ISSUE 26  |  Summer Kitchen

Design Sleuth: Simple Brass Napkin Rings (from the Hardware Store)

June 29, 2015 1:00 PM

BY Sarah Lonsdale

On a recent trip to London, I had breakfast at Nopi, star chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s restaurant in Soho. He has three other cafe-delis dotted around the city, but this one, located north of Piccadilly (hence Nopi), is a proper restaurant. Designed by Israeli architect Alex Meitlis, the man responsible for all of Ottolenghi’s projects, Nopi shares the pristine, all-white interiors of the other outposts, but is elevated by brass accents, including circles used as a recurring motif, from the restaurant’s sign to its ingenious napkin holders. For the latter, Meitlis has taken a hardware store staple and transformed it into an elegant table accessory. Better still, the idea is easily–and cheaply–replicated at home. 

Above: One of two dining rooms at Nopi. Meitlis is known for drilling down on details: Note the built-in brass hangers. Photograph via Lucy Will Show You.

Above L: The restaurant’s brass napkin rings. Above R: Water bottles adorned with brass circles.

I found brass rings like the one shown here at my local hardware store. Trident makes a solid Brass Ring, two inches in diameter, available via Amazon for $3.95.

Above: The gleaming O’s on the exterior.

Above: Nopi’s streamlined, elegant table settings. Photograph via Architectural Digest.

Above L: The napkins are tidily rolled. Above R: Rings anchor the checks.

For more brass inspiration, check out:

And take a look at more of our Design Sleuth posts, including Wall-Mounted Stainless Steel Dish Racks and Vintage Cup Holders as Candle Sconces.

This post is an update; it originally appeared on January 8, 2014, as part of our New Start issue.