It's amazing what they can do with Plynyl these days. These woven vinyl, easy-cleanup place mats created by New York designer Sandy Chilewich come in ever more colors and patterns. "Engineered squares" are produced with complex gradations of color -- green, orange, turquoise. A "spun" vinyl has swirled strands that conjure some kind of industrial lace. Other textures evoke sewn-together ribbons or bamboo or cool steel mesh.
About $15 each. Available at Room Service in Los Angeles, Sur La Table in Santa Monica and Pasadena and some Bloomingdale's stores; also online at www.momastore.organd www.amazon.com.
-- Betty Hallock