I am truly happiest when I’m setting the table – pulling out too much glassware, mixing new pieces with vintage touches, lighting ALL the candles. When it comes to tabletop styling, I am most often asked about quantities – how many matching plates/ bowls/ cups to buy. I have sets ranging in size from 1-12, usually based on what I can find. If I fall in love with an appetizer plate, but there’s only one available, I’ll still buy it! (Spoken like a true addict!) I’ll either use it as a serving piece, or mismatch it with others. Mismatching makes your table setting options endless, and helps to keep the rotation fresh. My cabinets might be overflowing, but I can honestly say that I use about 90% of what I have because I’m always mixing it up.
Here are some basic ideas I keep in mind when mis-matching, but really, there are no rules here!
1. Choose a color scheme for plate ware. Mine is mostly white and light gray. Shop within that palette and you’ll never have to worry about anything clashing.
2. Play with texture – dots, lines, swirls. You see so many different patterns these days. If you’re hesitant to mismatch colors, texture is a great place to start and makes for a really interesting tablescape.
3. Be random. When mismatching china, each setting should be different than the one next to it and across from it. Try to avoid patterns.
4. If possible, let one element remain consistent – silverware or water glasses for example. This will help pull everything together.
5. Lastly, use linen! I’m a big fan of linen napkins. They make any table look more elegant. I have whites and grays that fall in line with my color palette, and a few colored options for when I want more of an accent or theme. Red checked napkins make a regular appearance for Sunday night Italian. I don’t care if they’re cheesy!
More about my tableware and where to find it here!