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January 2021: Cheers to a new year! On becoming a stuff person

Welcome back.  I hope that your January is progressing nicely.  I like to think of January as early spring, and appreciate the days as they grow longer.  I think I also look for more ways to include beautiful items as part of my life during the longer days of “early spring.”  For me, it tends to be a creative period, where I spend time seeking out new old items, finding ways to use them in either their original context or maybe a new way, and identify more ways that I can mix in new or existing china pieces with other sets.

Its most likely no surprise that I a love to surround myself with beautiful things. I find much of this beauty in vintage and antique items. The quality of these items is often far superior, many items were made were made by hand rather than being massed produced, and usually each piece brings a uniqueness that cannot be found in today’s items.

If collecting is new to you, vintage and antique items do not have to be dust collectors. Many items can be used for their original function, or you can find way to use them in a different way. Here are some ways that use antiques in my home.

This covered, two piece, silver-plate server once graced a dining room table.

Today, the lower half keeps our coaster collection in check

While its better half, ensures my husband’s razors don’t stray too far!

This cute little dresser was made for my grandmother by her father. Both my mom and I used it as well. Today, it hangs on the wall and serves as a small side table, it has a very rustic feel.

I keep these two silver-plated items near the kitchen sink.

This one keeps my dish-cloths in tact. The silver-plated celery tray below holds both dish-washing and hand-soap.

I love this large punch bowl that my mom found in a second-hand store. I use a lot of tea light candles, during the shorter days, and this large bowl holds several bags of them!

I still can’t believe that i got this orchid to re-bloom. It sits nicely in this Wedgewood Jasperware cache pot.

Here are some other ways to use vintage items in your daily life or routine:

  1. A beautiful crystal wine glass

  2. A fun salt and pepper set

  3. A charming butter dish, or perhaps a more sophisticated one

  4. A lovely serving bowl or platter

  5. Some vintage or antique silver serving pieces. With the exception of forks, silver plate flatware, once polished, remains relatively untarnished. The oils from our hands actually help to maintain the luster and creates a patina.  Forks tines require more polishing because the enzymes in our saliva causes them to tarnish more quickly.

  6. Of course, adding beauty does not require antiques.  There are many beautiful contemporary items to choose from as well.  If you’re starting a china set, you may want to consider a plain or solid pattern for dinner plates.  Consider Lenox Eternal, which is an ivory pattern, or a solid white.  Both ivory and white sets offer either a gold or platinum band in varying widths and degree of detail, and most of the newer sets are dishwasher safe.  I am a huge fan of mixing patterns, and will often mix two or even three patterns.  Having a solid dinner plate means that I can increase the number of table settings by using salad plates to add in variety.  Salad plates are most often less expensive than dinner plates so you can actually increase variety that way as well.  Commit to using it once a week as a start, perhaps a nice Saturday meals to end the week, or a Sunday dinner to kick of the week in a relaxing way.

  7. In the pantry to hold condiments or smaller items

Please comment and share how you use vintage or antique items, its always fun to learn how others find unique ways to use beautiful things.  If you’re new to stuff, let us know what you did to bring some beauty to your world. 

Have a wonderful January, and be sure to check back later this month for more ways to bring beauty to your world. Best, ~d

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