Family heirloom dishes

cynandjonOctober 9, 2007

I have a two sets of antique dishes handed down to me. I really dont want to part with them but they are not in the same color family. One set is blue and the other is pink. My house isnt finished yet so I dont know what colors Im using.

What would you Master Organizers do in this case? Is there a way to display a few dishes without it looking like clutter?

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talley_sue_nyc

Here's what I would do:

I wouldn't necessarily paint my walls to match my china. (but then, I tend to paint my walls in the main room something like taupe, or clay, or sand, or dark gold, and they go w/ anything)

I'd put the dishes in the china cabinet or wherever, and I'd use them regularly. I wouldn't neceessarily display them, but I'd make sure they got used every month or so.

Also, you could hang a couple of them, or stand them up to display somewhere, and stick the rest in a cabinet.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 10:13AM
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adobesunlight

I keep mine displayed in our dining room hutch because they are not a complete set and also so heavy that we don't drag them out except on rare occasion. My house is rather eclectic so rarely do we have matching "anything"...lol, but the cream and red has such a rich look when placed in this cabinet because of the dark wood stain finish. Love it! I also think having a color introduced that doesn't match anything else draws attention to it in a good way (or interesting way I should say).

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 8:21PM
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cynandjon

OK girls Thanks for the input. I was thinking of hanging or a cabinet. I have an overhang over the kitchen from the upstairs so maybe Ill do a few and change them to the other set occasionally. One set was my GM Im not sure I want to actually use them for eating. Im afraid them getting broke.
thanks again
cindy

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 11:22PM
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quiltglo

One thing to think about. We talked before about what makes something an heirloom. These dishes mean something to you because of the connection to your grandmother. By not using them, are you continuing the "heirloom" quality or will they just end up being something your kids or family members don't really have a connection to.

I know you don't want them to get broken. But even if you only use a place setting or two for special occasions will keep the "specialness" alive. I've also found if I like something(s) they all go together just fine, IMHO. I really don't worry about colors as long as the item makes me smile.

Gloria

    Bookmark   October 11, 2007 at 3:23PM
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jannie

How about combining the two sets? I've seen mix and match dinner plates in magazines. Looks nice if you have a pretty tablecloth to sort of "blend" them.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2007 at 3:43PM
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Shades_of_idaho

I had a sort of set and hubby kept breaking one here one there. Accidentally of course. It is a good thing I do mosaics or I would be devastated. Now I keep making up a miss matched set to use and it keeps changing and I find new to me prettier plates.

I decided to go ahead and use all of my pretty things and not store them. This way I do get to enjoy them We eat with sterling silver and gold trimmed plates. Weird but ok.

I do have a small china cupboard I keep my favorite things in and as I feel like it I choose what to use each night making each meal special.

I think it is a good idea to use the things so your children will feel a connection to it like you do.

I do not think we have to live in stark bare houses to still look organized.

Chris

    Bookmark   October 11, 2007 at 8:00PM
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sherrmann

I love using the things I've inherited. Gives me great pleasure to feel connected to grandparents I never knew. My mom kept the china safely packed away while we were growing up, and I kept it "safe" for many years, but now I love using it. Like Chris, we often eat with sterling silver and gold-rimmed plates. They're certainly not my every day dishes, and I am careful with them. If they break or chip, my heart probably will, too, but I'll have loved using them along the way. Same goes for the crystal goblets and all the cut crystal pieces. Many are from the 1870s and very beautiful. I hope I'm not being foolish.

Sherry

    Bookmark   October 11, 2007 at 9:17PM
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Frankie_in_zone_7

You've gotten some great suggestions. They line up under one of several approaches, & you'd decide what is best:
1) Intentional decorative display only--if you get real pleasure from that and have the display room, that's fine;
2)Daily use with idea that one day they might break, but then, you've really enjoyed them, plus you may have other dishes that will become "heirlooms" for your kids, and kids certainly don't need 6 sets of heirloomm dishes;
3)scheduled ceremonial use--holidays, special days--again, if you have room and energy for multiple sets of dishes;
4) store specifically to be a set of dishes for a kid leaving the nest, though realize that if they have no connection, they'll soon pick their own dishes and discard these;
4)save just an item or 2 to use in fun and commemorative way--maybe a serving bowl filled with ornaments or seashells, a sugar bowl used for a tiny bouquet of flowers, or plant African violets in some teacups, a plate with others on a wall, or something like that.

The main thing is to do something in which the price of saving does not outweigh the enjoyment.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 10:39AM
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cynandjon

Well you all make good points and they were used by my GM and my aunt that gave them to me before she died. I probably will use them for special occasions, nervously but I will. LOL
They arent in pristine condition or anything. They were lovingly used for family and friends. Thats the rose set. The other set Im not sure where hubbies stepmother acquired them.
thanks for your opinions, this site is the best.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 2:59PM
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jannie

I have a set of pink Depression Glass dishes that was my Godmother's. She told her friends she liked this pattern and they all brought pieces for her bridal shower in 1937. She kept the dishes all her life and used them a lot. Many of the pieces got broken along the way. By the time she died, in 1978, only a few plates were left. But all of the cups and saucers and sherbet dishes were intact. I have them today. I use the sherbets for shrimp cocktail.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 7:22PM
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cynandjon

hi Jannie
I love old dishes. I had a set of Blue depression with the rings. I sold them for airfare when my mother had a heart attack. She was in TX and Im in PA.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 8:03PM
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neesie

Quiltglo and Shermann I really like your attitude about using them. I also have some delicate pieces from my great grandma that my family doesn't use on a daily basis, but I do! I have my cuppa each morning in my room as I'm getting ready and I ENJOY using that special, delicate, not dishwasher safe cup. If it does get broken, oh well, then I'll know I enjoyed it at least.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 5:11PM
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