We sat down with our creative director Mindy Matouk who shared her view on creating a thoughtful and practical table for everyday meals.
Q: We love the idea of embracing the tradition of using table linens for every day—starched white tablecloth, monogrammed napkins…the works. Is this realistic for a family with three kids and a dog?
A: It may be hard to let go of the notion that table linens have to be fussy, starched, and monogrammed, but I think we should. There is always a time and place for setting a formal table, but there are also linens—pretty, casual, everyday useful linens—that are built to work for your daily routine. Especially now, during a time when so many of our other routines are being interrupted, eating meals together with family seems to be the one constant day in and day out. And with all the love and care that goes into preparing a family meal, why not enhance that with a thoughtfully set table, one that honors the meal you’re sharing with loved ones. Nothing about this has to be time-consuming or fancy.
Consider pairing a bold printed tablecloth, like our archival Margot style, with solid color napkins, or doing the reverse with a fanciful napkin and solid tablecloth. Margot’s floral print is an easy way to refresh the table and add some charm.
Matouk’s easy care tablecloths, placemats, and napkins are a great go-to option that can be machine washed and tumble dried, requiring minimal upkeep. Chamant and Calypso, made from a linen and polyester blend, offer the textural beauty of pure linen in an easy to care for fabric. Chamant and Calypso each work beautifully on their own but can also be mixed and matched. Savannah Gardens, made from a cotton and polyester blend, adds a classic, finished look to the table without any fussiness. With no ironing required, these linens are perfect for everyday use.
Speaking of ironing...if you find yourself with spare time on your hands, ironing can actually be very relaxing. Plus, the kids can help out when supervised, keeping everyone busy and engaged. Our formal linens are also machine washable but require more in the way of ironing— though by working through one of our retailers, you can custom order the same styles in a linen and polyester blend that’s easier to take care of.
If durability is your main concern when it comes to the family table, consider layering wipeable mats over the tablecloth. Another fun trick is to use a neutral tablecloth and layer an inexpensive fabric remnant over it for a textured look that's easy to maintain. A colorful, printed remnant will protect your nice tablecloth while still giving you a finished look. And if the fabric gets a stain on it, you won’t have to worry about throwing it away and laying down a replacement.
These days we're eating every meal at home. And just as you stock your linen closet with sheets, towels, and blankets for all seasons and occasions, doing the same with table linens will give you plenty of options to make even the most regular of mealtimes more elegant, seamless, and fun.