As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Monday, October 15, 2012

{31 Days of Hospitality} Day 15 ~ White Dishes, Etc.

Not to Impress, But to Bless

In a large mall on one of our annual mother/daughter Christmas shopping trips, we found ourselves in front of the window display of the Crate and Barrel store.  Mom, my sister Linda, and I (dish lovers all), stood staring at a gorgeous table decked out for Thanksgiving.  As I drooled over the display, something dawned on me.  The table was dreamy, full of color and texture and seasonal touches, warm and inviting...and they had used only white dishes!  

It was an epiphany for me!

Okay, I'll tone it down a bit.  ~smile~  But it did change my thinking about table settings.  Instead of  trying to coordinate my table settings with patterned or colored dishes, why not get a basic collection of white dishes?  Then I could use any color or theme I wanted for each occasion by simply changing up the table linens (fabric or paper), the centerpiece, and accent serving pieces.

That spring, I went to a Pfaltzgraff outlet store and purchased two sets of white dishes in the Heritage pattern.  A few times, I added to my collection of dinner plates, buying most for a couple of dollars per plate at the same outlet.  From Mom, I have also acquired a few more white plates in different patterns, some old, some new.

I love the versatility of white dishes!  I have such fun planning the table for a party or a holiday or a company meal, using the white dishes as a "given" and pulling things together from all over the place to set a festive table.

Here are a few of our tables...

Thanksgiving 2011...brown transfer ware plates layered on white plates, brown napkins, tan hemstitch tablecloth, pewter accents, Tom turkey centerpiece.

Thanksgiving 2009...same tan hemstitch tablecloth, burgundy napkins, gingerbread leaves with piped icing names as placecards, faux fall leaves and acorns, centerpiece of pyracantha cuttings in pottery vase.

Resurrection Day 2012...centerpiece of naturally dyed eggs in antique egg basket, robin's egg blue napkins, vintage eggs place cards, blue fabric table runner.  (I wrote about the details in this post.)

Kati's 16th birthday party, a Jane Austen theme...white hemstitch table runner, burgundy napkins, floral place cards with character names, pyracantha clippings in pewter vase, pewter candlesticks.

Kati's 14th birthday party, an autumn theme...checked table cloth, burgundy napkins tied with sage ribbon with faux leaf tucked inside, place cards with leaf motif, centerpiece of autumn branches and apples tucked into an antique bean pot, pumpkin tea lights.

Company dinner (adult table)...brown check table runner, pumpkin centerpiece, pewter candlesticks with brown tapers, brown napkins, leaf-embossed napkin rings.

White dishes are the springboard to a pretty table for my guests!  

What are the basics for your table?  Do you like white dishes, or do you prefer pretty colors and patterns?  

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  1. Yes, tone it down! haha The only dishes I've ever had are white. I keep thinking about buying beautifully patterened ones but always end up saying "Nah, I'll probably get tired of them." White goes with everyting :-)

  2. Great ideas Cheryl! You sure know how to make a table look beautiful! Awesome!

  3. With my RA, I have to have everyday dishes that are dishwasher other than myself around here...and so I have a pedestrian set of Corelle. It's the ivy pattern, but mostly white. Not white enough, though! I have my paternal grandmother's Friendly Village set, which I love and my maternal grandmother's set of something or longer available... I would love a basic white set of dishes to layer with. I have no place for them so I'd have to give up something. Perhaps the Corelle. That shouldn't be tough.

  4. I love white dishes! So versatile!

    Your table settings are lovely!


  5. This is a great post on how to make one set of dishes do for every occasion. I have some white plates for everyday, but would like to replace my patterned bone china dinner plates with white ones. I love the layering look.

  6. I actually HAVE those dishes (Heritage pattern. I've had them for years. I like every single table setting you showed here. They're ALL lovely and have given me some new ideas. Thanks!

  7. we have various patterns of dishes we use for every day but I tend to use the white set we have for company. They go with every theme. I love your table settings.

  8. I bought white dishes this year. I love them - they have a basket weave pattern on the edges.

    I love dishes and setting a pretty table! I love that the white work with everything!


  9. I've seen other people use all white dishes too and it does look pretty. We have family friends who have lots of different white dishes picked up at garage sales and thrift stores. They look fantastic together.

  10. I love your tables! So good that you took pictures. Our "dining room" is part of our kitchen and ourkitchen is small thus we have a very small square table for us four. I lack the insiration to decorate it other than maybe a centerpiece because it's small. Any tips for this? When we have others over it's tricky and if it's too cold to eat outside at our larger table we end up in the living room...perhaps one day I will have a larger table 

  11. I so agree. As did my mother. I now have her white dishes in addition to my own. I come from a long line of women who love dishes, especially white ones and blue and white ones.


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