Life is too short to be formal all the time, which can explain why more households are using fewer tablecloths on their tables or other dining room furniture.
Décor experts have also observed this shift in restaurant settings, where diners are likely to forego tablecloths in formal dining room settings, or even opting for more casual, "family-friendly" dining establishments.
So what has happened to the love of linens we used to have? After all, tablecloths have traditionally enhanced the look of a dining room setting and kept stains and spills from reaching the surface of the table. Rather than worrying about a big mess getting into the wood grain, we simply were able to toss a dirty tablecloth in the washer.
An awareness of energy use is part of the reason that some people may no longer want their dining tables covered. You can save on your electric and gas bill if you don't have to wash the tablecloth.
Another reason is that dining room sets no longer have to include a tablecloth is that people may appreciate the look of a plain table surface, especially as more rustic décor styles become popular in dining room collections. Maybe a resident prefers more of a lodge or country theme, which may look wonderful with natural wood dining room furniture, but the table and chairs won't look as good with starched linens.
Eating habits have also changed over the last few decades including more people sharing their meals 'family style' rather than being individually served, so dining room furniture that used to feature a nice tablecloth has given way to individual place mats or perhaps a table runner or two. These serve the functional role of keeping stains off the table where the diner is eating, plus provide a decor role that colorful tablecloths evoke. But these options also let people see the best of both worlds.
So should you ditch the tablecloth forever? Not necessarily. While it may not be useful for daily, informal dining, it may still be something to bring out for extra-special occasions.