All the china...allll of it.
Rather than having strictly matching sets, my cupboards are filled with one-off antique china plates that I happen to fall in love with. They're inexpensive and it's like having ten different china patterns. If one breaks, you move on. I'm not the only one who feels this way, have a look at the brilliant Cake Stand Heaven blog and shop. You can buy whole mismatched sets grouped by era and color.
Not everyone enjoys finding plates at flea markets and antique stores, however, and even I have succumbed to wanting a whole set or two of some patterns.
I have a nearly complete set of Blue Heaven. What's great about this pattern, aside from it's mid-mod vibe, is that you can find pieces of it everywhere: etsy, ebay, flea markets, and even on the Replacements site.
At the request of the lovely and talented author Susan Elia MacNeal, Miss Havisham has compiled a smattering of beautiful dishes for your table. They are dishwasher safe for the most part because we certainly don't have time for anything else. Some are steals, some are extravagant, all are special.
These Pavoes plates feel like they were stolen from the Russian Tea Room. They are, in fact, based on a 17th century Portuguese design. Bring me a rustic boule and a flagon of wine now please.
This Adelaide pattern also comes in both pink and blue, but I prefer the black which can be tricky to find. It looks like pen and ink. The blue and pink are available at Macy's.
I also love his Fantastic Mr. Fox plate, his bee and pirate plates.
I love these happy botanical plates also by Juliska.
Who knew Christian Lacroix designed china? Save your pennies for this flight of fancy. The Vista Alegre Series.
A dish for every occasion. Sometimes a lady needs to go on safari and when you do, I hope you dine on Lynn Chase's Jaguar Jungle.
And, of course, if you are slaying a dragon, please dine heartily on the Red Dragon plates before the kill; you'll need your strength.
I was happy to see these at Pottery Barn right now. Poppies!
And this whole setup is fantastic. Spring has officially sprung at Pottery Barn. There are also table linens for all your spring desires.
I got these Jason Miller plates as a wedding gift and they are now in everyday rotation. I hate having to choose one thing definitively thereby excluding all my other options, so these were perfect, half china pattern, half black crow.
Seletti also understands my ambivalent nature. I might have to splurge on these hybrid masterpieces.
And I love pretty much anything that comes from Pipstudio especially their Royal Collection. Happy happy happy.
Melody Rose in the UK has some whimsical offerings. The trapeze plates are my favorite.
Whatever your pattern, whether it's vintage or new, expensive or thrifty, don't save your pretty dishes for special occasions only. I purchased a set of Jadeite dishes and cups a few years ago and they sat in my cabinet for way too long. The set was piecemeal, three cups and a few plates and eight, no NINE saucers. I couldn't turn them down yet they sat unused for years. Finally, I just started using the extra saucers to feed the cats. It makes me happy every day. Life is short, don't eat from ugly plates.
Want more inspiration? Follow Miss Havisham's Tea on Pinterest.
PS: These only cost me five dollars. DEAL!