While I was cleaning my dining room hutch recently, I started thinking about a conversation with my sister-in-law, Elisa, a few years back about using our fine china more often in table settings. She regularly uses hers so I asked myself, why am I not using mine more often? I think I always told myself “they’re too special to use” or “they should only be used for special occasions.” But really, isn’t every day special in its own way? Why only enjoy these things a few times a year when they can be enjoyed more often? What’s holding me back?
When discussing it on social media, the topic of using fine china in an every day table setting really struck a chord with my audience! So many of us keep it in storage and rarely use it, if at all with our table settings!
For those that have china that can’t go in the dishwasher, I get it, I wouldn’t use it either because ain’t nobody got time for that. But for those of us that have china that is dishwasher safe, it is time to break them out and use them more! Why keep these beautiful things in storage?
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Why We Should Use Our China in Table Settings More Often
One friend told a story about her aunt passing her china to her many years ago. Since receiving it from her aunt, my friend kept it wrapped in boxes when moving from place to place during her family’s military journey. After years of storage, they recently unwrapped it when water infiltrated their basement, forcing her to take them out of the boxes. While unwrapping them, she noticed the date on the newspaper wrapping was November 11, 1970! Isn’t that amazing? And my friend said it well in her comment…maybe it’s time to start using this china! And I agree!
I have two sets of Lenox: one from my wedding 22 years ago and one from my grandmother who I know only used hers on holidays. Both sets are securely stored in my hutch and are used maybe once or twice a year. Why? My kids are older, they are dishwasher safe, and there’s really no reason not to use them. So this got me thinking…
It’s a Movement
After cleaning my hutch and reflecting on this conversation with my very wise sister-in-law, I’m taking a page from her book and started using them more often. I may not use them everyday, but I am making it a point to celebrate the everyday and enjoy a beautiful sit down meal with my family in the dining room with my china.
Too often we run from activity to activity. We need to slow it down, savor the small moments, and celebrate just being together.
Using China With An Everyday Meal Just Feels Different
The same day I cleaned my hutch, I made a yummy dinner and served it on my grandmother’s Lenox in the dining room. Let me tell you, it was lovely. My oldest daughter was still on break from her first semester at college so we were all able to regroup and enjoy a meal together.
When we eat in the kitchen, meals are usually much quicker. I know I’m more focused on cleaning up and being done with my job for the day, than lingering at the table for longer than the actual meal. But in the dining room, we slowed down, ate dinner, told stories and lingered for a while. It just felt different. Funny how the change of scenery and dinner presentation changed the whole vibe!
How to Incorporate Your China into the Everyday Table Setting
There’s no right or wrong way to use china…we should just use it! Using china does not mean, we have to use all the stemware, silver, etc. or even go crazy serving a special meal on it. It can just mean, using the dishes to eat pizza or maybe just the stemware to make happy hour a little more special with our significant others and friends. There are no rules. It’s OK to mix the formal with the casual and can be whatever you want.
Winter Tablescape Ideas
Since I started using my china more often, I created a few winter tablescapes to inspire you to use yours more often too! If you don’t have any china, that’s ok too! Any kind of dinnerware can be used with these designs. Here are a few tablescape ideas for inspiration.
Classic Neutral Winter Table Setting Idea
For this tablescape, I worked with natural winter hues and mixed by Lenox with casual items dresses down dinnerware and lends a laid back feel. Here, it is layered with with tartan plaid flannel runner, cedar branch placemats, galvanized metal chargers, linen napkins, hurricane glass, faux green wreath, candles, and lanterns.
Holiday-Inspired Table Setting Idea
For this winter tablescape, I added some reds and darker colors to use for the holidays or Valentine’s Day. In this tablescape, I mixed my Lenox with a burlap table runner, wood carved candlesticks, candles, hurricane glass, faux green wreath, cedar branch placemats, rattan chargers, faux green floral picks and red napkin linens. For Valentine’s Day, I’d swap out the floral pics for red heart boxes of chocolate or faux roses.
Rustic Winter Table Setting Idea
For this rustic winter tablescape, I added more neutral, natural elements. I mixed my Lenox with a plaid flannel table runner, wood serving tray, faux greens, neutral textured balls, and wood carved candlesticks lends a casual feel to the table. Each setting includes Lenox, cedar branch placemats, rattan chargers, napkin linens, and cinnamon sticks.
Thank you so much for following along! I hope this post inspires you to take your china out of storage and use it. We should celebrate the everyday using our things that we consider special and unique because each day is a gift. Please leave your ideas, comments & more below and be sure to find me on Facebook and Instagram! Thank you for sharing your comments with me. Enjoy your day! xo