Big-Impact Linens
During a reception, the tables are essentially the dominant horizontal surface, providing the base layer upon which the room’s design is created, says Marina Alexandra Birch, owner of Chicago-based Birch Design Studio. And with so many affordable tablecloths, runners and napkins available to rent right now, linens are an easy and cost-effective way to make a statement.

Here’s how seemingly minor textiles can have a major impact on your décor.

Get Creative

One of Birch’s favorite looks this year is using a single solid color table cloth, and then mixing and matching runners and napkins in a variation of shades and patterns within a single color scheme. “It lends an eclectic, almost vintage look to the room,” says Birch.

Another classy option is to select a tonal range of colors for your tables, such as two complimentary shades of blue and a third variation for the napkin and chair pad, says Sasha Souza, author of “Signature Sasha: Magnificent Weddings by Design” (Beaufort Books, 2010). “Or change the color of the linen as the space progresses from ceremony to cocktails to dinner to dancing.”

Amp it Up

Pairing your eye-catching linen with one other well-chosen, striking item can have an exponentially stylish effect.

For example, Souza points out that chairs are both a focal point at the table and functional – guests will be seated for a minimum of an hour, so using high-quality and colorful Chiavari chairs is practical in addition to elegant and cohesive with your linens.

Birch, however, suggests adding texture to the table by incorporating one “signature” piece of glassware at each place setting, be it a jewel-toned water goblet or a cut-crystal wine glass. She also advises prioritizing thoughtfully planned ambient lighting because it can help set the mood as well as lend sparkle to both your décor and the dinner itself.

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