Author Topic: Mismatched china  (Read 2587 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Willowbrook

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 91
Mismatched china
« on: January 17, 2013, 01:18:04 PM »
Hello everyone,

I'm looking for some advice. I inherited a very pretty set of china from my mother when she died. I've scoured the Internet and can't find replacement pieces for it. I would love to use chargers in my formal place settings, but I won't find any to match. I think the mismatched look works out fine most of the time, but most of the set is one pattern, so I'm not sure it'll work out in this case. Anyone else use mismatched pieces with one predominant set? How did it look?

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 13970
Re: Mismatched china
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2013, 01:23:25 PM »
If it is a more informal dinner, mismatch to your heart's content.  I do one meal a year with a bunch of people and I actually try to ensure each dinner and dessert plate is a different pattern.

But if you are looking for a more formal look, I would buy plain pieces in a colour that matches the pieces you have.  So if your plates are a patterned border with white in the middle, I'd buy plain white pieces and then mix and match.  And alternate every other person's place setting.  So if I have a patterned dinner plate and plain side plate for A, B would get a plain dinner plate and patterned side plate, for example.

I've never used chargers but if I was going to, I'd pick up a less dominant colour in the pattern and try to find chargers in the same or a complimentary colour and I'd use them for every place setting to pull everything together.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

RebeccainGA

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1207
  • formerly RebeccainAR
Re: Mismatched china
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2013, 02:07:23 PM »
Agreed - and I'd also (on a practical note) suggest contacting Replacements.com - they have EVERYTHING. I've found pieces for my DP's inhereted china set that she didn't eve know they made, and have made a fractured box of random pieces into a full set for 10 with their help - and done the same for the silver. Both were very obscure patterns, limited productions by small companies in the South.

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6551
Re: Mismatched china
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2013, 02:16:57 PM »
If it is a more informal dinner, mismatch to your heart's content.  I do one meal a year with a bunch of people and I actually try to ensure each dinner and dessert plate is a different pattern.

But if you are looking for a more formal look, I would buy plain pieces in a colour that matches the pieces you have.  So if your plates are a patterned border with white in the middle, I'd buy plain white pieces and then mix and match.  And alternate every other person's place setting.  So if I have a patterned dinner plate and plain side plate for A, B would get a plain dinner plate and patterned side plate, for example.

I've never used chargers but if I was going to, I'd pick up a less dominant colour in the pattern and try to find chargers in the same or a complimentary colour and I'd use them for every place setting to pull everything together.

Agree with this.  And you don't need to have an exact number. 
Lets say your inheritd set is white with gold rim and blue flowers.  You have 6 dinner plates, 8 bread plates and 4 salad plates.  I'd find a complimentary pattern of just white with gold rim.  If setting a table for 8, you could set:
 6 places with white/blue flower plates, 6 plain white bread plates and 6 plain white dinner salad plates
Then do the 2 head seatings with the plain white dinner plates but use the white and blue flower salad and bread plates.   
For example, say you are setting a table of 8.

SamiHami

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3264
  • No! Iz mai catnip! You no can haz! YOU NO CAN HAZ!
Re: Mismatched china
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2013, 03:13:20 PM »
There was a time that having mismatched china and silver was expected, as it implied that one had inherited more than one set from ancestors. People considered it a point of pride. I say mismatch away!

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

Amara

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2624
Re: Mismatched china
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2013, 03:31:25 PM »
Not china, but crystal goblets.

I was getting a set of six Baccarat wine glasses for Christmas many years ago. The saleswoman at the store told us that she once had matching sets but over the years many pieces had broken. So what she served were different glasses from those broken-up sets plus a few other miscellaneous ones, and that her guests always claimed "their" glass at dinner parties.

I've never forgotten that as my gift set eventually all broke  :-\ so it helped to give me something to aim for. And I have to say I am rather pleased at my "mismatched" look. It just seems to make the table prettier than a completely matched set of silver, china, and plate settings in the same way that having a home or an outfit not match looks more personal, interesting and intriguing.

gellchom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2253
Re: Mismatched china
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 03:44:38 PM »
I agree -- there's nothing wrong with mismatched china (or crystal or flatware).  If you're choosing chargers, maybe choose simple ones, especially if the china is a more elaborate pattern.

When we have a very large group, especially at holidays, we have to use two or more patterns.  If there is more than one table, sometimes I put one pattern on each.  But sometimes I alternate patterns, sometimes I just put them wherever, and sometimes I even mix pieces at each place, if I like the way the patterns look together, or if I'm stretching with glass dishes.  Even if you think it looks funny when you first put down the plates, if you can't make it come out even or something, don't worry -- when you put all the other things on the table, like centerpieces, salt and pepper, water pitcher, etc.,  it won't even really be noticeable. 

Replacements.com is usually so expensive.  Sometimes eBay sellers have things.

I agree that matching isn't always best.  I'm not crazy about serving pieces that match the china or flatware, for example, sort of like a hotel or restaurant, and the other ones you have are usually more interesting.  Besides, even if you do have a few matching serving pieces, you're probably going to have to use a few non-matching ones as well anyway.  I have a few serving pieces that match my silverware and I often choose to use others instead just to mix it up.

