Should You Use Placemats With A Tablecloth?

A table setting is one special way of welcoming guests. It even brings a fresh ambiance to the dining area. Yet one typical table setting design is quite confusing, whether to use placemats and a tablecloth together or not. To further understand it, see the findings we got from thorough research about this matter.

Placemats and tablecloths are suitable to use separately or individually. So, it is not a requirement to add a placemat with a tablecloth. Usually, people use them separately depending on the occasion. But you can also enjoy seting them together. In any of these cases, you really are not breaking any rules on table setting.

Both placemats and tablecloths are materials that bring extra style to your table setting. With these twos’ stunning looks and designs, it will surely be safe to utilize them separately. But then, how can you ensure a gorgeous table setting with them? Check out the following ideas below.

Table arranged for Christmas lunch - Should You Use Placemats With A Tablecloth

Do You Need to Use Placemats with a Tablecloth?

Placemats are great for casual dining or everyday meals. You can always add them to your table, even with just small dinners or feasts. On the other hand, you may use a tablecloth for fine dining, when more formal events occur. 

You can also try putting placements on a tablecloth. It would still look modern, while it brings out a more aesthetic table setting. Though, using a placemat and tablecloth together might fare well for formal events or classy dining setups. It would also require more items to add, affecting the table’s minimalistic setting. 

But as the event host, you could always try experimenting with your table by adding a placemat with or without a tablecloth. 

How to Use Placemats With a Tablecloth?

Even though it is not a requirement, you can still try coordinating with a placemat and a tablecloth. You could even create incredible looks this way. The placemat would be a great protector for your tablecloth and add a touch of accent or design to the whole spread.

Here are some tips on how to use placemats with a tablecloth.

Round Placemats

The first thing you need to do is measure the size of your placemat. You want it to fit perfectly on the table while it offers safe enough for your dining ware. In the picture below, you can use round-shaped placemats for a round table of four. It allows you to cater to enough people when you keep the sizing right.

Table setting for four on the screened in Porch.

Square/Rectangular Placemats

If you have a rectangular or square table, it would be best to use placemats of the same shape. This way, you can create a well-balanced look on your tabletop. You may also want to use a tablecloth with the same shape as your placemats.

Fireplace and decorations behind

Contrasting Colors & Patterns

Another thing you can do is mix and match variations of placemats and tablecloths. It could be more interesting as it brings an eclectic feel to your table. It would also be lovely for special occasions when you want to make things more festive.

Table arranged for Christmas lunch

Just make sure that the colors and designs of your placemats and tablecloth don’t clash with each other. If you have a plain tablecloth, you can add placemats to add color and design.

Or, you can use placemats with a printed tablecloth to create a new look. You could try using complementary colors or patterns to look neat and minimalist.

Elegant table setting for four. Victorian period.

Themed Placemats

Besides the size, shape, and colors, you can also consider the venue and theme of the event. Others prefer a fancy setup for formal affairs. Some people also like a classic arrangement for traditional and rustic gatherings. Anything you could try as long as it gives the best vibe you want the most.

Beautiful table setting in a sunroom.

Now that you know how to make the best out of your placemat with a tablecloth, you may now begin styling your table with each of these two.

How to Use Placemat for Table Setting? 

In general, placemats are usually enough for table decoration if you are going for a minimalist or modern look. It is because they come in different colors and designs, which can be pretty appealing. 

white and purple plate setting on dinning table at home.

However, if you want to add more elements to your tabletop, then you can always try using other decorative items such as centerpieces, candles, or table runners.

Table setting with seashells scattered throughout the table and with white napkins with dark blue polka dots. Everything decorated in beach style.

You may also consider your location. It would help you choose the best placemat for your table. In this case, you don’t need to overwhelm yourself with too many decors by just adding enough styling. 

In the picture below, you could enjoy a simple outdoor meal on a white wooden table. There’s no need to use tablecloths, especially if you want a semi-countryside style. So, a simple handkerchief-style napkin would complete the whole look.

Table setting in maritime style

All in all, you can try out altering designs, colors, and materials for your placemat. Choose the placemat that brightens the table setting while maintaining a trendy appeal.

Is a Tablecloth Enough for Table Decoration?

Tablecloths are an excellent way to add a formal touch to your table. You can put them with or without placemats, based on your personal preference. So, you are free to use a tablecloth and relish its full potential without depending too much on a placemat.

Bright colorful table setting with multi colored chevron pattern tablelcoth, pink champagne and colourful napkins. Roses in pink and yellow blurred in foreground and green scented candle decoration

If you want to make your table look elegant, then you can add a tablecloth in a solid color or with a subtle pattern. For example, the table setting below highlights the iconic look of white dinnerware and elegant white tablecloth. This design never gets out of style, so it definitely assures an incredible eye for your table.

Beautifully decorated table with white plates, crystal glasses, linen napkin and cutlery are on luxurious tablecloth

Additionally, you can also use a tablecloth that matches the theme of your event. It lets you highlight the motif of the event. In a wedding anniversary, birthday celebration, or party, your tablecloth could always stick to the color scheme. So, you are keeping it in synchronization without overlapping other color palettes. 

Beautiful table setting with autumn flowers, orange and pink napkins and burning candles. Autumn wedding concept

With the above examples, you can still bring out impressive table design even without using a placemat. The power of the tablecloth assures you both a chic and fancy look in semi-formal or formal events.

What is the best size for your placemats?

Most placemats are rectangular. The best sizing for a rectangular-shaped placemat is 12 inches wide by 18 inches long. Others also consider using 14 inches wide and 20 inches long. 

As for a round placemat, you can always go one size higher than the size of your plate. The standard size you may try is around 12 inches to 15 inches in diameter. 

There is no actual rule for choosing the size of your placemat. It will usually depend on the table size and the number of people sitting. Also, you need to ensure that the placemat is doing its function to prevent bowls, plates, and silverware from touching the table or table cloth.

What is the best material for placemats?

Others use cloth, silk, lace, canvas, paper, linen, leather, and fibers. You could also try fabrics with the color you like. So, it would help you bring out the best placemat construction to match your tablecloth or table.

One popular placemat is the woven placemat. It gives a modern and vintage vibe due to its basket weaving material. Woven placemats also come in different colors, patterns, and designs. 

Besides the aesthetic quality of the material, you may also consider the functionality of the placemat. Like other homeowners, they prefer table protection placemats constructed from types of vinyl, PV, or synthetic materials like polyester. These materials help keep the table safe from heat, burns, and scratches.

Whether style and durability are your top priorities, you always need to choose a suitable placemat that highly suits your style and preference.

What Can You Use Instead of a Placemat?

You can still create stunning table settings without a placemat. Some alternatives include, newspaper sheet, shopping bags, rope, or an old chalkboard. 

In this case, you can still become extra creative while enjoying the exact purpose of the placemat alternatives.

So, if you have a tablecloth, you can still put up these alternative decors. If you don’t have one, try arranging them nicely on the table

Final Thoughts

Don’t be afraid of adding tablecloths with your placemat or even using them separately. Try it depending on your best interest! Remember, it’s never too late to mix and match your table setting. 

See more home decor tips for your dining and kitchen area below: 

Color Hardware Ideas For White Kitchen Cabinets

What Color Cabinets with Black Granite Countertops