Table skirts (or tablecloths, as they are also commonly known) have undertaken a broad range of meanings throughout their rich history. This ornamental statement was a sign of wealth in Medieval banquets – while the Victorians reportedly drenched their bare furniture with a cloth to preserve modesty. However, this season, table skirts have undertaken their most important role to date – a statement of style.
It's official, we've reshaped our modern home decor ideas to make way for this century-old ornamental furnishing, and your contemporary scheme will thank you for embracing this gloriously unexpected craze. Though, despite being an object of style for hundreds of years, the table skirts can be hard to get right. Here, experts share their interior design ideas.
Why are table skirts trending?
When diners indulged over their table skirts in centuries gone by, they never may have predicted the vast amount of time we would spend in our homes over the past year. However, Etsy's (opens in new tab) Trend Expert, Dayna Isom Johnson, suggests the increased time in our interiors sparked the unorthodox demand for table skirts.
'With so much time being spent at home, shoppers are looking for ways to update their homes. Table skirts are an easy way to bring pattern, texture, and colors to any space. Neutral linens or muslins fabrics are great choices to achieve a contemporary look,' Dayna explains.
How to style table skirts into a modern home
1. Keep it simple
'I think that a frilly table skirt can look perfectly at home in a modern space. I would pick a simple pattern like a stripe or a smart check in keeping with the color palette of the rest of the interior, so you're not deviating from your scheme,' explains Livingetc's Shopping Editor, Rohini Wahi (opens in new tab). 'The frill or kick of the skirt simply serves to infuse the interior with a layer of delight – do it, you won't regret it!'
The Founder of East London Cloth (opens in new tab), Gemma Moulton, mirrors Rohini's advice, similarly suggesting that the right tones and textures mean it is possible to style table skirts in a modern scheme. 'Soft furnishings are a great way to soften a room, so if you're careful with fabric choices, they work just as well in a modern space as they do in a more traditional setting,' she says.
2. Crown with flowers
Some pairings remain timeless – and an ornately dressed table with a blooming bouquet is among these enduring combinations. It is also how Designer & Founder at Projektityyny (opens in new tab), Nora Nilsson styles her table skirts, as seen above.
'Table skirt for me adds instant drama and playfulness - and it always makes me have high expectations of what's to come! I love styling mine with beautiful glassware and an abundance of wildflowers,' Nora says. For an ornate nod to former eras, match your table skirt fabric with matching napkins – and soft furnishings of a similar hue – for a sophisticated scheme.
3. Maintain the beauty of the material – discreetly
Unlike the cloth kissing Medieval tablescapes, modern cloths can remain fresher for longer, with one simple trick 'You can have a piece of glass cut for the top, which means you don't have to be too precious about putting drinks on it and you don't have to spend a huge amount on the table underneath,' Gemma shares.
The cloth extraordinaire also shares a further styling tip, suggesting you bring your table skirt into the bedroom, where you can style the piece with a stack of books and a lamp. This is an unexpected trend in an unexpected setting, and we expect it will reset modern bedroom ideas worldwide. Here's to yet another century of beautiful tablescapes.
Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc’s homes titles, including Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. As a News Writer, she often focuses on micro-trends, wellbeing, celebrity-focused pieces, and everything IKEA.
Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and expansive collection of houseplants.
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