I have loved china ever since I was a child, when I admired my Nana’s Queen’s Ware wedding set. When it was graciously gifted to me, and I actually had the occasion to use it, I felt that I had officially grown up.
Our sideboard now has a few sets of fine china, like our Barbara Barry wedding china, which we bring out for dinner parties and special occasions. But, when it comes to the average weekday dinner, our dishware is lackluster. For the past few years, we’ve regularly eaten off of a set of plain, white, dishwasher-safe china. To say they have seen better days… well, they’ve seen better days. And while they’re easy to match and replace, they’re lacking a certain appeal. I’ve convinced myself that beautiful dishes will encourage more frequent home-cooked meals and so, with the new year, I’ve decided it’s time to breathe some new life into our cabinets!
My philosophy is that everyday dishware can be as eclectic as you can stand. Mix-and-match pieces, that integrate well with your fine china and the pieces you already own, are perfect for injecting a little interest into the everyday. That said, I’ve got a couple new sets in mind that I’d like to put into the mix.
I’ve already invested in a small set of Spode Blue Italian and Blue Room dishware. I like that the mix of Roman scenes and oriental borders reflect my husband’s Italian heritage and my family’s connection with England and Asia. But, sentimentality aside, that delft blue is such a fun departure from our old set and has made serving dinner a pleasure again. Even better, they’re affordable and easy to source, a perfect combination for a family with a strongman toddler. For now, we have a few dinner and salad plates, pasta bowls and a couple of large mugs. I think they’ll go beautifully with our basic white, as well as our enormous set of Lenox Butler’s Pantry – purchased by my mother-in-law when she lived near the production factory in Italy – that could stand to see a little sun.
The Spode set certainly scratched an itch, but sparked an obsession with that gorgeous delft blue. As you can imagine, I am also absolutely smitten with the Country Estate collection from Juliska. I mean, that ginger jar? Forget it. The Juliska collection adds an element of whimsy and the blues are so similar to the Spode they’ll look at home stacked together in the cabinet.
“Country Estate” Five Piece Place Setting
“Country Estate” Large Lidded Ginger Jar
Truthfully, it’s also gorgeous in the flint color, which would be absolutely outrageous paired with a bright charger like this one from Anna Weatherley in the color Celery. Maybe next time.
Once I’ve finally settled on a few more pieces, the icing on the cake will be a set of gold flatware like this one from West Elm. Paired with linen napkins (or paper towels, who are we kidding…), Wednesday night will have never felt so glamorous.