nautical tabletop designHands up, who’s used a laundry hack they found on the internet? Vinegar to try to eliminate a lingering odor on clothes? Lemons for brightening when washing your whites? How about baking soda for removing a stain? If you’re anything like me, you’ll have raised your hand for at least two of those laundry hacks. I always remember trying to use lemon to brighten my whites while I was at college and let’s just say the results weren’t exactly, well, bright. As for the that time I tried to use lemon to lighten my hair? Well, the least we say about that the better! Suffice to say that sometimes hacks don’t work the way we want them to – and after the time it can take to do them, that can be frustrating, right? That’s why I was thrilled to partner with Tide to learn how #TideBeatsHacks. In today’s post I’m going to show you two DIY tabletop hacks for a stylish nautical tabletop, that are 100% worth the time and effort! Then, I’ll show you how Tide beats laundry hacks when it comes to keeping my table linens bright, white and stain free. No more stressing over red wine spills – hurrah! OK, let’s dive in.nautical tabletop designI love creating beautiful, crisp tabletops but I am always anxious about buying white linens for entertaining. I know that inevitably, they will get food and wine stains from the very first use. The first time this happened, I turned to the internet and found a handful of laundry hacks.

I tried the most common laundry hack for removing stains – baking soda. I mixed a paste, pre-treated the stains and washed the linens with a bargain detergent that I had on-hand. The results were awful and after all the time I took, it was frustrating. Suffice to say I was resigned to never using white linens for entertaining again.

So when Tide told me there was a better way – a way that required way less effort and even better results, I wanted to try it out. I did and the results were great. See those bright white linens on my nautical tabletop? I can take no credit, my friends! It’s all thanks to Tide Ultra Oxi, which successfully rid the napkins of their stains. They came out looking bright and white, so I can use them over and over again as part of my nautical tabletop. No more stressing over red wine spills – hurrah! I’ll show you the impressive side by side shots later, but first I’ll show you two DIY tabletop hacks for a stylish nautical tabletop, that actually are worth the time and effort (unlike the baking soda!).nautical tabletop designHere’s the thing: when it comes to DIY I want to be sure that the project is actually going to work. I don’t love DIY enough to do it just for ‘fun’; I can’t walk around from a few hours of crafting gone wrong and feel like it was still a good use of my time. See also: failed laundry hacks! For that reason, I only tend to undertake DIY projects for the home that I know will work – and I’m sharing two of those right here for you today. For this nautical tabletop I made both the sisal placemats/chargers and the rustic twine napkin rings. I love the texture and tactility that each brings to the tabletop. And the major plus to these DIY tabletop hacks? Making the chargers and napkin rings is considerably more affordable (and satisfying!) than buying a set from the store. Here’s how to make them…nautical tabletop designDIY sisal placemats / What you need
Sisal rope
Heavy duty craft scissors
Tape measure
Glue gun
Hot gluenautical tabletop designDIY sisal placemats / What to do
1. Turn on the glue gun and allow it time to heat up. Then, start making a small and tightly bound coil of sisal rope by placing a small line of glue on the outside of the rope and then coling the rope around itself. Be sure to hold the coil in place (10-30 secs) until the glue has dried, and then continue.
2. Continue to coil the rope until you have a placemat that is around 1 ½ inches bigger than your dinner plate. In my case, the plate is 9.5 inches in diameter so my placemats are around 11” wide. The tape measure will help ensure you have the right diameter as you go.nautical tabletop designDIY rustic twine napkin rings / What you need
Toilet paper tubes
Gardening wine
Tape measure
Glue gun
Hot gluenautical tabletop designDIY rustic twine napkin rings / What to do
1. Cut the toilet paper tube into lengths 2 inches long.
2. Turn on the glue gun and allow to heat up. Then, place a small amount of glue on the paper tube at one end and start to wrap the twine around the tube neatly in a tight coil. Be sure to hold the twine down until the glue has set before moving on.
3. Continue to wrap the twine around the paper, sticking with glue until the paper ring is completely covered.
4. Once you get to the end of paper tube, neatly cut the twine off and use a dab of glue to stick the end down.nautical tabletop designAs well as my two DIY tabletop hacks, I included blue and white table linens and flowers to play into the existing palette of our dining room nook at the beach house. The nautical tabletop harmonized perfectly with the layers of textiles that we have in the cozy banquette corner of the space, as well as the white oak hardwood flooring and shiplap details. Now, all we need is for the mercury to rise so that the temperature matches this summer-like mood!nautical tabletop designRemember at the top of the post when I wrote about how I was ready to incorporate bright, white linens into my tabletops again thanks to Tide? Well, here’s the proof! Above, on the left, you can see the red wine stained napkin from my nautical tabletop, which is how the other two napkins also looked before washing. The middle napkin shows the result of using baking soda with the bargain detergent to try and remove the red wine stain. The napkin on the right shows the result of washing the stained napkin using Tide Ultra Oxi. As you can see, the napkin on the right is white and bright, whereas the middle one that was washed with the laundry hack still shows dulled stain marks.

I learned about the science that goes into Tide’s laundry products at their lab in Cincinnati last month (remember my fun Insta stories with Jennifer?!). Quick refresher: laundry is getting tougher as modern synthetic fabrics (aka your favorite workout pants and tops) trap dirt and bigger machines mean more laundry in one wash at lower temperatures. These factors all make it harder to remove stains and dirt, so it is really important to use a quality detergent, like Tide, for a successful wash…not the hacks that have been around for over a hundred years. Tide has been reengineered to take on these challenges, such as being able to breakdown stains even a low temperatures. It was great to come back home armed with laundry knowledge so I can keep my tabletop linens looking fresh for the summer! Thanks, Tide!nautical tabletop design// Photography and styling by Will Taylor


Will Taylor

Will lives in NYC and is an interior design author and content creator. He's been blogging about his love of design, style and travel since 2009. His #MakeYouSmileStyle approach to decorating and dressing has inspired over one million Instagram uploads to the hashtag from followers across the world.


  1. Clara Dean Reply

    Will! This is the cutest set up everrrrrrr! I’d never have guessed those napkin rings started out as toilet rolls. Hahaha! Amazing!

  2. Obsessed with those plates and the handmade chargers! You are so talented Will.

    P.S. I agree with you that Tide are the best and I can say that with authority too as a mom 😉

  3. Totally tried the baking soda trick!! Lol fun to see it compared to the detergent in your post! Beautifully styled table as well! 🙂

    • @Marie – Right?! I think we all have at some point! I was so impressed when I was the side by side comparison. And thank you so much re: the table!

  4. TIDE IS THE BEST! I’ve used so many different kinds of detergents since I moved to Canada and there hasn’t been one to rival Tide yet! Love how the beach house looks as always Will!


  5. hey Will, I love that blue, your pics are awesome!

    by the way, I use bicarbonate and lemon to whiten my teeth 🙂

    P.S. Keep up the great work!

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Hey, I'm Will

Welcome to Bright.Bazaar, my make-you-smile style corner of the internet. I’ve been sharing my love of beautiful design, feel-good homes, everyday style, inspiring travel and, pretty much everything in between, since 2009. As well as working as a content creator, I write interior design books and edit a bi-weekly e-newsletter called Smile Mail. I live in New York City with my heartmate and can often be found listening to Madonna’s Confessions album and dreaming up my next home renovation project.