Take it from Associate Decorating Editor Elly Poston: The quickest dining room update this season doesn't involve walls or pricey curtains but a stylish new topper.
Step 1: Refresh the table.
A skirt is the perfect remedy for dated or scratched dining furniture. If you just want the skirted look, simply buy an inexpensive folding table (shown at top right). Tip: A 48-inch round table seats four to six.
Step 2: Try new shapes.
Think past round or rectangular tables, and consider hexagonal (seats six) or octagonal (seats eight) tops. Have fiberboard from a hardware store cut to size; then secure it on top of a round table.
Step 3: Choose a fabric.
Take stock of the room's existing decor, and select a pattern to complement your scheme. A solid is more versatile for various table settings, while a print (such as a buffalo check) hides spills better.
Step 4: Embellish with trim.
Decorative tape or fringe adds a dressmaker detail to the hem of the skirt. To pack an extra punch, double up the trims, leaving an inch between the two rows, to create a banding effect.
Step 5: Top with glass.
This will serve as a coaster during meals and also hold the skirt in place. To keep it from cracking, use ¼-inch-thick glass. Lay a piece of felt between the skirt and table for a more substantial look.