In a year when home life became our social lives, the laying of a beautiful table developed newfound import.
And while we might be allowed back out to party, our love of ‘tablescaping’ (as its known in the biz) has not dwindled, in fact there are over 1 million ‘tablescape’ hashtags on Instagram to prove it. And the easiest way to add a whole new look to your existing table linens? Some pretty new placemats.
Here are some of the best we have found for 2021.
Mrs. Alice Serena apple green with blue place mats
When it comes to Instagrammable table settings, few do it better than fashion girl Alice Naylor-Leyland, who launched her tablescape company Mrs. Alice back in November 2019, just in time to capitalise on the lockdown-boosted boom. Her gloriously dramatic table settings (which she regularly posts to her 166,000 followers here) perfectly combine feminine frills, country charm and whimsy for a more-is-more aesthetic. The blue and green Serena placemats are part of a collection she designed with her interior designer mother Serena Fresson, and they come with matching napkins, dinner plates and vases, should you wish to go all-out. Alice would.
Summerill & Bishop jute placemats with pink border
If you’re looking for tablemats that work both inside and in the garden, jute is a good idea. These pink-trimmed mats from Summerill & Bishop come as a set of six, with their own handy storage basket. Not only are they durable and wipe-clean, but these mats, which are also available in dark blue, light blue, green red and yellow trims, work on both patterned and plain table linens.
Zara embroidered linen placemat
If you’re looking for larger rectangular placemats, then Zara Home does a good selection, with everything from rattan to fringed cotton, gingham and daisy print on offer. These embroidered linen placemats would suit a pared-back aesthetic, and would look particularly lovely placed directly upon a wooden table. They’re a linen-cotton mix so they feel luxurious for the price. Plus they’re machine washable and easy to iron, which is always handy when you’re nursing the dinner party hangover.
Rockett St George star beaded placemat
If you’re looking to lay the Elton John-meets-Rolling Stones of tables, kooky homeware company Rockett St George is a good place to start. Their star-shaped beaded placemats will add a little rock n’ roll glitz and glamour to your tablescape, and would look excellent paired with a black tablecloth and plenty of candles. At £25 a pop they’re not cheap, but they are pieces that will last - plus they’ll make for good talking points should conversation run dry.
Distinctly Living white quilted placemat
If your aesthetic is more 50 shades of white, then these rectangular quilted placemats from Distinctly Living are a wonderfully chic addition to a more traditional table. Made from 100 per cent cotton they come with a scalloped edge and beautiful stitching detail for a luxurious feel. Note they are hand wash only, so best to keep them for the grown-up suppers to avoid major staining.
Les Ottomans palm print placemat
These embroidered cotton placemats from Turkish-inspired label Les Ottomans are just crying out for a Piña colada-fuelled fiesta. They’re equal parts elegant and retro, and would work just as well paired with a minimal tablescape as they would with a crazy palm-print tablecloth. Bamboo-handled cutlery and green-rimmed glassware feel like natural bedfellows.
Coco & Wolf reversible scallop-edged placemat
British label Coco & Wolf specialise in crafting luxury bedding and homeware from Liberty London’s famous floral print fabrics. Their reversible scallop-edged placemats are made from Liberty’s trademark, high quality Tana Lawn cotton and have a gently romantic feel. Sewn in the brand’s Felicite and Phoebe prints on either side, these placemats that give you double the bang for your buck... pair with a floral table cloth for maximum print power, and just flip them over for a whole new look.
Villeroy & Boch textil breeze placemat
If you’re into a pared back, elegant vibe, these sage-coloured ribbed cotton placemats will add an understated, sophisticated tone to any table. Made from a reassuringly thick, weighty fabric they ooze quality - and yet the price tag is fairly wallet-friendly. An easy and endlessly versatile option for those that like their dinner times to be a soothing experience.
Matilda Goad rainbow spectrum lacquered placemat
British interiors wizard Matilda Goad is queen of happy-making colourful interiors, and these lacquered placemats are no exception. Handmade in Italy, the mats are constructed from inlaid stained wood, meaning that each one is totally unique in its design, and therefore colours may vary due to natural dyes. At £80, they are at the pricier end of the spectrum, but truly they are works of art. If a full dinner service is a stretch, just one or two would make a great centrepiece for the dining table, or a colourful addition to a coffee table.
H&M round jute tablemat
If you’re looking for tablemats that are chic and understated, and let your culinary flair do the talking, these round jute numbers from H&M home are an elegant, affordable way to bring rustic charm to your table. They’ll work equally as well indoors and out, and are part of the brand’s permanent collection, so you can always stock up on more should you wish to invite a few extra friends over down the line.