an indigo blue set. When it’s time to do a load of laundry, or you’re looking for a home décor refresh, switch out the hues for a whole new style.
3. Linen Napkins
Linen napkins are perfect for everyday use and special occasions alike. Whether you’re learning elaborate napkin folds for a formal dinner party or mixing-and-matching designs for a weekday lunch, linen napkins are the perfect touch for any table setting. When your linen napkins get dirty, toss them in with your laundry and refresh your table with a new set!
Linen napkins are the most accessible and simple way to style your table for any gathering. Go with a complete set or match the color to the details of your linen tablecloth for a cohesive look. Feel bold by mixing and matching vibrant colors to create a unique and modern style, or go for a timeless and chic look with an all-white linen napkin set.
5 Steps for Setting a Table with Linens
Any host can set a stylish table when they follow these five easy steps:
Step 1: Consider the reason for your occasion and any potential color palette when choosing your table linens.
Step 2: Start with setting out either a linen tablecloth or a runner. Choose a base color to design the rest of your tablescape around, from the serving dishes to the coordinating linen napkins.
Step 3: Set linen placemats in front of each place setting and place the dinnerware on top.
Step 4: Once your dinnerware is set at each placemat, choose a fold for your linen napkins. Typically, they will be set to the left of each dinner plate, but with certain formal napkin folds, they may be placed above or draped on top.
Step 5: Set utensils, glassware, and serving dishes, and voila—your table is set!
How to Clean and Dry Table Linens
Caring for linen placemats, napkins, and tablecloths is simple as long as you understand the proper cleaning methods. Before washing, brush off any crumbs or leftover food and pretreat any stains with a bit of dish soap. To extend the longevity of your favorite linens, use gentle detergents, wash in lukewarm or cold water, and dry on low or air dry.
Setting a table with soft linen napkins and a striking linen tablecloth enhances the look of any gathering, whether planning a formal dinner for friends or setting the table for your family every day. Bring a touch of sophistication to your table and create a collection of linen placemats, napkins, and tablecloths that never go out of style.