I was making some place mats earlier today and that got me thinking about art that you use. It could be a handmade mug, a knit sweater, a carefully constructed household object - beautiful things that could be decorations, but are more than that. That's how I hope people see my place mats. You could hang them on the wall when they're not on the table.
I have one done and drying right now, the other is laid out ready to felt on the kitchen counter. :p