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Fashionable Skirted Tables

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Drum tablecloth
(c) Glenna J. Morton
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Part 2: Shapes, sheers, and styles

Sheers -- The availability of gorgeous sheer fabrics is transforming home decorating. Sheers can be used alone, long or short, if the table underneath is beautiful such as a weathered metal garden table. Another great look for sheer fabric is to make a to-the-floor sheer tablecloth to layer over another tablecloth. This will lighten up the look for spring and summer, or it can simply tone down the underneath fabric for an airy look.

Round -- Cover a round table with a circle of cloth and you have a look that is graceful and classic. Finish the hem with cording, banding, or trim for a more distinctive look. Use the cloth with or without a topper cloth. See the Details section on Page 1 for more ideas.

Drum -- A drum tablecloth is a cylinder shaped cloth that fits over a round table. It has perfectly straight sides sewn to a top circle of cloth. Often drum tablecloths show relatively few embellishments.

Rectangular -- Rectangular skirted tables are the newest look in tablecloths. They are neat, tailored and more formal looking than their round cousins. Use box pleats in the corners if desired, lined with coordinating fabric. Topped with glass a rectangular table makes a wonderful dressing table or nightstand too.

Nightstands -- A round, square, or rectangular table covered with a tablecloth makes a lovely nightstand. The cloth will hide lamp cords and will also create a useful storage area underneath for books, linens, or extra pillows. The table will be most practical topped with easily cleaned glass.

Height -- Standard table height is about 29" from the floor. You can also make a tabletop to be about the same as the furniture next to it. So, for example, a nightstand skirted tabletop would be about the same height as the top of the mattress. A sofa side table might be about the same height as the arms of the sofa.

Toppers -- A topper is a separate tablecloth that is usually shorter than the undercloth, and made to coordinate with, or compliment, the tablecloth's fabric. Toppers can be round, square, or fitted, with hems that are plain, corded, banded, or shaped into triangles or scallops. The fabric can even be gathered up and caught into ribbons - a look that might be just right for a girl's room.

Felt -- When making your own table from plywood you can easily soften the table edges by laying a piece of felt over the wood before adding the tablecloth.

Glass -- Topping a skirted table with a sheet of glass is the most practical way to keep the fabric from getting dusty and dirty. Order a piece of glass to exactly fit your table, or make an inexpensive plywood table to exactly match a piece of glass you may already have. Be sure to tell the glass shop it is for a tabletop so the edges can be smoothed.

Dining -- A skirted table in a dining room adds a wonderful air of luxury to the space. And, while it looks wonderful, there are a couple of drawbacks to placing a floor length tablecloth on a dining room table. The fabric can be in the way of chairs and knees and will only look straight and perfect when chairs are pulled back away from the cloth. In addition, spills will often require that the cloth be washed and ironed before being replaced -- a task that many homeowners dislike.

 ~ Glenna Morton
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