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How (And Why) To Mix Cherished Heirloom And Modern China

Heirloom china and your personal style

If you™ve been lucky enough to inherit heirloom family china, you may be looking at it as a bit of mixed blessing. One on hand, you™re probably thinking how special it is to have gorgeous fine china that has been handed down from mother to daughter for generations. On the other hand, you may also be wondering how will you manage to make those tiny blue flowers work with your modern dining room (or mix an art deco pattern into your traditional style)?

The good news is that it doesn™t have to be all or nothing. In much the same way you can gracefully and successfully combine antique furniture with comfortable contemporary pieces, it is entirely possible to mix and match traditional china into a modern tablescape. There are plenty of creative ways to honor the beauty and tradition of your heirloom pieces while still letting your own personal style shine through.

Add contrasting pieces

If your heirloom china is too fussy for your taste, look for a complementary pattern to mix and match. You can balance a delicate flower with a bold solid color band or a classic white or ivory pattern. Or create an eye-catching combination by mixing patterns with similar color palettes. If you™ve inherited an understated pattern, try layering in a delicate pattern or bold color to add your personal style.

Incorporate stemware that suits your style

When you select your stemware, you can further enhance or offset the style of your heirloom china based on what you select. Whether it’s the elegance and drama of cut crystal or the grace and simplicity of blown glass, you can add sparkle and personality to any place setting with well-chosen stemware.

Consider adding chargers for color or contract

Chargers are a wonderful way to experiment with a number of different colors or styles to maximize (or minimize) your heirloom pieces. Again, you can incorporate strong color ”“ or even metallic or mirrored glass ”“ elements and infuse your own style with the size and shape of your charger.

Use serving pieces to add personality

If you don™t like the idea of mismatched place settings, consider incorporating serving platters and bowls to tone down ”“ or amp up ”“ to your inherited pieces. You can maintain the consistency of matching dishes with a dash of color or pattern. Large contrasting pieces mean you can make a big impact with just a few key pieces.

Don’t hide your china away in a cabinet – use it!

When you™re integrating your heirloom pieces, the biggest piece of advice we can give you to enjoy your fine dinnerware. Use the china, crystal and silver that you inherit and receive as gifts.  There is no need to choose between tradition and personal style. You can make it your own with your individual style of entertaining. With a creative eye ”“ and maybe some advice from a professional ”“ you can find a combination that will suit your taste and your lifestyle. Whether you already have inherited pieces in your china cabinet or waiting for the family china to come your way, our expert tabletop consultants here at Bromberg’s can work with you to create the perfect table setting that honors your family traditions and reflects your own taste.


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