Worldly Table Linens and Stylish Tables in General…

The other day, I might have been shopping, and I might have seen this tablecloth and matching napkins, and I might have bought them in preparation for a stylish dinner that I haven’t had… yet.

I love the colors!

In all honesty, most table linens tend to be, well… boring.  Or at least boring to me.  A white one, a red one, a green one, a tan one — ooh, there’s a wild one in purple!

One of my dearest friends has a very beautiful tablecloth — one of the most beautiful ones I have ever seen — and it isn’t even a tablecloth at all!  It’s a blanket that he bought in South America that he uses for a tablecloth and it’s perfect.  Soft, welcoming, and full of color.  Each time we visit, I just love looking at it while he puts the finishing touches on another delicious meal.

So when I saw this elephant-print tablecloth and napkins by Tradewinds Designer Collection … made in India, by the way … I had to buy it.  It wasn’t even a compulsion, it was my nature.  I love elephants.  They are one of my favorite animals, and I think they are very majestic.  Plus, this tablecloth is full of color, which I plan to use to my full advantage this weekend as I plan a birthday supper.

I am all ready to use the darling elephant salt and pepper shakers that I wrote about in Collecting: An Essay.

As a hostess, I think the best table designs reflect personality: who are you?  Who are your guests (who is your audience)?  What is the feeling you are trying to evoke?  What is the meal being served?

Don’t just settle for a plain tablecloth or dreary napkins, but if that is all you have, find a way to dress them up into something special with contrasting glassware, funky dessert dishes or bread plates, a mix of salad and dinner plates, personalized napkin rings, or clever place cards.

Food should make us feel grateful, not routine, and eating dinner with friends is a blessing indeed.