We all have them; passed on glasses, dishes, mismatched serving pieces, worn stainless, odds and ends of candy trays, pitchers and endless numbers of tiny coffee cups and saucers that don’t really fit our busy lifestyle or the colors we prefer to use. But given the alternative of purchasing new dishes for occasional use, I’ve decided it is just easier to work with what I’ve been given and modify the look of it by creating unusual combinations of old and new. If you keep an open mind, it is pretty easy to have a lot of fun with old dishes if you learn to mismatch them deliberately. You can extend a small set of china to accommodate a large party of people by pulling together patters with linens or a few choice pieces of glassware or serving plates.
This winter, use what you have and add a few small pieces here and there from thrift shops and local flea markets or consider trading plates and bowls or saucers and cups with friends to create casual, inexpensive, but beautiful table settings. Add new or vintage linens. Add velvet or silk ribbons to tie up napkins. Remake old curtains into tablecloths or napkins for a second life. Pick up pine cones, cut magnolia leaves and blend them with fresh flowers to make your table unique. Plan on using those itsy bitsy coffee cups for a lovely rich dessert instead of coffee. If you don’t serve gravy, that boat will make a great low flower holder for camellias, mums or even some pansies or violets. You can even use low tumblers as candle holders. Whatever you do, take inspiration from those around you to use what you have and think outside the box for setting your table!
Recently I had the pleasure of working with some lovely china, silver and crystal from Hunt & Gather on Glenwood Avenue. The folks there were so good to set up a table for me in the front area where the sunlight filters through the windows. And then they went and pulled some beautiful cut crystal and sterling pieces that captured the light beautifully for me to use. I spent the morning, perusing the individual shop areas in the store and the main floor area, pulling different pieces to mix and match for this post. There was so much to choose from! A couple of hours flew by in no time and I didn’t finish my work before the sun changed angles on me, so look for a couple more posts on this topic in the future from their location. There is plenty to choose from whether you want some casual pieces to fill in or you are hunting down a full set of pristine china, crystal or flatware. They have several lovely trays that I plan to try to photograph the next time as well. I will post some additional pictures from the store on Facebook to give you more ideas.
After Thanksgiving, I’m going to be borrowing some vintage china from friends in the area, so there will be another post before the New Year. You can also take a look at Pinterest to see additional boards with options for Table Settings, Textiles and Vintage that I’ve collected from other boards and while you are there you can peruse the board for Farm Event Inspirations and Gifts from the Farm if you like to shop locally at the farmers’ markets. Hopefully, you’ll find something that you like on one of those boards and start to follow. Enjoy the pictures and let me know if there is something you would like to see in the future about table setting with vintage pieces.