QueenofAllThings

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2921
Re: Mismatched china
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2013, 04:51:00 PM »
Any entertaining professional ( Martha Stewart, Colin Cowie, Caroline Roehm) will tell you to mix to your heart's content - it adds visual interest. I do it all the time.  I may be having 30 for dinner and, while I have 30 plates, they don't all match.  Why rent matchy matchy when I have enough?

Gumbysqueak

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 389
Re: Mismatched china
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2013, 06:44:46 PM »
Mismatch away. However the colors should somehow complement each other. I often have large formal dinner parties and use Aunt Fannies wedding china from 1910 (my mother in-laws Aunt) plus some gorgeous china found at an estate sell. Both sets are white with pink flowers.

iggy257

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: Mismatched china
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 06:48:23 PM »
I like to joke that none of my china matches as I have Fiestaware.

I do have some more formal china that I don't have all the pieces too, but it is white with a silver border and I have picked up complementary pieces everywhere from high end department stores to tag sales and thrift shops.  Surely you can find a modern pattern that will complement your mother's china to fill the set out when needed.  Ebay and replacements ltd are also good places to look especially if you know the pattern or at least the manufacturer.


Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6855
Re: Mismatched china
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2013, 10:50:16 AM »
Mismatch to your heart's content. 

If colors are involved, can you coordinate them with a centerpiece of appropriate flowers?

So long as the sizes are consistent, there should be no problem with mismatched glassware. It makes it easier for guests to identify 'their' glasses. 

There's a local restaurant we love in which EVERYTHING is mismatched, including the tables and chairs.  We find it charming and it really feels like eating at Grandma's place.  Now, if they only served the wine in jelly glasses with cartoon characters on the bottom...


Dandelion

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Mismatched china
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2013, 01:04:05 AM »
I rather love my mismatched set. We could only find four sets of the china we really liked, in black, which was what we wanted. So we went and found something similar, but by a different company, in white, and bought the other four settings of that. Now, we mix and match on the table: white plate, black bowl; black plate, white bowl; etc.

Then, there's my silver collection. I didn't inherit any silver, and my husband and I can't afford to get a nice set, so... I've collected, piece by piece, a set of silver flatware from garage sales, church sales, thrift stores and the like. They're mostly all different, but most are real silver (I look for the solid stuff, as opposed to plate) and it makes a unique and fun place setting. Some of my friends have favourite pieces to use when I am hosting, and will swap, or choose the seat with their favourite implements.

It amuses me greatly.

SciFiLeslie

  • Hello Sweetie!
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 135
  • Rule #1: The Doctor lies
Re: Mismatched china
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2013, 12:31:05 PM »
Have you checked here?  http://www.replacements.com/

If you do not know the name/pattern, you can send them a photo and they will ID it for you and you can see what pieces they have (if any)

Minmom3

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2434
Re: Mismatched china
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2013, 03:06:20 PM »
I rather love my mismatched set. We could only find four sets of the china we really liked, in black, which was what we wanted. So we went and found something similar, but by a different company, in white, and bought the other four settings of that. Now, we mix and match on the table: white plate, black bowl; black plate, white bowl; etc.

Then, there's my silver collection. I didn't inherit any silver, and my husband and I can't afford to get a nice set, so... I've collected, piece by piece, a set of silver flatware from garage sales, church sales, thrift stores and the like. They're mostly all different, but most are real silver (I look for the solid stuff, as opposed to plate) and it makes a unique and fun place setting. Some of my friends have favourite pieces to use when I am hosting, and will swap, or choose the seat with their favourite implements.

It amuses me greatly.



We don't break it out too often, since DH is terminally careless about that kind of thing, but I too have a hodgepodge set that MIL put together by dribs and drabs from the flea market.  All sterling.  At LEAST 5 different patterns.  Some of it's less than beautiful, but some of it IS beautiful.  One of the serving spoons is from 1806.  1806!!!!  I have a serving spoon over 200 years old!!!  All by the grace of my MIL, who loved any excuses to go shopping.  I love my set.  I made silver cloth bags for all the pieces, and it barely needs a touch up when I pull it out again.  I also have my grandmothers old Rosenthal china.  Service for 12!  Beautiful and fragile.  Dear to my heart.   People complaining about non-matching perfection can go jump in the lake!
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

kherbert05

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10400
    • Trees downed in my yard by Ike and the clean up
Re: Mismatched china
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2013, 03:40:04 PM »
There was a time that having mismatched china and silver was expected, as it implied that one had inherited more than one set from ancestors. People considered it a point of pride. I say mismatch away!
When my cousin C was getting married, she was trying to decide on a china pattern. She also had a partial set inherritated from our mutual grandmother and a partial set from her paternal grandmother. One day I was over at her house fixing something for her. She and her Mom, sister, and niece had the 2 sets of china out and were talking about what to register for.


I looked at them and asked can't you just get some simple pieces with blues and greens then use both Mimmi's and Texas Nanny's sets together. It would match your personality - kind of gesturing to her very eclectic but tied together house. (Those from Houston it was one of those old sugar factory workers houses in old Sugar Land).


Well they looked at me like I had just grown a new head then C grabbed me in a bear hug. That is what she did. She also uses flowers and linens to tie the colors together. It looks very formal.

I think what you really need to pull it off is to love the look and have confidence in it.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future