Planning an event – from a wedding to a dinner party – always comes with its challenges; once you’ve pinned down the date, the location and the food, the amount of decisions which still need to be made can feel overwhelming. Keeping things simple is the key to a good celebration, and when friends sit down together all they need is a presentable table and good conversation.

Smart cutlery, sparkling glassware, flowers and placements will add an edge to a setting, alongside carefully considered napkin rings which can become a talking point in themselves. From marble to textured gold and brass, choose the right accessory to bring a frisson to your fare with our design guide below.

Napkin rings for the maximalist: L’Objet

Gold figure holding onto a napkin

Napkin rings don’t have to be classic, and a host of designers have cottoned on to the fact that intricately embellished napkin rings can spark a real sense of joy when sitting down to lunch. L’Objet, which creates beautifully crafted homeware with a bohemian eccentricity, has played with mythical themes in a collaboration with the Haas Brothers, in the ‘Monster Ball’ set of napkin rings, which are contemporary adornments in their own right. Crafted from antique gold brass and with a polished finish, these textured critters are sure to invite a comment or two. 

amara.com; £295

Napkin rings in sculptural shapes: Fiammetta V Home Collection

napkin rings in pink and blue marble

Classic, tactile materials are a natural fit for the sculptural simplicity of a napkin ring. Traditionally a delicate whorl of precious metal, a warmer base can transform the look and feel for pieces which guests will want to play with. This set of four napkin holders from Fiammetta V Home Collection crafts simple loops in pink Portogallo marble and green Guatemala marble. Each piece, handmade in Italy, is unique, and comes complete with delicate veining and hazy integrations of colour, bringing an Italian elegance to your dinner table. 

artemest.com; £120

The leather napkin rings: Métier

Leather napkin ties in a case

We use the term ‘rings’ loosely when considering Métier’s brown leather napkin rings which err more on the traditional side, nodding to the practicality of a simple strip of leather. The play on form brings a different aesthetic to the dinner table, appealing to those who are after something stripped-back and unpretentious. These pieces, from Métier’s first homeware collection, ‘The Art of Dining’, are made in Italy from buffalo leather and are secured with a thread-loop fastening. The rich warmth of their colour makes them the ideal foil for crisp white table linen. 

Napkin rings for the bold: Stories of Italy

Red patterned napkin rings

A minimalist table not for you? For those who eschew the simplicity of a neutral palette, a rich clash of textures can be fun. Bold prints in vivid colours – think vibrant tablecloths, wildflowers spilling out their vases and clashing cutlery – can all bring a fizz to a dinner party. Stories of Italy has the perfect pieces for these tablescapes, crafting colourful napkin rings from mouth-blown Murano glass. The brilliant colour effects are created through many applications of pigments and flakes, which builds to a three-dimensional effect, a nod to the traditional patterns of ancient Italy. 

Romantic napkin rings: Alighieri

Gold textured napkin rings

Alighieri’s jewellery is created in Hatton Garden by Rosh Mahtani, who was inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy for her wearable sculptures that cut indulgent silhouettes. It is a sensual philosophy carried through to homeware that adds a flamboyant flourish to tables. This ‘Selva Oscura’ napkin ring set, handcrafted from gold-toned brass in Italy, will strike the right note for an intimate dinner for two. Embracing both curves and textural patterns, their voluptuously drawn forms are shamelessly seductive. 

Napkin rings for the minimalist: Broste Copenhagen

Gold napkin rings against a pale grey background

Scandivian interior design company Broste Copenhagen focuses on slow production and carefully considered details in the two collections it releases each year. Homeware products including lighting, textiles and more decorative items all conform to the clean simplicity of Nordic traditions, with an added contemporary dose of cool. Napkin rings, crafted from brass and with a subtle matte cream finish on the outside, are neutral enough to style as you see fit. Keep things simple with pressed linen napkins, or transform them into an elegant foil for brighter patterns and let your imagination run riot.

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