Learn How to Mix and Match China Patterns for a Modern Look

Just in time for the holidays, discover the secrets to updated table settings.

Learn How to Mix and Match China Patterns for a Modern Look

Photo: Courtesy of Villeroy & Boch

holiday table

With the holiday season fast approaching, it's nearly time to start planning your holiday dinners and parties. This is usually the time when wedding china is pulled out of a dusty drawer for the first time in at least a year. And if you've been married for a while, the china pattern may seem old-fashioned and out of date. But no matter how traditional your china is, you can breathe new life into your table settings with just a few additional pieces. In an appearance on Good Morning Texas today, Inside Weddings tabletop expert Dean Driver, of Consilium Lifestyle Collections, revealed easy, inexpensive ways to update and modernize your table settings. By making just a few key swaps, your holiday table will look brand new!  

Plates and Patterns
To easily update older, traditional patterns, Driver recommends adding new charger plates featuring a more contemporary pattern. These large pieces are layered underneath smaller dinner plates, or they can even serve as dinner plates themselves. There are no "rules" when it comes to matching patterns – you could add the same pattern in a different color, or an entirely different pattern in complementing shades.

"[Adding a new] charger is like putting a fresh coat of paint on a room. It's a quick and easy update," Driver says.

Don't be afraid to mix colors. Consider adding glasses in shades of blue, red, or yellow. Stemless wine glasses are also an easy, modern update, and look pretty, even when paired with traditional stemmed glasses. Driver reveals that stemmed water glasses are a thing of the past. "For years we had the matching water glass and wine glass. Europeans do that because they don't put ice in their water," Driver explains. Instead, use highball glasses for drinks like ice water and iced tea. 

Finally, consider adding coffee mugs that complement your china pattern. Manufacturers have started making mugs that match the china, thanks to Americans' new obsession with coffee. "We don't have couples registering for cups and saucers anymore," Driver admits. "We don't sit with a saucer sipping tea, and people don't serve coffee as much after dinner. When they do, they take it out into the patio or living room. If you're having a brunch you want to be able to walk around with it." For an updated dessert look, pair contemporary mugs with traditional dessert plates. 

What About the Cost?
Driver assures shoppers that updating china does not have to be expensive. Items can be found at any price point, and nowadays you don't have to buy a whole set of china – pieces are now sold "open stock" (in other words, individually). Need help getting started? Begin with new dessert plates. And don't forget: "You can register for the holidays!" Driver says.

Registering for china can be overwhelming. Check out this guide by Villeroy & Boch's Isabelle von Boch, who reveals every piece to add to your registry (and how many you'll need!). 

Opening photo by Handeland Tesoro Photography