The Power of the Linen

One of the easiest ways to create an effect when entertaining is to introduce color to your linen selection. Whether it’s a gathering of 2 or 2,000,a family dining room or a grand ballroom, linens play a significant role. A simple change of bringing in color through the table linen can change the whole feel of the room. This effect can be even more enhanced, when adding candles or lights to the table, drawing even greater emphasis on the linen. The effect works twofold. First, a set dining table, especially one with flowers, is always a focal point in any room. Therefore the introduction of color through the linen will heighten this impact. Second, in a dining environment a large portion of the time is spent at the table and the linen forms as the backdrop for this engagement. It not only frames the flowers, but the food and the guests as well.

Over the years, I have come to a better understanding that things which are expected when planning a Happening often are not remembered. Can you think of the last time you walked into a restaurant and critically analyzed the linens? The room might be beautiful but often the tables don’t jump out. The reason for this is that typically in a restaurant environment, linens are white. White linens are something we are accustomed to, and have come to expect expect, therefore it is not something we are drawn to. The logic behind white linens in a restaurant environment makes perfect sense. Something that is pure white indicates that it is very clean, which is very important when dining. White can be used morning through night, therefore it is easy to manage and maintain.

When designing an event, I am always trying to bring in the personality of the host and emphasize the significance of the moment. Linens are a great way to do this. I like to think about it in color concepts, so if there is a cocktail reception, I recommend using colored linen that is more subtle but yet unique. Linens can be used on the cocktail tables and on the bars and buffets, sometimes playing with a range of colors in a particular palette. For the dining reception, I recommend dialing the intensity up. This will make for an impacting introduction as well as a memorable experience at the table. Last but not least when selecting linens, I’m always sensitive to the material. Especially at the dining tables, as this is something that all your guests will have contact with and therefore, the feel needs to be inviting. I always prefer to go with a natural fabric, however over the years there have been a lot of improvements with synthetic fabrics that offer a lot of value. There are many great linen providers out there that offer a range of options to choose from. If you find yourself in an environment that needs a little touch of magic, I strongly suggest considering adding it through your linens. Be bold, be fearless, think out-of-the-box and most importantly have fun!

These are the key ingredients to making a memory of a lifetime.