As it turns out, a stash of pretty paper napkins are always good to have around for unexpected company or impromptu picnics. This is a lesson I learned last week when we had to pull out the polka dot “happy birthday!” napkins over cocktails. Oy.

Here are a few luncheon-sized napkins I would love to have stashed away because they can double as cocktail napkins in a pinch. They’re not too cutesie, nor do they look like they’re leftover from Grandma’s house. Or (eep) from Halloween. Best, almost all of them are on sale right now. –Liz

marimekko paper napkins

This set of Marimekko blue napkins is so pretty. Plus, I love everything Marimekko. (On sale for $3.95/20 at Crate + Barrel)

Marimekko black and white paper napkins

For something a little more mod, check out the Marimekko black and white dot napkins. ($2.95/20 on sale at Crate + Barrel)

Bali Lunch blue floral paper napkins

Bali Lunch napkins would look so great outside on a picnic table with some paper lanterns around. ($5.95/20 at Plates and Napkins)

Circles luncheon napkins
If the man of house asks, they’re not pink–they’re raspberry. Find these circles luncheon napkins at Paper Style ($6/20)

Chinese peony paper napkins

Chinese peony damask paper napkins have the potential to look old-fashioned, but pair them with yellow plastic utensils and teal paper plates and you’ll have a very cool color-blocked picnic table. ($5.95/20 at Plates and Napkins)

Turquiose stripe border napkin

If you want something colorful but a little sophisticated, this Turquoise stripe border napkin is just the right amount preppy, but the turquoise makes it less expected than pink or green. ($6/20 at Caspari)

Green chevron paper napkins by Plates and Napkins

Since chevrons are the pattern of the year, why not chevron napkins? These come in silver, green or coral. ($5.95/20 at Plates and Napkins)