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Fine China Makeover: Bringing Vintage China Into Modern Times

February 7, 2015

Let’s play word association. When we say “fine china,” what words come to mind? Words like “formal,” “tradition,” and “grandma,” right? Nowadays, fine china is thought of as fancier, higher-quality dinnerware and dishes – and frankly, though it used to be the cornerstone of any wedding registry, we just don’t see the need for it.

Okay, so you might not register for fine china – but what if your grandma, mom, or aunt bequeath the heirloom pieces to you as a wedding gift? The days of china cabinets are gone, and what good do those dishes do you sitting in boxes in the basement? It’s time to get Grandma’s china out of the cabinets and boxes and onto the dinner table! With the right approach and stylish touches, you can turn traditional dishes into a collection of modern dinnerware that’s uniquely you.

The first rule: Use it every day, not just for company, holidays, and special occasions. Doing so will let you have fun with your china, adding a fancy feeling to something as simple as a bowl of cereal.

If you appreciate a vintage vibe, embrace the aesthetic Grandma’s china brings to the table and go antiquing to complete your table setting. There are so many treasures to be found at your local antique stores, and these finds lend an utterly romantic quality to any table setting. But even if you’re not that into the vintage goodies, there are still plenty of ways to modernize decades-old dishes.

The easiest way to update fine china is to create an eclectic collection filled with unique place-settings handpicked by you. A traditional place-setting includes a dinner plate, a dessert/salad plate, a soup/cereal bowl, and a mug and saucer. In addition to these pieces, there are countless other extras to acquire to complete your dinnerware collection: butter dishes, a small pitcher for cream, a sugar bowl, large serving platters and bowls, and so much more! Creating the perfect mix won’t happen overnight, but imagine how much fun it will be to always be on the lookout for coordinating colors and styles whenever you’re out shopping.

But mixing and matching dinnerware isn’t only fun – it’s on trend! It’s bold and stylish to mix colors and patterns, whether those patterns are in your wardrobe, décor, or kitchen. And when it comes to the kitchen, pattern-mixing couldn’t be easier. Start by looking at the fine china you have to work with. Is it floral? Geometric? A solid color? From there, decide if it would be best to match the colors or pattern found in the china.

If you’re matching the colors, feel free to embrace matching dinnerware in any pattern, as long as the colors are a match. You’ll probably want to include some solid-colored pieces too; otherwise the set as a whole will appear too busy. Another option is to seek out various interpretations of one pattern – for instance, make florals your focus. In both cases, make sure the vibe of your found pieces work together. You can mix casual with formal, but strive for a balance.

If this task sounds daunting, fear not! You don’t have to tackle all of this on your own. The experts at your local fine china retailers are ready and willing to offer guidance. They can give you ideas for coordinating pieces, assist with maintaining a consistent feel throughout, and help you tie the entire set together. If you start working early, you’ll even be able to list the additional pieces on your wedding registry.

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