I'm often asked, "how did you get so many dishes"? That's really easy to answer: I shop ALL THE TIME. I was also lucky enough to be gifted some. If you like to entertain and want to start a collection, here are a few tips I want to share so you will have a selection that works and will endure the test of time and trend.
Start with a pattern you really love, a pattern that compliments your personal style and home. My first collection was Lenox Chirp, given to me by the ladies who worked with me at my flower shop. The colors and the bird motif are perfectly Tracy. When I moved into Flair Flat it was a great compliment to the retro vibe. Don't feel you have to buy the set. My set started with just the dessert plates. I added the yellow Kate Spade plates along the way!
I was given a set of dinner plates in the classic and timeless willow pattern. To expand the set I added the assorted crane plates in blue, white, black and green. Mixing patterns is the easiest way to expand your collection. You can add different colors in complimentary styles, easily creating new looks.
We love to serve soup, so I definitely had to find bowls. I fell in love with these very modern blue-and-white ones. I love to mix modern and classic together. It creates so much interest.
Buy only what you can use. At Flair we can seat six comfortably around the table and living room. With a extension to the table and another chair from the reading area we can accommodate eight. I always make sure to add seating to the living room area to ensure that everyone will have a place to sit after dinner. Make sure everyone has a seat.
Get Serving pieces that compliment your set. NEVER buy all the pieces of set: the serving bowl, the platters, etc. That creates a very boring table.
I chose a simple white with gold edge and vibrant orange pieces from a local antique store. When deciding what you need, think about the menus you like to prepare. At Flair we like to serve an entrée, vegetable, and a side dish. So a platter and some large serving bowls were essential.
Make sure to find pieces for serving gravy and sauces. Two to four small bowls can also come in handy for larger menus.
Not everyone will want as many dishes as I do. But I encourage everyone to have a set of dishes and service pieces that you'll want to share with family and friends. From your grandma's china to a set for your wedding, or a set you just fell in love with, get them out and use them often. Life is SHORT use the good china.
Happy entertaining, and go buy some dishes!