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Unfolding Elegance: The Art of the Napkin

Unfolding Elegance: The Art of the Napkin

In the world of dining and decor, the devil really is in the details. One of the most understated yet transformative elements is the napkin. Not just a utilitarian cloth, an artfully chosen and folded napking can elevate a simple table setting to a canvas of sophistication and style.

Linen, with its natural, slightly textured weave, brings an element of rustic elegance to any table. When you lay a linen napking beside a plate, you're not just setting the table; you're setting the stage for an experience.

The choice of color in your napkin can deeply influence the mood and theme of the dining experience. You might opt for crisp, classic white or something vibrant to add a splash of color or celebrate a holiday or period of the year. Pastels are perfect for Easter and spring, our mustard and deeper tones for the fall, etc.

Our Everyday Linen Signature Collection is a line-up of 21+ shades of over-sized, hand-dyed linen in a vibrant spectrum.

In the 19th century, silver held a special place in French households, symbolizing elegance, wealth, and status. Theses were not just functional items but statement pieces that showcased a family's social standing.

French families took great pride in their table settings, with silver playing a key role in the dining experience. From intricately designed silverware to ornate serving dishes, every detail was carefully curated to impress guests.

Of course one of the key elements for a table was the napkin ring. French families would often personalize these rings with initials or family crests. Aside from their decorative purpose, silver napkin rings served a practical function as well. By assigning each family member their own ring, it helped keep track of individual napkins as laundering at the time was more laborious and the same cloth napkin could be used for more than one meal.

It was not uncommon for families to pass down these rings as cherished heirlooms, further solidifying their significance as a symbol of status and heritage. This is true for silverware sets (with individual initials on each piece) and silver christening cups.

 This particular napkin ring belonged to my husband's grandfather and was passed down to him. It is a cherished family heirloom.

Beyond silver, one of my favorite ways to draw attention to the beauty of a setting is through individual flowers. Interlacing a flower through a napkin ring or placing a small vase of flowers next to each setting makes each person feel attended to in a special way.

Photography and writing by Emilie Johnson. She lives in Provence and can be found on instagram at @emilie_joly_johnson