Ask Estee: How To Use Table Linens Correctly

estee-placemat Q. I've got tablecloths and placemats, but no clue when to use which. Thoughts? I'm quite partial to placemats. They work for a number of different occasions. Whether it's casual eating with kids or a nice dinner amongst friends, a placemat won't hurt...especially if it's machine washable. These days, I'm drawn to placemats that don't completely hide the table underneath, like this one from Daisy Hill. Pair that with some Kim Seybert Ikat Napkins and you're good to go. On the other hand, a tablecloth changes your whole room. It really does set the tone for a festive occasion. I love the appliqué border on these Matouk Table Linens. If you want to kick things up a notch, add these silver sage Napkin Rings.
  Photograph: Stone Textile Studio