I have my ‘special’ china.  The one I use for family get togethers (once or twice a year, plus once in a while when I just want a special change of pace.)  Service for twelve.  Very old fashioned, delicate little pattern of pink roses with soft green foilage.  Actually, it was my oldest daughter’s wedding china.  But about 12 years ago or so, she admitted she preferred my then china (white and silver), and I preferred hers, and we were both divorced at that time…so we actually swapped.  🙂

About 5-6 years ago I bought some beautiful Kate Spade (  sad  ) every day china.  White background (there is something about my OCD that makes me need a pretty stark/clean white background on my dishes, not anything else)…with big, bold, gorgeous royal and navy blue floral pattern.  Here:

About the same time, I got some solid every day (porcelain) white dishes.  These, but just the dinner plates.  I never used them.

Instead, I have only used the Kate Spade, every single day for at least five years now.  With solid turquoise blue quilted place mats and matching napkins.  (Or navy ones, during the winter.)  Yes, I love the pattern; they are GORGEOUS dishes.  But….


So I got a hair up my #$)*$ this week that I would put away the Kate Spade’s, at least for the rest of the summer, and just use the whites.  I would get NEW quilted place mats, and NEW cloth napkins, and enjoy those for the summer.

I ordered these place mats:

I got cloth napkins in pink, peach, and a matching green.  (set of 4 on everything.  It’s just the two of us!) (plus it kept the cost down.)

I can’t wait for them to all arrive!  I should have in the next day or two.  I’m SET.  It’s all very exciting!

How are YOU about dishes?  What types (every day china, melamine, stoneware) of dishes do you use?

Do you use place mats, and/or tablecloths (I only bring out the tablecloths when the family is here)?  Paper napkins or cloth?  (I use cloth because it certainly saves money over time!)

Anyhow, I’m bored.  Time for a switch up.  Very exciting!

41 thoughts on “Dishes

  1. Sharon Anck

    Oh you hit on a subject here that is near and dear to my heart. Before I moved to a smaller place four years ago, I had 14 different sets of dishes. Imagine that!! Now I'm down to 7 sets and thankfully, I've been able to control the urge to buy another pretty set since then. Now, here's the really crazy thing, I'm single and always have been. However, I did entertain a lot. I don't do quite as much these days but, I do love to cook and cooking for other people is more fun than cooking for one.


  2. Silver Willow

    Sharon, not to sound stalky or anything, but once I'm moved and settled in AZ, I'd love to meet you sometime. (not just about dishes. LOL) 14 sets of dishes! WOW! Even 7?! WOW. That's impressive. You need to do a post sometime (if you haven't already before I followed you), and post some photos, girl! 🙂


  3. Linda deV

    It’s fun to mix it up even when we love something. When I moved to 800sq ft I decided to simplify. White dishes and serving only. I Alice it up with placmats or chargers or whatever.


  4. Silver Willow

    Exactly! I've always wanted to do the 'white dishes' but dress it up otherwise….finally am. But I love those Kate dishes and they will always have a place in my life, especially now with her untimely demise.


  5. Mae Travels

    Your china and linen choices look very pretty. I love hand-made pottery so I have a lot of dishes and serving pieces that don't really match but that I enjoy using together. When I write about cooking and the foods I serve, they show up on my blog, but I don't make any special posts about… mae at


  6. Elaine

    Goodness, I am going to let the side down here, my collection is – eclectic, perhaps. For entertaining I have a big dinner service which is about 60 years old, white, dark burgundy and 22k gold trim – sounds very exotic and it is. It belonged to my parents and they bought it when they lived in Hong Kong, way back. That set is too special for anything other than special family times or dinner parties, but I do use it because I am way too sentimental not to, if you know what I mean. Everyday dishes are sometimes mismatched and bought on a whim, or when my dish-washer breaks something. I also have a set of dinner plates which I inherited from my aunt, they are white with very funky stylised Highland cattle (1970's style) in the middle – sounds awful, but my grandchildren adore using them. I have a drawer-full of old linen tablecloths, but we generally have an 'oilskin' tablecloth on the kitchen table topped with tablemats for under plates and dishes.


  7. Grace

    I like the shape of those square dishes – I had dishes in that shape at one time – my husband and I painted them ourselves at one of those pottery painting places. And the Kate Spade dishes are very pretty…I always thought it would be fun to have all mismatched dishes and flatware – just odd pieces that I liked accumulated over time, acquired from “junk' stores – but while the idea of that was appealing the effort to do it wasn't.


  8. Silver Willow

    I'm too OCD myself to do mismatched. Heavens, you should see the inside of my purse! All my (Vera Bradley) accessories must match each other, and the color of my purse du month. LOLthanks! They are kinda square, without being truly square. A decade ago I had truly square dishes; those I ended up giving to my younger daughter because she's a big green fan. I like these because they are a blend of round and square (odd, I know.) 🙂


  9. ellen abbott

    when I married the first time I got china which we never used. when I married the second time I didn't get anything but later I inherited my maternal aunt's china which sits in a box. after the kids grew up and moved away we started using the china from the first marriage for everyday and I begged a place setting from as many family members as would give me one which we use for fancy, which is not that often, every person with a different china pattern. and cloth napkins! which reminds me, I need some new ones and new place mats.


