Spruce Up Your Accent Table Decor with the Perfect Tablecloth

Accent tables serve an important decorative purpose in homes and offices. Often standing alone or adding flair to a vignette with other decor, the right accent table can infuse a space with style. But on their own, even the loveliest carved wood or gleaming metal accent tables miss a certain je ne sais quoi. The solution? Topping them with the perfect tablecloth to transform these petite furnishings into focal points.

Finding and properly styling tablecloths for accent tables does entail some special considerations. But armed with the right techniques for measuring, tailoring, and calculating size and drop, even novices can dress up their 20-inch round accent tables beautifully. Read on as we guide you to that flawless tablecloth fit.

Determine Use and Style Goals for Your Accent Table

Before shopping tablecloths, decide how you want to use your accent table. Will it serve drinks and hors d’oeuvres during festive entertaining? Or does it mainly provide a decorative foundation for treasured photos and mementos? Tablecloths for casual, everyday use differ from those meant for formal affairs.

Consideration Casual, Everyday Use Formal Entertaining
Fabric and PatternMore delicate fabrics like lace or linen; subtle patternsFiner fabrics like damask; solid colors suit formal affairs
LengthShorter drops around knee heightFloor or ankle length drops make a dramatic statement

The overall style you want to achieve also guides your tablecloth selection. A boho chic look loves the texture of linen or cotton paired with macrame tassels. Contemporary spaces shine with satin polyester in vibrant hues like citron and magenta. Consider the accent table’s purpose and style sensibilities before buying.

Take Precise Measurements of Your Accent Table

Measuring the accent table properly prevents disappointments from an ill-fitting tablecloth. Use a flexible cloth tape measure and record the following dimensions:

  • Diameter: Wrap the tape around the widest part of the tabletop to measure diameter. For round tables like our 20-inch example, this straightforward number defines the size.
  • Height: Measure from the floor surface up to the tabletop, including any pedestal or other base below.
  • Tabletop Thickness: Measure from tabletop edge to edge straight across to gauge depth and any overhang room.
  • Shape: Confirm the overall table shape–round, square, oval. This ensures you select a well-matched tablecloth shape.

Note measurements accurately–a quarter inch miscalculation creates a visible fit issue with tablecloths. For non-round tables, measure both length and width.

Calculate Proper Tablecloth Size

The right tablecloth size comes from some easy math using your accent table’s dimensions. To determine round tablecloth diameter:

tablecloth for 20 inch round accent table

Diameter = Table Diameter + (2 x Drop length)

So for our 20-inch diameter round example accent table allowing a 10-inch drop, the math goes:

20 inches (table diameter) + (2 x 10 inches (drop length) ) = 40 inches

The drop length–the amount of extra fabric falling around the table edges–remains a matter of preference. Casual accent tables suit shorter 6-12 inch drops. Formal tablescapes make stunning statements with floor length drops.

The math works the same way to calculate dimensions for a square, rectangular, or oval tablecloth using the table’s length and width instead of diameter. Always account for overhang.

Choose a Suitable Tablecloth Fabric

Accent table tablecloths come in several fabric options, each with advantages.

Fabric Characteristics
CottonBreathable natural fiber; casual look
LinenTextured natural fabric; prone to wrinkles
PolyesterWrinkle resistant; vivid color options
LaceDelicate material; intricate patterns

Match the fabric to your planned usage and overall room scheme. Prefer easy-care tablecloths? Polyester and cotton-poly blends suit low maintenance needs. Adding cozy warmth? Consider linen or textured lace options.

Tailor the Tablecloth for a Custom Fit

Finding an accurately sized readymade accent table tablecloth proves tricky. Instead, purchase a slightly oversized tablecloth and tailor it down for a perfect custom fit. Here’s how.


For polymer or cotton-blend fabrics, just trim the tablecloth to needed dimensions and re-hem the edges. Use a needle and coordinating thread to create a simple blindstitch hem. This discrete finishing seam keeps edges tidy.

