I have so many beautiful dishes that I rarely get out to use. I used to have even more from my early days of blogging, when I couldn’t go down the aisle of a store without my cart making a detour towards the dish section.
I have sold off a great deal of them over time, and I’m now down to the ones I just can’t part with, and the basics, with some changes for each season. I thought my obsession with dishes had passed, but lately the urge to buy a few more is raising it’s ugly head again. So far, I’ve been able to resist the urge, mostly because they are not on sale yet, and I rarely buy anything unless I can get it on sale.
Before caving to the urge to purchase more dishes, I decided another purge was needed. Other than the dishes currently in use, all my extra dishes are kept in this wall to wall credenza in my dining room, consisting of three separate cabinets.
I started by taking everything out of the first cabinet where I keep the spring and summer dishes. I sorted them into coordinating themes and colors, and soon the table was covered. Believe it or not, everything on the table came out of just one cabinet.
Once I had everything sorted, I decided to go through each group individually to evaluate its sentimental value to me, and whether or not I could part with it. I started with the lemon themed dishes, which actually consists of a lemon plate that I use mostly for decor and pretty lemon napkins.
I also had some lemon themed paper plates and napkins. The Springfield Extravaganza Flea always has a vendor with a large, inexpensive array of paper plates and napkins, that I find equally hard to resist. These paper goods go nicely with four melamine green plates I have.
The green melamine dinner plates also coordinate well with these bright and cheerful chili pepper salad pates, red bowls, and colorful striped napkins. I found these chili pepper plates and napkins on clearance at Pier 1 several years ago and only have service for two.
I have a collection of red, white, and blue dishes that are perfect for celebrating both Memorial Day and the 4th of July.
The red and blue dishes also work well for the traditional summer barbecue theme with a plastic tablecloth in a red handkerchief pattern, and red and white checkered paper napkins.
For most all of these combinations, I use my traditional White Nantucket dinner plates that I bought years ago, (and are still available) at World Market. This is my “go to” dinner plate for winter, spring, and summer. I tend to buy a basic, solid color dinner plate, such as these, and then change up the look over and over again with different colored or patterned salad plates. These days, I rarely buy more than four place settings of the salad plates.
Back to the green melamine plates – I have some pretty geranium paper napkins that would mix nicely with a faux red geranium arrangement I have, and create a lovely summer table.
And lastly, in this cabinet were four aqua melamine dinner plates that were purchased at the same time as the green melamine plates, along with coordinating polka dot salad plates.
The dinnerware I’m currently using for very early spring are my white Nantucket dinner plates and bee plates I found at Cracker Barrel, when dining with my Mom a few years ago. Dishes seem to find me wherever I go, and I certainly know better than to ever set foot in Home Goods.
These plates say “spring” and coordinate nicely with bright yellow faux or early blooming forsythia branches.
In case you’re wondering if I am parting with any dishes in this purge – the answer is “yes”. These two green dinner plates, and six turkey salad plates are going into the yard sale box.
Followed by four turquoise salad plates, some very old Christmas glasses, and a set of plastic hobnail drinking glasses.
Lastly, I rounded up all the paper plates, which went in with the dishes.
And the collection of paper napkins were corralled in a basket and tucked away, but within easy reach.
Can you believe it, I didn’t even show you my fall and winter dishes, which is a much smaller collection by far.
Through all of this, I did figure out why dishes are such a weakness for me. I love decorating and all that it involves. I realized, that for me, setting a pretty table is like decorating a very small room. Playing with all the colors, textures, and patterns of the dishes and napkins is “fun” on a smaller scale, and definitely more affordable than decorating a whole room.
The secret to dealing with any addiction is understanding it . . . at least that’s what I’m telling myself. The other helpful thing would be to just stay out of the stores. But in the meantime, I need to work on entertaining my friends and family more . . . to share meals, fellowship, and all these pretty dishes.
Which set of dishes are your favorite?