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The holiday season means means entertaining. Brunches. Lunches, Breakfasts. Dinners. Cocktail parties and more. Rather than doing the same ol’ same ol’ table designs with your sit dinners, why not change things up. With just a few tweaks and changes, you can reshape the mood and ambiance of your table. It was so much fun for me to create these thirteen table looks using napkins!

What I’ve done here is take one basic white plate. Well, it’s a large bistro bowl. We love eating out of these large bowls, which are plates, at our house. Let’s call them ‘plowls’! They hold a lot and because they’re white, I can change up the ‘look’ of these plowls with just a few napkin changes.

Let’s think about your silverware now. You’ll see that I’m using the same pattern in all these ten looks with the different napkins. While proper table etiquette might not agree with how I’ve arranged things, I think you can do whatever you want at your table with the placement of your utensils! 

So, nothing is changing in these dinner settings other than the napkin, how the silverware is arranged and maybe a whimsical twig thrown in here and there. I’ve given these looks names because they remind me of dinner tables I’ve experience over the years in my travels all over the country and world. 

As you look at each, I’ll give you a few ideas of what I’ve done and maybe you’ll find some of these useful for your dining table. Mix up the ideas. Swap out something on one you like and use in another way. There are no rules when it comes to boho decor, and, remember it doesn’t have to the the holidays, it can be anytime of the year!

ten table looks with napkins

Oohhhh, this is my more casual bistro feel. I totally adore this vintage look dishtowel used as a napkin. It reminds me of being at an outdoor cafe in Warsaw. And, for a look of flair, I’ve folded over the edge of the top. I get these on Amazon. Just Google ‘dish towels vintage style’. They’re large (28″x 20″) and soft so perfect for messy eaters! Just put that silverware right on top, and watch it sparkle!

ten table looks with napkins

This rustic look comes with this hemsack like napkin. I’ve made three accordion waves and put a sprig of fresh parsley in there for a whimsy look. The utensils work fine in the placed right in the plowl. I love the black and oatmeal color of the napkin. Makes you feel like you’re in a remote cabin in the woods.

ten table looks with napkins

With this rustic look. I’ve taken a flour sack kitchen towel, shaken it out and tied a fat knot. I love the mushroom color of this flour sack towel. You can find these at big box stores like WalMart! I wanted the ‘napkin’ to be the centerpiece here, so the utensils are placed at the top of the plate.

ten table looks with napkins

A bistro look is clean and sleek. I just feel like a French waiter in a crisp long white apron tied around his or her waist is walking up to me now and taking my order. The ‘napkin’ is a white flour sack kitchen towel. Yep, you can find these at WalMart, Bed Bath and Beyond and other kitchen stores. The silverware is a tad bit more formal. I suppose we’re dining on the Avenue des Champs Elysées.

ten table looks with napkins

Who doesn’t love cowboy and cowgirl dining! I mean even if you’re in a high rise condo in Manhattan, transform that deck to a mock ‘campfire’ feel with just a few changes to your table. You can get these bandannas at WalMart for a buck each. Yep, that’s right one dollar. Then the tiny Coke glass I got at Dollar store, and it was just 59 cents. Perfect for the napkin, then save that glass for toasting!

ten table looks with napkins

There’s just something about linen that makes me feel luxurious. And, this grey striped linen napkin (found them at Crate & Barrel) is even more beautiful as it gets older and more wrinkled. That’s what French country living’s all about. Then wrapping and tying the utensils in the thick hemp rope, which you can find at a craft store, just rounds out the mood. Of course, the napkin ring can become a conversation piece. Make up a story that you found it while winding through the narrow streets of the souk!

ten table looks with napkins

The mushroom color flour sack kitchen towel gets all gussied up, yes, shabby chic with just a couple of twists. You know those stretchy sparkle bracelets that you can find at thrift stores, big box stores, craft stores and more. Well, they add glitter and glam and can be the napkin ring. I’ve tied some black grosgrain ribbon around the bunched up towel to add some contrast. Hey, even a sprig of rosemary would look beautiful and add an aroma of love! Just throw the utensils on the plate. They’re not the star of this shabby chic setting!

ten table looks with napkins

Oh, yes, Tuscany. Where Italian farmhouses are works of art. Simple and beautiful with everything that means comfort. These napkins I found in Asheville, NC. Yes, at a little hippie store. I loved the look of them. They reminded me of visits to Italy. Folding them lengthwise and putt the plate on top, so the ends are showing is an unexpected place for the napkin. Then placing all the silverware at the top give an elegant farm linear look. The muted colors in the napkin, the stitching, the roughly woven threads. All mean sturdy and practical for living on a farm.

ten table looks with napkins

Holidays are defined by red and green. And, plaid! These napkins were found at Home Goods. Love that place! You can see that the silverware is giving a totally unstructured look all around the plate. Then holding together this napkin, clothesline pins! Yes, got them at the craft store. Use a Sharpie and write messages. Use them as place settings for names. If you want them to be sparkly, just spray paint with glitter spray paint! Ooohhhh, so many options!

ten table looks with napkins

This littl’ holiday plaid napkin gets more shine with the three stretch rhinestone bracelets as the napkin ring. Then adding that sprig of holiday tree adds freshness. Those stretch bracelets can be found at craft stores, and they make wonderful decor for so many things. Plus, you can wear them! I love crisscrossing silverware, too!

ten table looks with napkins

Buffalo check makes me think about being in Montana in a large log cabin overlooking the majestic mountains. Yes, I’m a dreamer! And, if we’re sitting down for dinner, maybe a steam buffalo chili in these bowls (spoons coming!), then we unwrap our napkin from the thick cowboy twine and have the scent of rosemary on our fingers. I mean it doesn’t get any better. Sprinkle rosemary on your table for a festive natural feel.

ten table looks with napkins

The Ritz. Elegant. Simple. White. Formal. Expect several courses. The linen napkin with threads of silk is monogrammed in white and is fan folded. When the waitperson come, he will flip that napkin and place in your lap. Why not have your own ‘ritz’ at your dining table!

ten table looks with napkins

We all need to be playful in life. It keeps us young! And, this napkin setting is just that. We’ve got two napkins here, take your choice. One is a paper the other cloth. One polka dots. The other colorful and enticing. One folded in a triangle. The other not. What’s more playful than this when your guests take their seats! And, you never know when you’ll need that second napkin. I find the most artistic and stunning paper napkins at stores like Tuesday Morning!

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