The City Magazine Since 1975

The Table is Set

The Table is Set
April 2018

Holly Stuart Home designs smart accessories for dining and drinking

Left: New two-sided octagonal place mats ($38 each) can be monogrammed. Right: The “Stinson” tray ($106) and stand ($96)

When a treasured tablecloth brought home from France was ruined by a mere handful of dinner parties, Holly Stuart—at the time working as a menu and party planner for a Chicago-area restaurant, cooking school, and catering company—decided she needed a table covering that was both “practical and pretty.”

She liked the convenience of hardboard place mats, but couldn’t find any in patterns that felt current. She set to work, and in 2011, Holly Stuart Home was born: a one-woman operation that sold place mats to a single boutique. Today, the housewares brand is available through 100-plus retailers as far off as England and New Zealand, and Stuart’s running things from Mount Pleasant, where she moved in 2016.

As she grew her company, Stuart kept the focus on versatility, introducing two-sided place mats, plus coasters, all made in Wisconsin. Keeping to “similar colors, shapes, and patterns so that everything can be used cohesively,” she added linen napkins, plus lacquerware trays that can be popped into matching stands. These smart pieces earned a mention in Oprah magazine’s May 2015 “O List Organizing Special.”

Shop the line—which includes new backgammon boards—locally at deGuise Home and Moffett Home in Fritz Porter, or via 


Photographs (3) courtesy of Holly Stuart Home