The humble placemat may seem like a placeholder for larger decorative items, like, say, your new East Fork dishes. But as is often the case with decoration and with life, it is the detailed base that lays the foundation for a beautiful finished product. Not only do the best placemats serve a functional purpose (because yes, you should protect your table tops from your dishes and glasses), they can also help instantly elevate an otherwise everyday meal. Besides being beautiful, fun, and consistent with your table, placemats also help create a hygienic and cleanable dining surface, San Francisco-based interior designer Jonathan rachman PureWow said. The right placemat can set the mood for the event you’re hosting, even if it’s a Tuesday night dinner with the family, which is why Rachman recommends thinking carefully about how you put your dress. table. Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite (and Rachman’s) placemats for all occasions.
Best cork placemat
These Portuguese-made cork placemats come in a set of four and with their sturdy construction, they perfectly protect your table from scratches, spills and other food-related messes. Plus, cork is one of the trendy materials that can be cleaned, Rachman helpfully notes.
Best black and white doily
I don’t follow the trends; I always prefer the timeless classic that’s always in the present, says Rachman when it comes to choosing placemats. And for some people, there is nothing more timeless or classic than a good black and white design. This Chilewich Kaleidoscope placemat features a beautiful geometric pattern with textured black and white medallions that will dress up any table setting, even if your dinnerware set is classic white.
Best floral design
Placemats should always be fun and chic, says Rachman, and that’s precisely how we would describe the fresh Pieni Unikko print cotton placemat from Marimekkos. Coated with acrylic to make them stain resistant, these placemats are easy to clean and add a fun, bold splash of color to any decor. Trust us, even your kids will love them.
Best beaded option
Our expert prefers linen over plastic because they are old school and can be tossed in the washing machine the second your meal is done. Yes, even this pearl linen option from the Michael Aram Table Linens collection, which adds an elevated touch to the traditional fabric. Since these aren’t dainty or meant to be reserved for special occasions, you’ll be surprised how useful you get from them.
Best pebble material
But for those a little more formal moments, opt for Kim Seybert’s Pebble placemat. The surface of shagreen leather is beautifully textured yet surprisingly durable. In fact, this grained material is 25 times more durable than your average cowhide leather.
Best water resistant linen
While you might think the only chance you have to keep linen clean (Rachmans’ favorite material for placemats) is to throw it in the laundry, these water-resistant linen placemats are here to help. prove you wrong. French fabric is acrylic coated which means they are resistant to any spill, red wine or whatever, and can be simply wiped off.
Best raffia placemats
There are two ways to approach color and pattern with placemats, like everything else on your table, says Rachman. Do you want them to be the center of attention or to blend in with the game? This set of four placemats sort of fulfills both roles, thanks to its muted color palette, but intriguing natural raffia texture.
Best sustainable placemat
Wayfair customers love these recycled teak placemats that are made from reused wood that would otherwise be burnt. Teak is naturally durable and only becomes more beautiful over time, making it an ideal material for a spectacular placemat, especially for your outdoor table.
Best budget option
Customers love the price sensitive nature of this set of six vinyl placemats, which are remarkably easy to maintain. This machine washable set can even stand up to some really messy eaters (like your six year old) and can often skip a few meals before they really need to be washed.
Best tweed placemat
With a rating of over 4.5 out of 5 stars, this water resistant polyester placemats set is a perennial favorite. Perfect for everyday use (or for low-key entertaining), these easy-care placemats earn points for their tweedy texture and not-too-large size. Plus, they’re available in three colors: lime, soft gray, and a funky blue / green combo.
Best textured placemat
The wavy pattern of these jacquard placemats gives them a very chic look. Metallic threads give this set of two placemats a slight sheen, and as Rachman notes, this is a great example of a placemat that can help you set the mood for your next event. Go ahead, plan your table around these.
Best cotton placemat
Available in a wide range of colors to match any dining room decor, these cotton canvas placemats are the type of classics Rachman considers an easy and must-have favorite. Throw them in the washing machine when they’ve had a little too much love.
Best faux leather
This pebble placemat from CB2 has a metallic finish that makes them even more stylish than they already are, and they are a customer favorite. They look and feel exactly like leather, they’re thin, so the plates and chargers lie flat, and the ivory color looks so beautiful on my cherry wood table, one review reads. Others praise these placemats for their versatility: I have it on the marble bathroom counter to put my stuff for upholstery, reports another happy customer.
Best felt placemat
Graf Lantz makes beautiful felt products for the whole home, and even if you don’t think felt is a natural choice for a dinner accessory, you might want to reconsider. Naturally resistant to water, stains, heat and insulation, these merino wool placemats come in stunning jewel tones and instantly bring a sense of sophistication to your meal. As one satisfied customer notes, these placemats are perfect for their oval shape and quality.
For a natural shade on one side and elegant ivory on the other, this placemat combines the best of both worlds. I return to the occasion and your table setting and theme, if applicable, as my guide to choosing placemats, Rachman says. But with this unique placemat, you’ll be armed and ready for multiple occasions at once.
Best vegan leather placemat
Made from easy-to-clean vegan leather, these beautiful placemats come in unique shapes and stunning colors. The leather material is effortlessly elegant and especially liked the emerald color in any season.
Most unexpected form
Another faux leather option, these come in a wide range of soft, contemporary colors that immediately dress up your table. The clean, crisp modern lines give them the sleek, timeless look that Rachman recommends for your decorating needs. Plus, they’ll look great under your morning coffee if you want to snap a pic for your gram.
Best indoor / outdoor placemat
These placemats give off a serious beach vibe and are part of the new spring collection from Crate & Barrels. Due to its antimicrobial construction, this placemat prevents both mildew and stains, making it ideal for indoor and outdoor environments.
Best woven herbarium
The Crate & Barrels spring collection also includes a wide range of seagrass placemats, which weaves natural fibers with beautiful hues to create a cheerful palette. This round style makes us count the days until winter is finally over and we can pull out our sunniest decor.
Better square shape
For my day-to-day I prefer the Hudson and Grace square placemats because you can use them indoors and outdoors, Rachman says of these beauties. They are practical but still bold and fun.
Best designer placemat
For sublime patterns and colors, I love everything that comes from Ascoli, Rachman tells us. Besides the fact that they are simply beautiful, founder Peter dAscoli is the supplier for those with demanding tastes and in the know. Hmm, we would like to join this gang
PureWow may receive a portion of sales of products purchased from this article, which was created independently of PureWow’s editorial and commercial departments.
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