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posted
Hi all. I'm entertaining a lot more at home including work related fundraising. I want to get new dishes maybe service for 12 or 15. I'm not the kind of person who buys stuff just to display in the buffet. Life is short I don't want to save good dishes just for when company comes. Herein lies my dilemma. I am having a hard time picking a pattern that would be versatile enough where I could use it for a nice but casual dinner on the patio to a more formal setup in the dining room. Most times I do cocktail parties and have appetizer plates for maybe 100 people. Any suggestions for a china pattern for the smaller events would be appreciated. I went into Macy's and Bloomingdales but found the experience so overwhelming. I couldn't decide a thing so I thought I'd take a breather. In general I don't like too much pattern on things because sometimes it can be too limiting. I love to change things up. No two events at my home are ever the same. I am really not thinking of getting several sets of china. If anything maybe would prefer to get different accent plates that could go with whichever set I got. I'm open to suggestions or considerations. Thanks
 
Posts: 909 | Registered: Mar 22, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Especially if you want to mix and match, you'll probably want to stay within one manufacturer's offerings because the white or cream varies with each manufacturer. Sometimes you can mix manufacturers, but it's tricky.

One of my all-time favorites is Wedgwood White. It's a simple shape with no embellishment so you have no limitations regarding table linens or the relative formality or informality of the occasion. If you want a bit more texture, Bernardaud's Louvre pattern is one option. Again, there is no metal on the plate, so it lends itself to all types of entertaining.

I find that Bloomingdale's usually has knowledgeable and helpful sales people, at least on a week day. I don't know about evenings and weekends. Do you have a local store that specializes in china, silver and crystal? The owners of that sort of place are usually lovers of fine china and would love to help someone contemplating a large purchase like yours.
 
Posts: 1730 | Registered: Aug 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree with Gracie -- something plain and white which can be dressed up or down (sort of like the table's answer to the "little black dress") and that Wedgwood pattern she mentioned is a good one.

I use a lot of blue and white transferware but it suits my house and it, I feel, can be formal or casual depending on the linens, floral arrangement, etc. It isn't for everyone IMO. And it has a lot of pattern!

Go to the library and get a couple of "entertaining" books and see what the tables are set with -- that should give you some idea of what might be a good fit.

Martha
 
Posts: 5411 | Location: On the prairie of Kansas | Registered: Dec 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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White, cream, solid colors.

I love the Fiesta line - you can mix and match colors depending on the season. That said - my "fancy eatin' dishes" are white. I can change table linens for the season/occasion and it all works.
 
Posts: 16506 | Location: Daingerfield, TX | Registered: Feb 07, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Try looking at the manufactures website. It's so much easier to scroll through pictures on your computer than shopping in a store.

I have a link to Mikasa for their current sale. They do have other patterns available if you don't find anything you like. They are having a sale right now. You can get a better deal by ordering straight from the manufactures than you would at a store.

http://www.mikasa.com/Dining/d...c.html?start=0&sz=60

Satin White dinnerware set -

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Posts: 2641 | Registered: Jan 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Another good reason to visit the manufactures website is to find out if the dishes are dishwasher safe if you don't want to hand wash all the dishes. Also check the manufacturers warranty.

Venetian Lace -

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Posts: 2641 | Registered: Jan 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a complete set of their French Countryside. It is stoneware though and you asked about china.

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Posts: 2641 | Registered: Jan 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Why don't you take a look at a large online restaurant supply company for all your entertaining needs. Here's one: http://www.webstaurantstore.com/
 
Posts: 5166 | Registered: Jul 12, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You've been contemplating this for awhile now.
When I decorated our home I started with the dining room and got out my good china to give me inspiration. Took that idea from a friend.
So colors in my home flow from room to room and all blend because of my china, stoneware, ironstore, Corelle.
Then when I see pieces to mix in I purchase those - Oriental print dessert/salad plates, rock crystal square salad plates, Fostoria consomme bowls,
I doubt I would ever take china outdoors to entertain, but have done so with some of my other sets of stoneware and ironstone, etc.
My table linens are all white, cream and a few solid colors for holidays.
Also check shoppes that deal in collectibles and antiques for china. Just acquired 20 matching place settings (5 pieces in each) for $162.26. They were simple white with gold rim china.
 
Posts: 2639 | Location: Midwest | Registered: Nov 29, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks all. Yeah have been contemplating it for a while. I usually do cocktail parties so it hasn't been an issue. It's sort of coming to a head now where it is becoming more necessary. It's as though the more I try to simplify the more stuff ends up being accumulated. For some reason and why I don't know, picking the one set is causing me such anxiety. I guess part of me is worried I'll start getting more sets once I start. I'll check out restaurant supply stores too. That's a great idea. Actually a set like what you would get in a high-end restaurant would be great.
 
Posts: 909 | Registered: Mar 22, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You might choose a pattern of dishware that offers a larger dessert plate that could be used at cocktail parties.
Maybe in times past a luncheon plate was offered, I have those with 3 of my sets and they get used ALOT and would be a great size for cocktail buffet.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Lurah,
 
Posts: 2639 | Location: Midwest | Registered: Nov 29, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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