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Should Napkins be the Same Color as the Tablecloth?

Should Napkins be the Same Color as the Tablecloth?

Posted by The Ichcha Team on 30th Jun 2024

Choosing the right color of napkins to go with the tablecloth can be daunting, but it's a detail you want to be careful with. Your napkins and tablecloth don't have to be the same color; instead, use contrasts to allow your napkins stand out as a decorative piece.

So, if your tablecloth is white, you'll want to lean towards bolder colors like blue napkins.

Whether it's a wedding dinner, restaurant, or casual house party, your napkin-tablecloth combo can either enliven your décor or flatten it out.

Why do People Match Napkins with Tablecloth?

You might have seen a few wedding reception photos with the same napkin and tablecloth color. Sure, it has its pros, but it also comes with some downsides.

Photo by Mia de Jesus on Unsplash

Pros of Matching Napkins with Tablecloth

Aesthetic uniformity: Matching napkins with tablecloth can create a cohesive and harmonious look.

Formality and elegance: Going monochrome (especially all white) is often seen as elegant and sophisticated. Can work for formal weddings and business luncheons.

Simplicity: You can go this route if you don't want to bug your brains with tiny details (think napkins). However, a little effort can make a big difference to your décor.

Less risky: If you match your napkins and tablecloth, there's zero chance anyone would roast you for poor color combination.

Cons of Matching Napkins with Tablecloth

Lack of contrast: napkins are supposed to be a decorative piece. But if they're the same color as the tablecloth, they'll simply blend into the background, defeating their aesthetic purpose.

Missed opportunities for creativity: Matching napkins with tablecloths is less risky and simple. But imagine how many compliments you'll receive if you put in a little effort by playing with complementary colors.

Visibility issues: in photos, it will be difficult to tell the napkins apart from the tablecloth if you go monochrome. There's zero visual interest, and no event should be devoid of that.

How to Choose Your Napkins and Tablecloth Colors

What is the Best Material for Dinner Napkins?

Photo by Ichcha

It's not just about playing with your favorite colors or the event theme. You must choose the right napkin color that works well with the tablecloth.

Here are some rules to guide you:

Avoid Using Napkins and Tablecloths of the Same Color

Napkins are not only for wiping; they're a decorative piece. So why not maximize their function? There's a temptation to go all white, but the napkins will blend into the tablecloth and lose their visual interest.

If your tablecloth is neutral, use bright napkins like green or red to bring the décor to life. Pairing a white tablecloth with cream or navy blue napkins can also create that elegant neutral appeal while adding a pop of color.

Work with the Event Theme

If you've already chosen a theme for your event, things just got way easier. Choose napkins matching your theme and pair them with white tablecloths. White tablecloths go with anything, but you can also pick any color that fits the theme. For example, in a Bohemian wedding theme, this Forget Me Not tablecloth will work well with some eco-friendly blue napkins and a blue table runner.

Use Complementary Colors

A rule of thumb when pairing napkins with a tablecloth is to use complementary colors. For a blue tablecloth, orange napkins will work well.

Here are a few complementary colors to consider:

  • Orange and blue
  • Green and red
  • Yellow and purple
  • Yellow-orange and blue-purple

Experiment with Different Textures and Patterns

Don't be afraid to deviate from the norm and try new things. Aside from using contrasting colors, try out textured napkins and patterned tablecloths. Better yet, pair patterned napkins with a plain tablecloth. Consider using these block-print napkins to make your table setting more interesting.

Photo by Ichcha

Pair Colors of Similar Depths

For proper tablecloth and napkin coordination, ensure you match similar color intensities. You don't want to pair pale yellow with dark blue. Instead, match soft tones with other soft tones and rich tones with other rich tones.

Wrapping Up

The bottom line is, do your best to create color contrast when matching table linens to create decor harmony. By using different shades and complementary colors, you make for an aesthetic dining experience for your guests.


What color is best for dining tablecloth?

One of the best colors for tablecloths is neutral. This includes white, black, ivory, cream, beige, navy, and gray.

What is the best color for napkins?

There is no one best color for napkins; as long as it fits perfectly into your table decor theme, you're good to go. Whether you use white, blue, or block-print napkins, they should stand out and complement your tablecloth.

How can I make my table setting look pretty?

To beautify your table setting, create color contrast between your napkins and tablecloth. This allows both decorative pieces to stand out and add visual appeal to your dining experience. Using creative napkin folds can also add to the elegance of your table setting.

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