Do You Use Placemats?

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I don't own any placemats which is a little surprising because I'm always looking for a 'practical' excuse to buy something new for the kitchen. But I've never gotten in the habit of using placemats and find that I really don't miss them. In general, people seem to use placemats either for aesthetic reasons (to pull a look together or to dress up the table) or for practical reasons because a placemat is easier to clean than a whole tablecloth.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not anti-placemat. I can see that they are handy, especially when you are feeding children when the easy-to-wipe plastic mats become almost a necessity. And I can appreciate how a well-coordinated placemat can pull a table together and make it feel more dressy.

It's just never been the kind of thing I've gravitated towards, despite drawers full of cloth napkins and tablecloths. So I'm curious. Do you use placemats and if so, why?

Related: 10 Pretty and Practical Placemants

(Image: West Elm)

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Dana Velden has just finished writing her first book: Finding Yourself in the Kitchen: Meditations and Recipes from a Mindful Cook which is based on her Weekend Meditation posts from The Kitchn. (Rodale Press, Fall, 2015) She lives in Oakland, CA.