  10. Silver Willow

    Nice story, Ellen! I learned, early on, to use that special china. I tried to use it every Sunday, at least. Even with the kids, once they got out of the toddler age range. We save this stuff for special occasions, and it's frankly dumb. I stopped using stoneware, because of the gray marks from utensils. Although 'every day china' is initially more expensive, it looks great really long, and in the long run, because of it, is a far better buy, to me. 🙂


  11. Ann Thompson

    I don't have any China. For the longest time we used everyday plain white dishes that wade had before we were married. A couple years ago my daughter naught me a set of Pioneer woman blue dishes. He hated them so he ate off his whit I ate off my blue


  12. Sally

    I'm laughing at Ann!There are two boxes of china in the garage, yes in boxes. That should tell you a lot about me. LOLLove the Kate Spade dishes.xoxo


  13. Anvilcloud

    we have two sets of good chine which we don't really use. We should just use them for everyday use as no one wants that kind of dinnerware anymore. Or not most people anyway.


  14. Jean R.

    I have two sets of dishes, both antique and both can be used together. The one I used every day are old diner dishes—heavy, practically unbreakable and plain with just a ring of green on the edge. My better dishes have lily-of-the-valley and a green and with basket weave pattern. What woman doesn't like dishes?


  15. Lynda

    I have a small kitchen and just one set of white porcelain plates. One set of placemats and one set of cutlery. I'm pretty minimalistic when it comes to crockery and like to eat of a plain plate. Your's all look lovely though and the white on those summery placemats will look really great!!


  16. Marie Smith

    Tablecloth, napkins, fancy china and crystal for the holidays, guests etc. Everyday meals for the two of us or the kids drop by, it’s placemats and paper. I use my mothers china cups and saucers to have tea parties with our granddaughters. May as well enjoy them and the girls love it when we do.


  17. happyone

    I've collected Fiestaware for years and use those most every day.I also have old china with all different patterns that I've collected over the years at antique shops.Comes in handy if you break one. It can be replaced with any thing. : ) I use the dishes often. Don't save any for special occasions because every day is special. : )


  18. Marcia

    Love the first set of placemats but not my colors. When we downsized I thought I'd bring the good china service for 12. Then thought, I'm never going to be cooking for that many because all we can fit comfortably is 6 at the table. So opted for square white plates that are on the small size. I've since added round ones because discovered when daughter and her family came and we had multiply meals here we ran out of dishes. I use placemats on a regular basis then get tired of them and pull out the table cloth.


  19. tammy j

    when I broke my left hand and wrist years ago… I bought simple pure white Corelle.they're very lightweight. the injury is all healed of course and yet I still love them!i use aqua colored mason jars for glasses. simple. minimal. happy!your new placemats are a delight! and perfect with your own white dishes. XO


  20. Cynthia

    I love your white dishes! The shape is so elegant. But then I'm a white plate person all the way because I like my food on a neutral background. If I want pretty, I have a bunch of mismatched vintage salad plates, each one a unique treasure, that look pretty used with the white plates. I also have a collection of cloth napkins in a variety of quiet colors.


  21. Martha

    It's fun to switch things up a bit sometimes. We use place mats all the time. A tablecloth is only used when we have big gatherings. No fancy dishes on our end. I've actually never had a set!


  22. Margaret-whiteangel

    I have many dinner sets – oh my, 5 to be exact – 3 of my own and two of my late mothers.Three are Noritake, then china ones, all white is one, the other is willow pattern which is wearing very well. Can't stand chips so anything with a chip gets tossed, but fortunately only one piece out of the 5 has been chipped.No tablecloth these days, just solid place-mats which can be wiped or scrubbed.Serviettes we call them, often paper ones if not white linen ones.When visitors come they use what we use.


  23. Silver Willow

    Nice! I'm struggling with the new napkins I bought; they are too, well, they feel too non-absorbent. I think it's the partial linen in them. Haven't used them, just felt them. Think I might return them and get pure cotton. A little more wrinkly, but I prefer the feel.


  24. Silver Willow

    I love Noritake; that's my brand of super fine china that I have the pattern of twelve in that were my daughter's set. So pretty.I don't like chipped either; lucky these every day china sets are pretty impervious to that!


  25. Granny Annie

    I have my mother's china. I have my daughter's first set of every day dishes. I have place mats that my mother wove. I use paper plates and paper bowls.


  26. Jeanie

    Well, I love the Kate Spade but I know what you mean about getting bored. I have too many dishes. Christmas and Thanksgiving; spring flowers; plain white; fiesta (vintage); vintage Hall China patterns (Crocus and Tulip); another Tulip pattern by a different company, also vintage; some fall plates from Italy; I love dishes. Oh, and the good white with the gold rim. Special china. I don't have any square but I like that shape. I feel a shopping trip coming on!I mix up table cloth and placemats — it depends on the day and the dishes and the occasion. Usually, because IKEA has such great paper napkins, I will use those but I use cloth too, because they are so pretty and sustainable. I love that you are swapping out dishes. (Oh, the other thing I sometimes do is just buy two place settings of something I like but don't want a whole set of, so just for a dinner for Rick and me or lunch with a friend. Saves money and makes me feel good!)


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