I'm In Love With Formal China

Monday, July 16, 2012

I wanted to take Must-Have Monday in a slightly different direction today, and talk about something that's been on my must-have list since childhood.

When I was a little girl, I had all these delusions that I was going to grow up to be high-class.  I was going to marry into old money (but for love, of course), and participate in such activities as boating, "summering", and attending galas while wearing amazing designer gowns (I would like to reiterate that these were childhood delusions).  I pretty much wanted to be a less-scandalous Blair Waldorf before there was a Blair Waldorf.  I realized years ago that this was never going to be my life (as Gretchen Wilson says, "I ain't no high-class broad"), but there are a few things I dreamed about as a child that I haven't given up on yet -- like entertaining.

I am completely obsessed with the thought of hosting dinners and parties.  It's actually one of the biggest reasons I want a house (which is a bit embarrassing to admit, but there are other reasons).  I would love to have a set of fine china for special occasions.  We registered for some, but didn't receive any, which I'm actually glad about now since the look I want has changed.  I've decided I want a more formal, classic look than I was originally going for (I had registered for mix-and-match Kate Spade pieces).  I also love the idea of having these things to pass down to my children (I'm a sucker for tradition and nostalgia!).

So some of the china patterns I've looked at are definitely more traditional, but some are still classy with a fun little twist.  I'm not into florals, so none of them are floral.  I'm also not into gold, so I mainly chose sets with platinum accents.

Traditional Banded China

I like this set because it's simple and classic, but a lot more affordable than several of the other sets I've looked at.  There are several accompanying serving pieces as well, which I love.  

Simple, classic, tasteful and dishwasher safe!

This set also has several serving pieces.  I love the double band, and the best part?  It's dishwasher safe!

I think this set is so classy.  It's dishwasher and oven safe, and I absolutely adore that darling little cup (I know that might sound weird, but I love the different curves of little cups like that).

Fun Patterns & Textures

In addition to the band, this set has a fun linen-like texture alongside the band.

I love how thick the band is, and the delicate leaf pattern adds interest.

I love the lace-inspired pattern, and the teapot has fun and interesting curves (I'm a sucker for teapots and kettles).

Classy-Yet-Slightly-Quirky China

If you're a regular reader, you know all about my love of bows.  Naturally, I was drawn to this pattern.  I love the grosgrain detail!

A beautiful thick platinum band pairs with a beautiful turquoise for a fun pop of color on your table.

Shimmery and textured (and dishwasher safe!), this set is a perfect way to add extra sparkle to any event.

Several platinum dots make up a fun, sparkly band on this pretty dinnerware set.

The delicate spirals rimming this dinnerware are beautiful, elegant and fun.

So which one is your favorite?  Do you love to entertain?

Don't forget to vote!

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  1. Love your style! The one with the bows is my favorite, but I don't think it would age well. Can you imagine your grandmother serving Thanksgiving dinner on that China, that would be a hoot!

    1. Thank you! I think it might be my favorite as well. I think you're right though -- it definitely would seem a little out of place if I was in my sixties!

  2. i'm not big into paterns either. i think they take the attention away from the beautiful food. i luckily received a set of china from a family friend whose mother was moving into a retirement home and didn't have room for them. they're a heavier set and i think kind of mod. half the of the pieces are cream on top and on bottom a light blue leaning towards aqua and the other have are reversed with the blue on top and cream on bottom. i believe the owner's husband had purchased them when he came home from the military I forget which country they said. they also delivered it to me with the china cabinet. it's so nice when i do have people over. i love entertaining! at least once a year, i try to have a women's only evening where i invite all my neighbors over. Carrie P

    1. Those sound so cool! I love aqua and cream together.

      And I totally agree about patterns taking away from the food -- there's too much stimulation!

  3. I love the look of fine china, but I've never felt the need to get any :) The practicalities of it don't make sense to me: I don't want to store it all year! I don't want a huge china cabinet taking up my whole dining room! I don't even have a dining room! It will all shatter in my cast iron sink!

    Your picks are all gorgeous though, and I especially love that last set :)

    PS - I always wanted to grow up and be fancy and have money, too. Delusion is a good word for it!

    1. Sorry I didn't respond to your comment sooner -- it was hidden in the spam folder (which I'd never checked) for some reason.

      I agree that having china (right now, anyway) isn't particularly practical for us right now (we also have no dining room).

  4. I love them all! We didn't get any china either. At this point, I am longing for microwave safe plates as mine apparently aren't... (thanks a lot Target...) :)

    1. I always forget when things aren't microwave safe, and I've ended up ruining a hard plastic bowl and a glass bowl. It was pretty crazy.



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