A beautiful tablecloth, place mats and napkins add pizzazz to a dinner party, but finding a spot for them when not in use can be challenging. Here are seven clever storage solutions for your table linens.
Old dresser. Linen storage is a terrific way to repurpose a hand-me-down or outgrown dresser. Smaller drawers are well suited to napkins, placemats, napkin rings and trivets, while large ones can accommodate folded tablecloths. Jazz the piece up with a fun paint color and new hardware that elevates the look.
Vintage armoire or pie safe. Consider it a portable linen closet, only prettier. If your dining room is small without room for a lot of extra furnishings, don’t rule out this option — look for a piece with a shallow footprint that won’t protrude into the room.
Pantry. Your pantry isn’t just for dry goods. Designate a shelf for linens and bring in a few open bins or racks to keep them in order. (File trays and racks from office supply stores work surprisingly well for smaller items.) You can even use a pretty basket-style laundry hamper. To minimize fold lines for large tablecloths, install a spring-loaded rod, such as a shower rod, and buy extra-wide hangers over which to drape the linens.
Wine rack. Crisscrossed cubbies designed to hold wine bottles pinch-hit beautifully for napkins and placemats. Roll them up and corral sets together to make sure they stay sorted and close at hand.
Under-the-bed container. You’ve probably stored gift wrap, seasonal sweaters and the odd Santa surprise under the bed, but did you know it’s a perfect hideaway for linens? Stack them in flat plastic containers and fasten sets with binder clips. To prevent wrinkles, roll linens around cardboard wrapping-paper tubes, then secure with a rubber band.
Towel rod. Fasten a few towel rods to the back of a closet door or to a basement wall to corral linens quickly and easily. Or use an over-the-door model inside a pantry or kitchen cabinet.
Hinge-top bench. Add a storage bench to your dining room, and the benefit is twofold. Not only will you spice up your seating, but you’ll also have a ready-made place to stash tablecloths and napkins. With so many elegant styles on the market, no one will guess they’re sitting on top of your heirloom damask.