orange runner with coffee cups at the end of a table

Photo: Copyright 2012 Peter Rosenbaum

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Downsize the Tablecloth
"Instead of a tablecloth, I'd rather just put down a wide runner or swath of fabric—it can be high impact on a low budget. A really good way to make a runner is to get 1 1/2 yards of fabric—most home-décor fabrics are 54 inches wide and are Scotchgarded, so they're easy to clean. To finish the sides, get some fusible hem tape, or use pinking shears to create a decorative raw edge and cut a 4-foot square (most dining tables are no wider than 48 inches). You can place a big square in the middle of the table or put the fabric at an angle or even put it on one end of a buffet and designate it as the place to get plates, silverware and food. (You can use it again and again, or even layer it over an older tablecloth to freshen it up.)" —Monica Pedersen, author of Make It Beautiful: Designs and Ideas for Entertaining at Home (Agate Midway, 2012)


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