If you follow interior accounts on Instagram or Pinterest, you will have likely seen the recent tablescaping trend across your social feeds.
No longer the preserve of fancy restaurants, a simple browse of the hashtags “tabledressing”, “tablescape” or “table decor” will throw up a range of beautifully laid tables with everything from flowers to colourful glassware.
The new trend has gained traction thanks to the likes of Laura Jackson and Fionah Leah sharing their extravagant creations on Instagram – but creating a pretty table setting is easier than you may think. You can read our guide to tablescaping here.
While putting together a beautiful table requires more than just placemats – napkins, table cloths, flowers, candles and condiment pots and bowls are all pieces of the placement puzzle – we think they are a good place to start.
In this round-up we looked for designs which are versatile: could the mat pivot from rustic chic brunch to winter dinner party? We also considered how easy they would be to clean. Size mattered too and whether they came as a set or individually.
Of course, quality was a huge factor – we wanted to ensure everything we featured was substantial, durable and long-lasting.
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Yours Sustainably eco-friendly placemats, set of four
These feel slim and sleek without being flimsy – and we are delighted with the eco credentials, made as they are from hand harvested cork and recycled EVA plastic saved from the oceans. Flecks of colour punctuate the muted palette. We think these look really cool – not least because each one is totally unique – and would be perfect for anyone with an eye for modern or minimalist design that doesn’t involve chintz, fabric or intricate detailing.
William Morris ‘Strawberry Thief’ mats
William Morris’s designs are having a revival and as such these tablemats are a boon for any table setup. “Strawberry Thief” is one of Morris’ most famous patterns – we like the bold red colourway best (although blue and green are available). The design is printed on the board and sealed with a stain and heat resistant (100C) coating – all mounted on a durable cork base. To make sure you’re serving Morris 2.0, we recommend some modern glassware and other accents go with these mats. Wipe clean gently and these will last forever.
Kalinko handwoven rattan placemats, set of four
We love these gorgeous round mats – especially as they are handmade in Burma by artisan creatives and money from every purchase goes directly to the makers. These have a 27cm diameter and are a dusky, faded pink – the perfect accompaniment for alfresco summer dining. While all things woven, natural and rattan are having a moment in terms of interiors, we think these are a timeless aesthetic. They are also rigid and tough – you can’t bend them, which bodes well for their longevity.
Martha and Hepsie leapoard and monstera leaf placemat set
Leopards and oversized greenery – these Martha & Hepsie mats are beyond fabulous: a contemporary maximalist’s fantasy. Measuring 27.5cm by 22.5cm, these mats are beautifully made with a solid cork back, a shiny gloss surface and waxed edges. While they felt weighty and tough, these are stain resistant and wipe clean only. A real conversation starter for your dinner table. If you are feeling extra, there are matching coasters too.
ProCook cotton placemat
Having cream placemats is like playing with fire – undoubtedly attracting bolognese sauce, red wine and ketchup within seconds of any meal beginning – but the good news is that these are easily wiped clean. Made from cotton, they are 32cm in diameter, feel soft to touch, and make any table look fresh and wholesome. Easy on the bank balance too.
Spode x Pimpernel blue Italian placemats, set of six
Spode’s “Blue Italian” design is super traditional having been a part of mealtimes across the world since 1816 – and we’re here for this signature pattern because after all, a classic never dies. We love pairing these with primary coloured napkins and flowers for a real riot of colour. They are easy to wipe clean, mounted on sturdy compact cork and coated in a stain proof lacquer that’s heat resistant up to 100C, making these a long-lasting buy.
Dunelm braxton stripe black and white placemat
We really rate the simple French aesthetic here: nautical ribbed striping made from 100 per cent cotton. While these do feel slightly flimsy, that they are machine washable and an absolute steal where pricing is concerned. The perfect addition to any summery setup.
Mary Berry signature cotton placemat
While Mary Berry has long been a baking legend thanks to her buns, biscuits and brandy snaps, you might not know that she has designed a rather lovely selection of kitchen accessories too – including placemats. As you might expect, her cotton placemats are understated and tasteful with practicality in mind (they are machine washable at 30C). We love the grey colourway – because it goes with anything and can be easily dressed up to the nines with other tableware. These mats are soft, beautifully detailed and slightly padded, which is just what you need for hot plates.
Gone Rural grass placemat
Tapping into the rattan trend, each placemat is individually produced by rural Swatini artisans who plait Luntindzi grass together before shaping it into the mats. These are available in either 28cm or 32cm diameter, and four different colourways, offering plenty of choice for every taste and table size. We opted for the blush trim because it feels like perhaps the most versatile but really any option is going to enhance your table laying.
The verdict: Placemats
Your Sustainably’s eco placemats get two huge thumbs up from us for being colourful, modern and environmentally friendly.
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