It's surprisingly easy to dress up your dining area with the simple addition of beaded placements. While any type of decorative accent will spruce things up in an instant, a beaded embellishment is an impressive focal point that can also serve as a conversation piece at dinner parties and family gatherings.
Whether you wish to make a change to your existing placemats or just want to bring a memorable touch to your dining area for special occasions, you might consider the addition of a decorative beaded placemat. Many options exist within this broad spectrum; from bold patterns to metallic colors to fun embellishments, there is definitely something out there to spruce up any décor. The best part is that it's relatively inexpensive to do so, and it can make a big difference without a lot of effort.
About Beaded Placemats
Although these placemats often suggest a distinctly earthy and occasionally retro appearance, they can actually be quite elegant, too. That's because the beads are not necessarily always of the rustic, neutral variety. They are made of a variety of different materials, including bamboo, handmade glass, plastic, and wood, among others.
It isn't just the beads that make them unique, but also the design elements. While many placemats are quite simple in nature, and incorporate a single color while utilizing beadwork, other designs are more complex and detailed. Some feature intricate beaded patterns on top of fabric backgrounds, while others combine two or more different types of beads in various colors to create a pattern. Beads may also be used sparingly on some placemats, either as trim or an accent on other parts of the mat.
Additionally, beaded placemats are available in all sizes, from traditional rectangular and circular placemats to wedge placemats for round and oval tables.
What to Look For
Beads are very delicate pieces, and if not properly constructed, the placemat may become damaged over time. This can happen if the beads are not tightly sewn or woven together, or if they are not affixed properly when used as accents. No matter how the beads are used, it is important to examine the placemat's quality and construction before buying.
If the placemat is made entirely of beads that have been woven together, you can probably expect it to stay in one piece. This process is quite laborious and requires great skill. On the other hand, sewing something like a seed bead onto fabric is a much faster process, and the beads may not be properly affixed. Look at the mat for any visible or loose threads. Ideally, only the beads will show.
It's also a good idea to examine the types of beads used. Many beaded placemats are made from glass for an upscale, elegant look, but they are also more likely to suffer damage if they are improperly handled. Glass may chip or crack easily, but if you are only using the placemats for decorative purposes then you can probably count on them to stay in good shape over time.
Finally, look specifically for placemats that feature a protective backing. This will protect both the table and the long-term condition of the beads. Many beaded placemats feature felt fabric backing, which is a sturdy material ideal for keeping the placemat in position and maintaining the integrity of the mat itself and the table.
Where to Buy
Placemats designed with beading are not as easily available as standard cloth or vinyl styles; however, you can find a variety of retailers that offer them. Standard department stores offer many types of placemats each season, so you may find a beaded style in a standard table linens department. You can also find them at specialty and luxury retailers such as the following.
- Lartisina: This specialty fine linens and accessories retailer offers unique items such as placemats made with glass beads.
- Gracious Style: A fine linens store, Gracious Style carries unique luxury table decor, such as Kim Seybert's Beaded Cloissone Trim placemats.
- Always Elegant: This shop specializes in hand-crafted beaded products, including a range of placemat styles in varios price points.
- Pier 1: This well-known importer of beautiful home goods offers many unique items such as beaded table runners and placemats.
If you are considering this elegant type of placemat for a special occasion or event such as a wedding, you may also consider renting the pieces from a specialty linens rental establishment, such as Beyond Elegance.A bead artist may also be able to create custom placemats for your home or event.
A chic alternative to a simple fabric placemat, a beaded placemat adds just the right touch of intrigue and personality to your dining area. Whether you use extremely ornate styles for special occasions or opt for a basic beaded look for everyday use, you can count on making quite a statement with these eye-catching accessories.