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mixing plates

By 3/12/2008

it seems like there are several approaches to setting the table. there's the most popular and traditional method of having a set of tableware that is all matching, 8 or 12 place settings, including dinner plates, salad plates, bowls, mugs etc. some people have one fancy set and one "everyday" set. and then if you're really ambitious (or maybe this is just a southern tradition?) you'd have a "holiday" pattern. with me so far?

so recently i've been cooking like crazy, and starting to blog the results. it occurred to me that all my photos of the dishes i made were on the same plates, since i only have one set. i had the idea to buy a couple of different pairs of plates, i guess for staging purposes. but i wasn't prepared to financially commit to 8 of everything in a single pattern -- i only got 2 dinner plates of each.

what's the general opinion out there? can you mix different types if you have a group over for dinner, or should you save these for dinner-for-two situations? if you go the mix-and-match route, should each plate be different, more like a flea market look?

here are the others i purchased -- the dinner plates are almost bowl shaped, perfect for pasta!

i don't have these, but i love them. and the bird painted on the teacup reminds me of the real isuwannee blogger...


this missoni set is a perfect example of how you could have a set that looks like you're mixing stuff, but you aren't really. a full set would also cost as much as a house, in my approximation. but still, what inspiration...


  1. When my folks have large-but-not-fancy dinners they mix their two sets of everyday dishes by alternating. I imagine you could do something similar to make three or four sets of two settings look quite polished. Don't underestimate symmetry.

  2. i think different types and styles are definitely acceptable if you have a group over. In fact, I think if the styles are complementary but varied, that's even more impressive. I mean anyone can pull off one set of dishes, but finding just the right balance and cohesion between two or more sets, that's more difficult (but not impossible). And lots of fun. I say go for it!

  3. Oh yes! Anyone can handle it and so can your meal. These can be fun and fruitful flares! And you seem one creative soul to pull it off! They're beautiful!