Tablecloths can work instant miracles. They provide instant polish to even the most bedraggled table, recreating your space and adding colour and texture that can give your furniture a new lease on life.
However, employing the power of this home decor staple is not as simple as buying the first one you see. You also have to make sure it is right for your space. Here's what you need to consider before you cover up your table.
First, you need to consider your table's shape. This will ensure that the tablecloth you select fits your table perfectly. The most standard shapes are square, rectangle, circle and oval. Not all tablecloths are created equal, and buying one for the wrong shape of table will leave you with an unkempt, odd look -- which is probably not what you're going for.
Next, measure the size of your table so you know exactly what you're dealing with. You don't want a tablecloth that barely squeaks over the sides: you need more of a drop. It's largely a matter of your personal taste, but 6 inches is usually considered the minimum drop (i.e. the part that hangs over the side). The more ample the drop, the more formal the look.
The material of your tablecloth should reflect not only the overall style of your home decor, but also the table's purpose. That damask would be perfect for a fancy dinner party, but would be too fancy for everyday eating. For mundane meals or potentially raucous parties, a cotton blend, microfiber or polyester would be the best bet since they are easy to prepare (little to no ironing!) and easy to wash.
Likewise a delicately woven silk table cloth might be ideal to cover an end table, but would be impractical for a table used for eating, since it would likely get dirty and need to be washed more than the material could withstand.
Finally, you’re onto considerations of colour. This doesn’t have to be a black and white decision: literally. Yes, black and white are timeless, and you will never go wrong with either of these shades, but they aren’t your only options. Go for a colour or pattern that speaks to you, reflects the style of your overall home decor and is appropriate for the purpose for which it is being bought. A white lace tablecloth, for instance, while beautiful, would not be great for your daughter’s fifth birthday tea party. But a busy floral print microfiber would be easily hide a myriad of spills while also providing you with an easy, durable clean up.
Before you buy, take a moment to account for these factors. After that, you can purchase with confidence.