I use all kinds of plates and dishware as decorative elements all over my house. It makes sense in the kitchen and dining areas, but I also use them in my bedroom and bathroom and in my bookcases.
On the large wall of my bedroom, I used a mid-century mirror from the Algonquin Hotel in NYC as the centerpiece. I surrounded the mirror with prints and plates to create a large vignette across the entire wall.
Detail of wall vignette
Plate with print
Another detail of plates mixed with prints
Plate and small pitcher next to the Jacuzzi in the bathroom
I love to use all kinds of dishes and serving pieces as part of the decor in my home. I find it’s an inexpensive way to fill the walls and the shelves all over the house.
In Part 1, I showed you the kitchen area, where you would be most likely to find dishes as part of the decor. Now we’re moving into my family room, my dining room, and my foyer, where I also use decorative plates and other dishes, such as candy dishes.
I fell in love with this plate set and found the perfect place to use it on my dining room wall
This is the full vignette mixing artwork and plates on my dining room wall
The dessert size plates from this artistic set set
Two beautiful mid-century modern candy dishes
Two more mid-century modern candy dishes in my dining room
Growing up, we had some beautiful sets of China that we actually used to eat on. My mother also displayed pieces of her china sets whenever possible. So I love dishware and always try to buy interesting and beautiful pieces for meals, but also to use as part of the decor. It is an inexpensive way to add interesting chatchkas to your home – and my home is full of chatchkas, often arranged into decorative vignettes.
Here are some of the dishes I’ve used in my kitchen, eating area and sun porch, on shelves, on tables, and on the walls.
Decorative cup and salt shaker
Two decorative plates in my kitchen bookcase
Another decorative plate flanked by salt and pepper shakers
I also use plates as wall decor.
One narrow wall flanking a window from the porch to the kitchen
The other side of the window into the kitchen/porch
Plate on small wall in eating aarea
Matching plate on the opposite small wall in eating area
I still have many of my mother’s and my old china sets that are too country or too formal for my homey but modern house today. They also don’t fit in with my mostly aqua and turquoise color scheme. But I still love them and want to share them with you.
Magnificent but whimsical floral plate of my mother’s
There was a time when many items in my world were priceless. Many of them were items without significant dollar value, but they had great emotional or sentimental value. Then came a time when I realized these priceless things had morphed into dust collectors. I enjoy them, but they are long past priceless and have become part of the stuff I will I would happily give to someone who would treasure them — and dust them — rather than me.
Funny thing about the way things change. The stuff that was priceless becomes clutter. Attractive, elegant clutter. Much of it becomes burdensome instead of priceless, unless priceless also means no one is willing to pay to take it away. I suppose that might be another interpretation.
Garry went to New York to help clean out his parents home on Long Island. He went with my explicit instructions: do not bring home anything. We have no room. NO ROOM. None. Anywhere. Not on the shelves, the cabinets, the tops of the bookcases. Nowhere.
He was pretty good about it. All he brought home was one lovely Japanese tea set. Five cups. I assume one was broken. Plus the teapot, sugar bowl, and creamer. Lovely. Dragon style, which is a favorite of mine.
Not long ago. I gave away a nearly identical tea set as a wedding present, but clearly I am supposed to have a Japanese tea set. It must be a genetic thing. This is not my first … or fifth … Japanese tea set. I have had antiques. New ones. Sets made for children. Many sets made in weird shapes which were surely never meant for the actual serving of tea.
I recognized that I could not escape this tea set. I rearranged the stuff in my glass chest and somehow managed to fit it in. I’m so glad there were only five cups. One more, and I would have been lost.
It’s a beautiful set. Made of the finest porcelain so lightweight it’s almost not there. Beautiful, but my problem is not a dearth of beautiful things. I have far too many beautiful things and I wish someone else wanted them. I’d happily give them away, including some rare, very old Chinese porcelain.
Does anyone need a lovely, handmade Japanese tea set? I’ve got an extra.
It’s a cold, gray, damp day. Raining. Sometimes just drizzling, sometime fairly heavily. It’s also raining north, south, east and west of here and it certainly is dark enough outside. It almost looks like night.
Rain is supposed to continue through the weekend. So, I guess it’s not surprisingly I’m shooting inside. Fortunately, though I sometimes forget, I have quite a lot of interesting “stuff” here.
Antiques, dolls, and just miscellaneous things that I’ve found here and there or gotten as gifts. All of it badly needs dusting!
Not going out today, no sirree. It’s supposed to rain all day tomorrow and Sunday, but then again, it’s supposed to be raining today, too. If Garry feels better tomorrow and the sun makes even an attempt to peek through the clouds, I’ll go hunting for autumn leaves. So far, at least from where I sit, there’s no evidence of anything except a little bit of brown and yellow.
The belief that art is not for everyone is relatively new. The Chinese, as far back as the Song Dynasty, made art for the royal court … but they also created art for peasants and servants.
Their belief — with which I agree — was that everyone needs art. There is no one so poor, uneducated, or unimportant to not deserve some beauty in their lives.
Art — not speech, nor the opposable thumb — is what sets us apart from other creatures. Beauty for its own sake is a very human thing.
Beautiful things soften the edges of our lives. What is beautiful to me may not be your idea of beauty, but that’s unimportant. What is important is that the place you live, the place that nourishes you be a place that feeds your soul, your heart, your eyes. Through color, texture, smell, shape.
It doesn’t even have to be “official” art. Whatever feeds that piece of you where beauty lives, you need some of that, to see it, touch it, have it with you.
If you don’t know what you need this Christmas? Buy yourself — or someone you love — something beautiful. Feed a soul this holiday season.
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