Here’s a crazy idea: don’t buy a set of plates all at once, but rather pick and choose among vintage and new plates that you adore. Think about it, by the time you’ve broken a few plates and attempted to replace them, you probably have something of a mismatched dozen anyway. So why not start that way to begin with? You’ll love the way a pile of all different plates looks, and you’ll be less heart-broken if one of the breaks. If you suddenly decide you want to have 14 people to Thanksgiving but you only have 12 plates, it’s no problem to order a couple new plates, no stress wasted on wondering if your set is backordered.
Now that you’re convinced, some tips: pick a size or two (dinner and dessert), and stick with it (or them). You’ll want to be able to stack the plates in your cabinet without any of them tottering.
That means they should be roughly the same shape (flat or more curved, for example).
Also, don’t worry about matching. