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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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