Whether your style is “grand-millennial” or “organic modern,” table setting is having a moment. Being able to set a chic table has become, once again, a sign of style and taste. The professionally styled spreads in the pages of magazines and on social media might feel daunting, but with a few key pieces, creating an impressive tableau is easier than it looks.
With a gorgeous set of table linens, even the most mundane dishes and glassware can shine. It’s never been easier to get your hands on beautiful, quality napkins for both table and home bar. Vintage napkins are plentiful and usually inexpensive, and can give a pop of color and style to a table like nothing else. Taste-makers of yesteryear had drawers full of colorful linen and cotton napkins, and while the trend is coming back in a big way, we aren’t seeing it quite as much on the retail shelves just yet. This is where vintage purchases can help you get ahead of the pack and lead the way.
When sourcing vintage linens, natural fibers are key. Cotton napkins are wonderful, but linen is even better, especially Irish or Italian linen. Don’t be afraid of care — even the prettiest sets of napkins were made to withstand washing, and you will be surprised at how durable they still can be.
Keep an eye out for interesting patterns — florals or geometrics are always a hit — and beautiful embroidery. The most coveted style of embroidered linens is from Madeira, done by hand on the Portuguese archipelago. Madeira embroidery can range from classic elegance (think flourishes and monograms) to tongue-in-cheek novelty designs.
Cocktail napkins are making a big comeback. Often designed with whimsical, playful patterns.Cocktail napkins are easy to find and inexpensive. I especially love the sets that come with the coasters that slip over the stem of your wine glass: clever and adorable.
Don’t forget about napkin rings! There are so many styles and designs out there, from chic geometric Lucite to monogrammed silverplate. They are easy to find in antique stores and estate sales, and instantly elevate a place setting.
Get the Look
This selection of vintage table and cocktail napkins were all sourced locally from:
Red Crow Antiques, Vintage Vibe, Best Estate Liquidators Estate Sales, Estate Sales Corpus Christi