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emptym

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We have white laminate and generally don't use anything on top, but sometimes we put down woven placemats from the Philippines for fun:
IMG_9294.jpeg
IMG_9295.jpeg
 

nootje

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Leather placemats, or something that closely resembles leather, I don’t know my wife bought them. We always use them as we have wood tables both indoor and outdoor, and know that acidic foods will stain them. Same with coasters.
 

lefty

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I do use them on my glass table. I find they help define the space and people don't have to look at their laps as they eat.

Funny, I never considered them a protective layer for a table, but more of a fancy thing. Growing up poor, placemats were something rich people had.

I look at tablecloths outside in the same way. They bring a sense of ceremony to al fresco dining.

lefty
 

double00

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no placemats i suppose i agree with nakashima.

we have a pine trestle table that picks up a lot of dings n wear but easy to clean and re-up the finish.

i guess they don't do full leather top a la gustav stickley much anymore but i've always liked the idea.
 

otc

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I use placemats. I like that they protect the table from things (mostly scratching from movement of rough stoneware, condensation from glasses, etc., never really thought about damage from acidic foods) but I think I primarily do it simply because it feels/looks proper. It defines a place for each setting and just looks nice overall.
That's how my parents and grandparents rolled so it is what I'm used to...to me it looks like a college student hosting a dinner party if there's no placemat.

I don't find you have to wash them that often though. Crumbs can just be brushed off so it would only be spills/drips that require cleanup.
 

Desi

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enjoying this placemat discussion. any favorites?
 

emptym

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What are those made of and how do they handle stains?
They're made of rattan and cotton thread, I think. Maybe some other kind of grass or reed, possibly polyester thread. I haven't done a burn test. I wouldn't say they're as stain resistant as Chilewich, but they're pretty stain resistant and they feel and look nicer imo. I've had these for about 16/17 yrs. They don't get used that often, maybe 3xs a year and they've held up well. My daughter even used one as a yoga mat a couple times when she was 2-3. If something gets on them, I just wipe them down with a damp towel.

Here's a shot of the dining table, which also doubles or triples as a ping pong table and Zoom classroom nowadays.
IMG_9284.jpeg
 

gdl203

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brokencycle

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Sometimes we use nothing, sometimes placemats, and sometimes a table cloth. Whatever mood strikes.

As for "nice" dishes or utensils, it has nothing to do with showing off to people, but rather the special occasion stuff requires more care: hand washing, etc.
 

TheFoo

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As for "nice" dishes or utensils, it has nothing to do with showing off to people, but rather the special occasion stuff requires more care: hand washing, etc.
It’s also a matter of resource allocation. I would rather spend more on the things I actually use, which are perfectly good for special occasions anyway, than pay to have stuff that sits in storage most of the year.
 

GeneralEmployer

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Uggh. We’d use up to four placemats a meal, three times a day, seven days a week. I’d need to get 84 to last a week before washing!
Does your family eat dessert, Foo? Snacks? If so, is there ever a family dessert time, or is it individual? Where do you drink your evening tea if not at the dining table?

Sometimes we use nothing, sometimes placemats, and sometimes a table cloth. Whatever mood strikes.

As for "nice" dishes or utensils, it has nothing to do with showing off to people, but rather the special occasion stuff requires more care: hand washing, etc.
Foo misunderstood my poast a little. I am sometimes reluctant to use the good stuff when certain guests are over. I will kill the fatted calf, but not the good china. If Foo and his brood came over, I wouldn't have any concerns. But say somebody like @beargonefishing and his people came over: I'd be a little worried. My IKEA stuff would be coming out.
 

GeneralEmployer

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It’s also a matter of resource allocation. I would rather spend more on the things I actually use, which are perfectly good for special occasions anyway, than pay to have stuff that sits in storage most of the year.
Sounds like you don't have enough cabinet space. What's your kitchen storage situation like?
 

TheFoo

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Does your family eat dessert, Foo? Snacks? If so, is there ever a family dessert time, or is it individual? Where do you drink your evening tea if not at the dining table?
Sure, we eat dessert. Sometimes as a family. Sometimes just me and my wife after the kids have gone to bed. Most often it’s my daughter and me sharing a pint of ice cream.

We have tea at the dining table or in the living room, where the coffee table suffices.

Sounds like you don't have enough cabinet space. What's your kitchen storage situation like?
We have a small Manhattan apartment kitchen. Worst aspect of our place.

However, that has nothing to do with what I mean by resource allocation. We have enough space for more dinnerware and flatware. The issue is that I see no point in spending thousands of dollars on special occasion forks and spoons when I could spend thousands of dollars on forks and spoons to use everyday.
 

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