Clips & Elastic Bands

Hemming delicate textiles like lace or linen risks damage, so use detachable fittings instead. Mini binder clips or pearl headed pins discretely secure fabric. For sturdier hold without clips, sew a silicone or elastic band to the underside edges.

With the right measurement calculations and simple hemming adjustments, even tablecloth novice can achieve a flawless custom fit for their accent table’s dimensions and style.

Explore Tablecloth Shapes for Round Accent Tables

A round tablecloth naturally suits a 20-inch diameter circular accent table. But expanding your tablecloth shape horizons opens up additional style possibilities.

Oval Tablecloths

An oval tablecloth with its elongated curved silhouette adds visual interest to round accent tables. The elongated shape also conveniently accommodates off-center table placements while still covering legs.

Square & Rectangular

For small pedestal tables, square and rectangular tablecloths give the floating illusion of fabric unsupported below. These angular shapes contrast intriguingly with round table edges as well.

Get creative mixing the expected and unexpected tablecloth shapes with your accent furniture. The variety spices up your decor scheme.

Add Embellishments for Extra Decor Impact

Once you secure the perfect base tablecloth fit, consider decorative enhancements to amplify style. Here are ideas for dressing up accent table tablecloths with pleasing embellishments.

Contrast Banding

Sew or hot glue colorful bias tape or pom pom fringe trim to tablecloth edges. Black banding on white linens adds bold definition.

Texture Trims

Fabric choice creates intrinsic texture, but you can take it further by sewing on extraneous touches. Consider cotton lace borders, light ruffles, or textured ribbon edging. This handcrafted charm heightens appeal.

Add your personal creative stamp and customize a basic tablecloth with unique embellishments that capture your style sensibilities.

Shop Smart for the Perfect Accent Table Tablecloth

Finding that ideal tablecloth means checking more than just physical stores. Online tablecloth shopping uncovers wider selections and deals. Yet seeing and feeling fabrics proves important too. Mix both retail worlds by researching online then purchasing in person after verifying quality.

Set a tablecloth budget beforehand as prices fluctuate wildly. Basic polyester rounds cost under $10. High-end customized floor length linen versions approach $500. Define reasonable spending parameters in advance.

While bargain basement tablecloths lure with tempting deals, uneven hems, thin fabric, or dull colors often disappoint later. Balance budget with quality expectations when weighing brands and checking reviews.

With some pre-shopping checks, you can confidently track down well-made and sized tablecloths for your petite accent furnishings.

Style Your Accent Table Vignette

The ideal tablecloth realizes its full potential as part of a complete accent table vignette. Blend complementary elements like candles, floral arrangements, table runners, and ceramic decor objects. Creative tablescaping lifts accent tables from mundane to museum-worthy.


Try a compilation around inspired themes like Romantic English Garden or Mid-Century Retro. This curated cohesion keeps the look holistic.

DIY Touches

Introduce personality by tucking in cherished photos, kids’ artwork, or small handmade ceramic buds. Sentiment and handiwork personalize.

A stellar tablecloth lays the foundation–then have fun designing artistic accent table vignettes reflecting style passions.

Care and Maintenance Tips

Preserve a tablecloth’s like-new sheen with the right care. Follow fabric-specific washing guidance on tags including water temperature, cycles, and drying.

Stain Protection

Act promptly on spills and stains before they set using club soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide or diluted dish soap. Pre-treat oil-based stains like candle wax first.


For tablecloths not in everyday use, store folded or loosely rolled in clean, breathable garment bags. Avoid crushing delicate embellishments.

Check tablecloths periodically for snags, breakdowns and missing embellishment pieces needing repair. Extend useful life with conscientious care.

The perfectly fitted tablecloth truly transforms any accent table, whether it’s an heirloom estate sale find or modern acrylic. Measure carefully, tailor skillfully, style creatively and care properly–these table dressing tips help you play decorator beautifully. Surround your accent furnishings with tablecloth finery creating captivating focal points filled with style and sentiment.

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