“Set the table.” That phrase has a certain exact expectation, doesn’t it?  The plate here, the napkin there, the silverware in just the right place. {Measured with a ruler in Victorian days!}  All the plates matching. Despite our love of casual these days, antique china is making a comeback.






There is an art to entertaining that often makes us feel the need for formal elegance, but in a relaxed way.  This is the beauty of our generation, we can love and use the same over the top beautiful porcelain dishes that our great-great- grandmothers loved, but we are not bound by the same rules they were!



I used the over-the-top gilt edged formal dinner plates, luxurious antique napkins and sterling mother of pearl flatware for this table setting, but toned it down for today with an antique French linen runner, and a simple garland of eucalyptus leaves down the center.






These days, we feel free to lay the table with pieces we love, which may, or may not mean they match.







I’m often surprised by the young brides and grooms who ask for antique porcelains and silverware from our shop FrenchGardenHouse.  They want help in choosing some antique pieces to transform their tables from good to wow. Because while they happily BBQ and serve food in a casual setting most days,  there are times that they want to dress up their table and party it up!







Happily mixing up your china makes it a more relaxed experience for guests. It’s a lot more welcoming when a table has a mix of several patterns, antique or not. And…bonus – you can splurge on two or four stunning plates that you love, and combine them with china you inherited. Mixing everything together for a larger table setting of 10 or 12.



Your table setting sets the tone for your evening {or afternoon if you are hosting a luncheon} and antique and vintage plates elevate every setting.  For my intimate luncheon by the fire, I used the most ornate plates, but added a contemporary French patchwork cloth and contemporary Waterford champagne flutes.





At FrenchGardenHouse we believe in pulling out the good dishes and silver! Dining together should be f u n…and a delight to all the senses.



Wether you are having a formal dinner or an impromptu meal, using some of your antique plates or bowls will suit.  You should have joy selecting plates for your well-set table.  Your guests will love that you spent time curating your table, and they’ll think they are having an elevated experience. { which they are…they are with YOU.}








The antique and vintage tableware pieces we offer at FrenchGardenHouse in porcelain, crystal and silver will help your express your own unique style.  It’s always a thrill to be able to find the most amazing linens, silver and porcelains to offer to you!



Your tables should tell your guests a little bit about you, what you love, what colors you adore and more.






Most of all, your table settings should say “welcome, let’s have some fun! I’m so happy you are here!” to your guests.




I hope you spend more time with people you love and leave the dinnerware to us at FrenchGardenHouse!


We have something that is sure to make your table happy.  There are a lots of exciting “new” antique pieces that will capture your heart for your tables at home arriving on the daily in the shop.










Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and uniquely yours. Visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.com