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Feb 20, 2014 03:00 PM

Mixed estate china

I think this is interesting. Replacements has several sets of mixed estate china for the person interested in having a mixed set. Apparently this is now a trend. I looked at the sets and I have to say they are mostly lovely.

Here is a link for the curious.

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  1. Martha Stewart was pushing that concept in her first TV special, a Thanksgiving one, well before she ever had a series. Must have been close to 30yrs ago.

    4 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      Makes good sense as a Thanksgiving approach.

      For entertaining, a good many people are in the position of waning to knit together something that complements and supplements existing china.

      It's much cheaper than Replacements, if a little more work, to assemble a mixed set that suits your own tastes and household needs via ebay / etsy / craigslist etc. -- if you can narrow the search to a small group of particular patterns.

      Replacements browsing is one way to begin to spot those patterns (with attendant risk of pricey shopping).

      1. re: ellabee

        I think if you happen to have some old china that can be mixed with other stuff, then yes its doable. I did like a lot of what Replacements put together though. Very pretty.

      2. re: greygarious

        That's around the time we saw mixed silver, china plates, and stemware at Annabel's restaurant in Stockbridge Vermont. The place settings looked quite lovely. Of course the rustic dining room added to the quaint atmosphere. Nothing matched but everything seemed to fit.

        1. re: greygarious

          I remember that special. Turkey candy dishes for soup. I was thinking about it the other day and I think it was on PBS. I have mixed and matched for 30+ years.

        2. Some of those sets are gorgeous. I must not.......

          1. I wonder what took them (Replacements) so long?

            I'm not as old as Martha, but I have been doing the mixed-thing since I first set up my kitchen ~20 years ago. It started because I had china and silver from both grandmothers.

            Later in life I entered a relationship with another formerly-married person...and we combined his wedding china with my wedding china plus our inherited pieces.

            We now have service for ??? We either need to throw more parties or open a restaurant.

            It helps that I favor the eclectic look over matchy-matchy.

            1. Im all about mix and match - makes life easier not having to worry about sets and god forbid you break a plate and and now your set is "ruined"

              I would not buy a custom mixed set - go consignment or retail and find a few "broken" sets of high quality old china that coordinate nicely.

              3 Replies
              1. re: JTPhilly

                Sounds good. But you might be looking for a long time to get just the right combo.

                I would be happy to spring for a set of dessert dishes that I could mix with my everyday china. I don't see many of those those though.

                1. re: JTPhilly

                  I think the advantage of these (admittedly pricey) pre-made sets is that it is mismatched in a nice way-- I doubt it would be easy to find 8 dinner plates in one pattern, and 8 salad plates in another, and 8 teacups in yet another--- all that looked nice together. Of course if you didn't mind a true mix of plates/cups/etc (one place setting of one pattern, and 2 others of a different, etc) then it would be easier.

                  1. re: DGresh

                    Not really so hard. My advice for anyone wanting to start: Use plain or nearly-plain white dinner plates, maybe with a gold rim, and bread and butter plates of the same or a similarly simple design. Then you can go nuts with salad plates and soup plates. You have an even freer hand with dessert dishes and cups and saucers, which generally only come out when the dinner dishes are cleared away.

                    It's very easy to lay your hands on at least four of something you like in, for example, salad plates; then it's a matter of finding four of something else that it doesn't clash with.

                2. As a china collector, who built a special storage wall for all the sets I have, I finally had to stop. What made that possible was a great idea from a friend of mine. He suggested that I get a coffee/tea cup and dessert plate in any of the patterns that I love, but do not have room for.
                  He got me the Royal Crown Derby Old Imari to start me off - a set that is out of my price range, but is manageable in this dessert setting. I have since gotten 8 different dessert set patterns and have enjoyed them for dessert parties or creamed teas. My friends enjoy the mixed sets and I get to enjoy many china patterns without building a separate house for the china.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: laraffinee

                    great idea. Kind of like the old fashioned idea of different tea cups and saucers brought out for tea.