Here's a scenario. It's the morning of Thanksgiving, and you've been up all night cooking and baking when you realize: you never washed and ironed the tablecloth. (Gasp!) You prefer your fêtes to be casual and effortless, but you also want to imbue the evening with a modicum of formality to lift the celebratory mood. What's a holiday hostess to do? First, don't stress. We've got an easy solution for you.
Simply gather a bunch of linen napkins—choose one with some sort of trim to create a graphic pattern, and stick to a similar color palette to create a more cohesive look—and arrange them on the table so that they're overlapping at regular intervals. Don't have those either? You can try it with a few linen dishtowels. Now, get going. You've got a table to set before guests arrive.