We hosted a third Christmas at ours this year, with my parents, Ed’s mum and her husband and both our brothers. In the build up I realised that although we have had a quite a few large dinner parties, I always have to cobble together a collection of placemats and whilst there is sometimes merit in a mis-match of items, the random bits we have don’t really tend to work.
So, inspired by The Lovely Drawer’s recent A cosy brunch with Argos post I started to research options. I started wanting something solid and actually considered buying the woven water hyacinth placemats from the post, which are from Argos, but though they might be a bit too much of a contrast with our iroko table top, so cast my net further afield – even if I find something perfect I have a look around!
A quick google search turned up a couple of options, including these lovely seagrass placemats from Linea at House of Fraser. However I decided against them, in favour of something a bit more neutral, so I can style it in a variety of ways for different occasions. They were also pretty hard to resist as they had been reduced to just £5 for four – if you fancy a bargain you can purchase them here.
I then headed over to trusty Urbanara and spotted a few options – the first was the Coanza placemat in black, this again is woven and a bit more neutral but with a diameter of 40cm, I decided they were more suited to serving and might be a bit of a squeeze on our table. I think this is now out of stock, but if you are looking for something similar the Ikea Lättad placemat should do the trick. It is also slightly cheaper, which is a bonus!
Having exhausted the range of woven placemats that could be delivered before Christmas I decided I was going to have to go with something different. I had originally been against fabric placemats as I thought they would be difficult to clean, but as our existing placemats have proved, red wine isn’t easy to get out of anything and at least a fabric placemat could go in the washing machine. Urbanara had a couple of options, including the Alkas placemats, which match the cushions I brought recently for the lounge. However at £10 each I thought they were a bit steep, so looked around again – yes a lot of research went into these placemats!
Eventually I settled on the Bardo placemats from Habitat, which at £8 for two were much more purse friendly, however I did also purchase the matching napkins, so perhaps not such a saving! Habitat don’t seem to offer next day shipping, but they arrived within two days and are great quality. The placemats are lovely and thick and the napkins are nicely hemmed and feel like they will wash well – hopefully they won’t crease too much as I hate ironing!
Although they are a matching set, they are different materials. The placemat is a linear flat weave and the napkin a traditional woven cotton, which creates a lovely contrast when laid out on the table.
For the Christmas meal I actually had to fold the placemats in half as they are quite large, but it worked really well and I think they looked great. For the table setting I also used the garland I made for the party, which I kept outside to keep it fresh (a guide on how I made it can be found here) and some lovely Christmas crackers from John Lewis – I really loved how it all came together, so much so that I am considering buying the same crackers and saving them for next year, so I can do it all over again… Although that might be a bit boring, so we will have to see.
A couple more shots of our Christmas decorations can be seen over on Instagram and I would love to hear what you think.