Plate Perfect: Setting the Table

First things (first): If you've noticed my online presence is a bit sparse this week, you aren't imagining things - it's been a hectic few days. But I promise I'll make it up to you with some GREAT posts planned for next week. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I'm really enjoying the latest House Beautiful issue on white china. You know how much I love white - if I had my way, my home would look like it was decorated by polar bears in a blizzard eating vanilla snow cones. Anyway, HB asked 15 different "tastemakers" to come up with a fresh way of mixing white china in with other pieces. The results are as varied as the names, and certainly proof that you don't have to go all vanilla, ALL the time (even if you're me).

My very favorite: interior designer Martha Angus does classic chinoiserie paired with an (almost bare) plate. Rather than a highly decorated plate on a blank canvas, Angus twists the look around (and how fabulous is that chair?).

Paula Dean's look. I love (love!) the postage stamp design, and twining leaves (faintly reminiscent of Kate Spade's Primrose Hill pattern). She's kept the setting simple, but richly textured (note the placemat). The mint julep cup and other layered silvers are a perfect compliment.

One guess where this design is from. Palm Beach! Writer Victoria Amory embraces the sunny South and balances a complex pattern with uniform color. The china is anything but boring though - note that the only standard shaped item is the charger plate.

Last (but most assuredly not least) marvelous designer Miles Redd. He deftly uses white as his accent, not his base, to create this eclectic and colorful look. And he's not above a good deal either. The tablecloth? Urban Outfitters.
With all those holidays coming up (oh, so quickly), I hope this inspires you with some new uses for your old china. Don't be afraid to mix up different china patterns, or even combine the good stuff with something fun found at Anthropologie or a tag sale. You'll appreciate your classic pieces in a new way - not to mention impressing the guests. Happy place setting!
All images,


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