Jane Scott Hodges knows something about table linens. The founder of the luxury company Leontine Linens works directly with interior designers and also is the author of “Linens: For Every Room and Occasion.” Here’s her best advice on entertaining — beautifully and practically — with linens.
Use place mats for seated dinners, tablecloths for buffets and never both: “For place mats, I love a 15-by-15-inch square mat. Square place mats are such a wonderful piece for any table setting. They frame round plates beautifully and allow you to fit more friends and family around your table.”
No “lapkins,” please: “I mostly use 22-by-22-inch napkins — no matter the event or time of day. For a while those oversized ‘lapkins’ were all the rage, but they can make place settings too crowded. It’s easier to work with a traditional size.”
Mix high and low: Hodges like to pair elegant monogrammed napkins with less formal printed tablecloths. “I love to use hand-block-printed tablecloths, which I pick up on my travels — William-Wayne in New York or Simrane in Paris has them.”
Don’t forget napkin rings: “They are like jewelry for the table!” Hodges suggested Pomegranate, Pier 1 or World Market as sources for the rings and interesting place mats.