Asking what is it that constitutes home style and elegance, for an oriental table the devil really lies in these details. Two elements often stand at the forefront of this quest for the perfect dining aesthetic: chargers and placemats. Seemingly peripheral items such as chargers and placemats arrange the dining table for everything from a simple family supper to an elaborate party. So what makes these two special, and how should they work together in home decoration? Today we're examining some mysteries behind chargers and placemats.
What are Chargers?
Chargers, or service plates are large decorative platters placed underneath the dinner plate. Chargers have a long history. In the past, they were employed in upper-class dining to keep the tablecloth clean and removed before serving up main courses. Now they are primarily used for decorative purposes, as an additional supplement to the table arrangement.
There are countless variations on these plates, from refined glass or metal to rustic wooden designs. In general, they serve to establish the atmosphere and theme of a meal. A gold-rimmed charger may be suitable for a formal dinner, while a bamboo type could do the trick at an outdoor luncheon in summer. Beyond just style, chargers also have a practical purpose: They also help the plate retain heat so that food can remain hot for longer.
Placemats, on the other hand, are more pragmatic in nature. These are placed on the table to prevent spilling, heat and scratches. But this doesn't mean they are without style. They are made from everything, including cloth and plastic to bamboo or even leather. Each type gives the dining environment a different feeling.
The changes of placemat design reflect how important they are to table decoration. Tables can be set stunningly from the most basic of cloth mats all up to complex woven placemats looking for a starring role or just being out there as background noise. They are ideal for all occasions and can be served at any meal, from breakfast to dinner party.
Comparing Chargers and Placemats
Chargers and placemats may appear to be related in form, but they serve different functions. Chargers are all-style, a little function Placemats on the other hand. The charger can enhance the appearance of dinnerware, while a placemat serves as protection and texture for your table.
Another major distinction is that they are placed in different locations. See, the charger provides a decorative touch and is placed under the plate. The placemat goes straight on top of that; it's notison the table--not directly onit. It is this same difference which gives them two different functions in the table setting.
The important thing when matching chargers and placemats is balance. Take into account the coloring and topic of your dining space. If your chargers are fancy and colorful, choose plain placemats so as not to confuse the eye. On the other hand, if your placemats are patterned or textured then a plain color charger can calm things down a bit.
Here are some specific tips:
For Formal Occasions: Select metallic looking chargers, such as those in gold or silver coloring and match with stately but subtleplace-mats.
Casual Settings: Earthy materials for the chargers--bamboo or rattan, perhaps with brightly colored or patterned placemats to liven up the table.
Seasonal Themes: Set the table according to season. For spring, use brightly colored chargers and floral placemats; for autumn, contrasting deep tones or textured materials are best.
But again, there are no iron-bound rules. The joy of table setting is in individuality, and preparing an hospitable atmosphere for one's guests.
To illustrate how chargers and placemats can transform a dining experience, consider these real-life examples:
A Holiday Feast: One homeowner, taking on a Christmas dinner theme used red chargers with gold trimmings combined with green placemats. The combination made the meal festive and warmed it with a touch of warmth.
Summer Garden Party: Therefore, the host chose bamboo chargers and floral-printed placemats in this instance. The effect of this combination was a natural and comfortable atmosphere that suited the outdoor location to perfection.
Such examples illustrate how chargers and placemats may be tailored to fit the occasion, improving both decoration and dining enjoyment.
Maintenance and Care
We must take care of our chargers and placemats to make them last long. However, for chargers made of more delicate materials such as porcelain or metal it is best to wash them by hand. You should store them in a dry place and stack with soft cloth between them to prevent scratches.
Different materials of placemats call for different care. Most cloth placemats can be machine washed, while those made of natural fiber or plastic should simply be wiped clean with a damp rag. Care must always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
The most important thing you need to understand is the differences and similarities between chargers and placemats. Although chargers enhance the elegance and formality of meals, placemats introduce practicality as well. Taken together, they are a dining environment that is not only aesthetically appealing but comfortable and welcoming to guests as well. Chargers and placemats have become a fun way to express your style, whether you're entertaining at home or having friends over for dinner.