Mix match fine dining set for the impoverished (kinda)

in china, collections, entertaining, tabletop  1 comments
Nov 29 2010
Blue and sea green with white makes for a pretty curated dinnerware set
Breakfast place setting in greens and golds, via Martha Stewart

via Martha Stewart; Gold-edge eggcup and butter dish, Legle Limoges. “Constance” bread-and-butter plate (below eggcup), sugar bowl, and coffeepot, Bernardaud. “Illusion” teacup, saucer, and dessert plate in endive, Haviland. “Derby Panel Green” bread-and-butter plate (with knife), dinner plate, and vegetable dish (with flowers), Royal Crown Derby. “Olivia” tumbler, Juliska. “Fairfax” silverware, Gorham.

In an average household, we are beset by bits and pieces of dinnerware. I’m lucky enough to have sets of plates and bowls of at least four per item, but they aren’t anything fancy. Anyone would want to have a really expensive set of plates for the special occasion. Many of us these days cannot afford the $400-500 price tag for a gorgeous dinnerware set.

The image below inspired me to think differently but smartly:

Blue and sea green with white makes for a pretty curated dinnerware set

Blue and sea green with white makes for a pretty curated dinnerware set

Two gorgeous plates here, two fine bowls there and suddenly you have a mixy-matchy-but-still-an-expensive-set look that is cohesive!

The Starting Point

Now let’s see. I have my beloved white Heritage White by Johnson Bros set gathered through the years.

Johnson Bros Heritage White, via Replacements

Johnson Bros Heritage White, via Replacements

I’ve been on the constant search for a contrasting pattern in pinks or yellows to liven things up. Any suggestions?

I’ve also found this gorgeous photo below:

How sweet is this? Smart: picking pieces that kinda go. Similar motif, colour and size.

I can afford the set of two expensive china during sales. In time, if I think carefully and gather smartly, I might have a fancy looking eclectic-but-intentional set of dinnerware to drag out during special occasions!

Inspired

Oooh! I just found this image by Martha Angus and had to share! What an extremely striking dinner setting. I love the green tablecloth and the vibrant oranges!

A Martha Angus place setting arrangement, via Rex and Regina

A Martha Angus arrangement, via Rex and Regina

According to interior designer Martha Angus, the tablecloth is actually remnants of de Gournay wallpaper, draped over a classic Parsons table. I have to get meself some verdant green tablecloth! Stands out so prettily against dark (and light) wood.

Playing I-was-inspired-so-I

Oh Hang On! Today I found in my forgotten stash of fabric this gorgeous verdant green silk fabric remnant. Not large enough for a tablecloth, but is great as a striking table runner!

I allowed myself an hour of play with my china, trying to decide on shape and pattern of the contrasting china I’m hunting for (and what I’m not):

Pretty green silk and my Johnson Bros Heritage White pieces with some others I have - Version 1

Pretty green silk and my Johnson Bros Heritage White pieces with some others I have – Version 1

Sorry about the unironed table cloth. I mainly wanted to see if the fabric would work and how what I’d planned and the pieces I had would look against the green.

Instead of a setting for tea after dinner, I tried preparing a setting for coffee instead, with one of my favourite black and white polkadot coffee sets. I maintained my Johnson Bros saucer underneath it all just to maintain the octagon shape.

Pretty green silk and my Johnson Bros Heritage White pieces with some others I have - Version 2

Pretty green silk and my Johnson Bros Heritage White pieces with some others I have – Version 2

I had another two patterns to try out… both were pretty!

Pretty green silk and my Johnson Bros Heritage White pieces with some others I have - Version 3

Pretty green silk and my Johnson Bros Heritage White pieces with some others I have – Version 3

Pretty green silk and my Johnson Bros Heritage White pieces with some others I have - Version 4

Pretty green silk and my Johnson Bros Heritage White pieces with some others I have – Version 4

I think of all the options available to me, I preferred the Royal Albert Serena above the others.

My Favourite Coupling so far. Royal Albert, Johnson Bros Heritage White and a vintage pink dessert bowl

My Favourite Coupling so far. Royal Albert, Johnson Bros Heritage White and a vintage pink dessert bowl

But what of just coffee and cake?

Pretty green silk and my Johnson Bros Heritage White pieces with some others I have - Version 5

Pretty green silk and my Johnson Bros Heritage White pieces with some others I have – Version 5

Or coffee and ice cream or apple and rhubarb crumble?

Pretty green silk and my Johnson Bros Heritage White pieces with some others I have - Version 6

Pretty green silk and my Johnson Bros Heritage White pieces with some others I have – Version 6

I had fun playing and know at least, I want a round contrasting plate for my setting. I also know I definitely want to source some pretty dark green fabric.

Do you have photos of your pretty fine china to share?

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