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  • Writer's pictureAli

Part II of Creating Tablescapes, The Dinnerware

The dinnerware may be the heart of any tablescape. It is what sets the mood of the table; it is the one item that pulls everything together.


In today's blog post, I will discuss how to create a table for your friends & family by selecting your dinnerware. The dinnerware may be the first item you go pull when creating your tablescape after you plan a theme. It is the first thing that I envision & pull every time. It's the core; it is what will bring it all together even without a theme. I have included tips on where to buy & how to search for vintage plates below.
transferware plates
Over the years, I have collected the most beautiful pieces that I admire every time I use them. I am in awe when I see how beautiful they are & even with their chips or discoloration. Here at CCH, I style with vintage or new plates. I do prefer vintage; there is something so beautiful about vintage dinnerware that I gravitate to. I am lucky to say that I have a section in my office that is set up to store my dinnerware collection. Having it displayed in my office definitely helps with my creative juices, as seeing them inspires me to create weekly. Sometimes I like to go in & just look at them & see the beautiful crazing in each one or the delicate swirls of the transferware. Either way, pulling my plates together is one of my favorite creating elements that I enjoy doing. I hope that after you read this post, you will too.
White ironstone plates

I have been collecting my dinnerware for several years now. I started with simple white ironstone in different shapes & sizes. As much as I love that style, my tablescapes have grown more than just the simple white plates. Don't get me wrong, they're still used very often. I eventually started curating transferware, all colors! There are so many colors to choose from; I have a little bit of every color now. I can showcase my tables using specific transfers for holidays or seasons. I have a few sets that I would like to say are complete, but of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that I will not add to them if I come across a specific piece that I need to add to the mix. If you have seen my tablescapes, you'll know that I love to mix & match my plates, so even if I don't have a complete set, I still use the pieces & incorporate them into a mix & match table.
Blue transferware plates dinner

The stacking of the plates there's no secret on how I stack the plates. I stay with my rule of odd numbers & stack biggest to smallest. I prefer to have as much of the transferware showing, especially for pictures. Showing as much detail on your table as possible will always create a cozy & romantic vibe.

vintage plates stacked jadeite.

The accessories of the dinnerware can consist of chargers & placemats. I will occasionally add to my stack. Surprisingly I only have two sets of chargers & one set of rattan placemats. I use them throughout the year. Since I only sometimes use a charger, I opted to buy two different settings that are different in style & in color but are neutral & can be used with any tablescape theme.

brown transferware thanksgiving fall plates
One of the questions I receive the most is where I find my plates, I find them anywhere that I can, but I do look frequently on Facebook Marketplace. My search is pretty simple "ironstone" or "transferware" I even search "fine china" as some sellers have no clue what they; 're selling. I don't search for any specific color of transferware as you want to expand yourself. Growing your collection can be easy to do if you purchase individual pieces; I love mixing & matching & sometimes that is the best way to grow. Collect pieces with different styled rims; doing so will create dimension & add texture to your setting. Price range depends on how many pieces are in a lot have & where you're located & if the seller knows what they're selling. I have complete sets that I found & the person just wanted to sell as they were moving & I got a great deal. Over thirty pieces plus serving pieces for $40! My rule of thumb for anything is if you love it & know that you'll be able to use it & it will bring you joy & you can afford it, go for it. Of course, there are times when you have to walk away & sleep on it.

More Tips on Where to Buy
  • Facebook marketplace

  • Etsy

  • Flea markets

  • Estate sales

  • Thrift shops

  • Instagram friends (yes some may be clearing out their collection, shop friends who have shops too.)

More Key Searching Words
  • Vintage china

  • Transferware

  • Vintage plates

  • Dish lot

  • Ironstone

  • Old dishes

  • Transferware plates

  • England vintage plates

red vintage plates

If you're a vintage collector, then you already know that pieces have been loved for quite some time & once you find them, they will probably show some beautiful wear. I myself always find those pieces extraordinarily beautiful & are some of my favorite pieces, like everything else vintage.
etsy facebook marketplace vintage plates


My love for tablescapes continues to grow, which probably means so will my entire collections. I will open up the comment section below for you to add something special that you bring to your tables or if you have found a fantastic deal that has grown your collection.

Thank you for being here & for reading & following along. Stay tuned for the third post of the series "Linens." If you have not subscribed to Country Chic Homes, I'll add the link here so you will receive posts, announcements & newsletters in your email inbox.

XO ~ ALI

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