Envy is a bad thing. We all know that.
But occasionally I stumble across a beautiful display of ironstone on a blog or Pinterest. The crisp, whiteness of the ironstone is just beautiful. It just looks so "clean" and pretty. And for a second, I envy.
Don't ask me why. Truth is, I have no use for "knick-knacks" or non-useful items that require dusting...even if they do look pretty!
But heirloom pieces are another matter and I decorate with them whenever possible! I love the dishes and china I do display because every single one of them is an heirloom piece inherited from my grandmothers, great grandmother and mom, as well as a few pieces of my own.
As I have mentioned before, my decor taste has transitioned over the years from "traditional" to more "mid-century." But truth is, my home decor is probably more "traditional" than "modern." I describe it as "eclectic." Regardless of the style, I have worked hard to remove the things I don't particularly care for and fill my home with pieces I love.
I seriously cherish the heirloom pieces I have inherited from family, and in spite of the fact most lean more towards "traditional," I display them with honor and pride.
That is what makes a house a home.....surrounding yourself with pieces you love and cherish and have meaning!
Several years ago I bought this curio cabinet so I would have a safe place to display my heirloom china. (I'm seriously thinking about painting it!) It is obviously not big enough to store ALL the china I have inherited, but I decided to display one place setting of each set. The rest is carefully wrapped and packed and stored in clearly marked boxes in the attic.
I have two sets from my maternal great-grandmother....
One of my maternal grandmother's....
My paternal grandmother's stoneware....(interesting story about the tea pitcher you can read about here) This is my favorite (right now) because it is pretty much "my style" right now. Simple, soft "blue mist" color and platinum edge.
My china...I have THREE sets (One isn't even displayed). Don't ask me why, other than the fact that I love china. And I hadn't inherited my grandmothers' yet so I felt I should have a set...or two...or three. Funny (only now, years later!) story about the first set. I bought a full set at an auction 25 years ago. Years later, while in the process of moving, I had displayed the entire set in my china hutch...not realizing that the top shelf was not secure...and it ALL came crashing down. Naturally, it broke the least replaceable pieces...the tea pot, salt and pepper shakers, sugar and creamer set.
Six years later, I went to an auction at a house my (ex) husband and I were buying...the lady was in her 90s and she had a beautiful set of china...identical to the one I had!! She had all the "select" pieces I had broken. PAY DIRT!
I bought this set at an auction as well.
I have filled the cabinet with a few other heirloom pieces.
A Fenton tulip vase that was my mother's. She has another that matches this one!
A pink carnival cream and sugar set...
I run across beautiful pieces like this all the time in estate auctions. Fine china, Fenton and carnival glass, painted porcelain and Wedgwood...all for ridiculously cheap prices. Primarily because in today's world of decorating everyone wants the "clean, crisp" of stoneware and ironstone. And let's be honest, who really USES these pieces any more? Most of it is not even dishwasher safe...GASP!
But it is beautiful...and if they are pieces you have inherited from you family, you should display them with pride.