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Nov 2, 2013

placemat shopping

let's talk about family dinners.

we don't make mealtime as much of a big deal as it should be, as i always thought it would be. with fish's crazy hours, we're only home as a family during dinnertime maybe half of the week. maybe.  

also, i'll take some blame: i'm a terrible cook. sometimes my meals turn out edible. sometimes not. i just don't get excited about cooking like i do about crafting.

however! with the brand new dining table fish is building us, i am absolutely going to make family meal time a priority and in order to do that......we need placemats. not what you were expecting, right? but, i want to protect what fish has been working so hard on. ...also, i probably need to take some cooking lessons.

in case you've forgotten, this is our dining room, with screamingly bright yellow polka-dot walls:

our dinner plates are lattice white by farberware. we have three full sets of flatware i can switch out as needed: an everyday stainless steel set, plus two fancier settings given to us by family, one silver and one gold.

i was originally thinking of getting white placemats, but that's not very practical with a toddler and a baby-to-be. also, our dishes are white. so maybe more of a natural vibe? or something to pull in some of the yellow on the walls?

here's some that i've come up with so far:
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6

any standouts?
any other placemats you think i should check out?

also...i'd love tips on making family meals a regular occurrence!

* mari

General

12 comments:

  1. Well, you have to have a few sets of placemats, right!!?? I mean, you can't get buy with just one set...like, what if you feel flowery at lunch but stripey at dinner? :) I'm a napkin hoarder myself. I tend to buy neutral placemats so that I can change out the napkins on a whim. Plus, there's something about cloth napkins over paper that makes the dining experience better even on the couch!! :D

    As someone married 25 years with 2 kiddos, ages 19 and 15, and also someone who didn't always make dinner time much of a deal due to similar reasons as yourself.....but wish I would have.....my advice is to always do dinner at the table no matter what and no matter who is there. It is easy to be casual when Dad isn't home, but then the kiddos aren't used to it when he is home and you can sit together as a family. And when they aren't used to it they tend to not have the staying power you'd like. :) We've had dinner at the table in fits and starts over the years and I can honestly say that the times we make it a priority were always my favorite. If I could do it all over again, that's one thing I would do differently!! :)

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    1. laura, this is GREAT advice -- thank you! ...and i like your idea about more than one set of placemats, that hadn't occurred to me..... ;)

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  2. First of all, I am in love with the yellow polka dot wallpaper. It is so cute with that chair rail for a statement in your dining room. I have been super obsessed with wallpaper lately, but I mostly think of it in smaller rooms like powder rooms and whatnot. It is adorable on a wall that has wainscotting (I don't know if I spelled that correctly)!

    Secondly, I vote for Placemat #1!

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    Replies
    1. thank you, megan! it's actually yellow painted walls that i stenciled huuuuuuundreds of tiny white squares onto. :D it gets mistaken for wallpaper even in person though.

      thanks for weighing in on the placemats!

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  3. I am imagining in my head a woven placemat looking very good with the new table and your plates! I like the West Elm fishnet woven placemat in either slate or natural (or something similar) rather than in white like placemat #2, that way the color will contrast your plates. I really like Laura's idea about the cloth napkins, by keeping the placemat neutral you can change those out when you want and do all sorts of colors/patterns!

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    1. great idea, mariela! i completely forgot about napkins so now i *am* leaning towards a more neutral placemat.

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  4. I LOVE # 3 but not sure if that would be too much yellow with the walls and all. Then again, yellow is a happy color-so can there ever be too much yellow? # 1 would be super pretty too. The white ones scare me because I'm a messy eater so I could only imagine with a toddler you'd be fighting stains constantly. Have you checked out World Market or Crate & Barrel?

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    1. i know, #3 seems so perfect, but what's the chance they'd actually coordinate with the walls -- and it would probably end up being yellow overload. WAIT -- is there such a thing?? :D i haven't looked at world market yet and nothing caught my eye at c&b (surprisingly!)...

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  5. I like the more colorful options! Or you can alternate! I have a deep red pair and also a neutral pair (with red border and flower embroidery) that I put out together.

    With regards to the family dinner, I have been trying to cook a bit more myself. My crock pot is a lifesaver! I'm not one to spend a lot of time with cooking so this has been a sanity saver for me. That way, you can eat dinner at a set time but still have it ready and warm whenever the husband gets home! I am definitely hoping to start a family meal tradition in the future, but it will have to be later in the evening to coordinate with Billy's work schedule. However, this just doesn't work for Sully's sleep schedule right now.

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    1. aaahhhh, the all-important sleep schedule, yes!! my mom made so much fun of me because I would not disrupt K's nap schedule for ANYTHING when he was younger so I completely understand. :)

      that's great advice about the crockpot too -- I need to buy those crockpot liners because the only reason I avoid cooking with a crockpot is to not have to deal with cleaning it afterwards!

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  6. I (personally) would do a #2 in a dark navy. I like navy with yellow, also the navy might help with the spills of little ones. Will the table color stay light? It might be a good contrast? I have found with my placemats that they usually don't hold up very well with too many washings. Maybe I am washing them wrong, but they usually shrink, loose their shape, fade, etc. I have had many sets so I am not sure if I have seen a difference between low-cost vs. high-cost. Good luck!

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  7. we're not sure in the final stain color yet, but I like the idea of navy -- I hadn't even considered it...hmmm....

    thanks too for the tip on looking for more inexpensive placemats. I think a trip to ikea may be in my future...

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