Our local Cost Plus World Market has a bunch of products made from twisted newspaper. (They call it "recycled," but "repurposed" might be a more apt description.)
Most are purely decorative, like cute pig and gecko magnets with googly eyes, but the we liked the runner above, which is fairly restrained and practical.
The newspaper is twisted tightly enough that it can be wiped off, and there's enough of a pattern to disguise the odd splatter or crumb. (We don't think it would fare well with spilled coffee or red wine, so klutzes like us: stand forewarned.)
The runner is $16.99 in the store or online. The tchotchkes are downright cheap, running from $3 to $4.50.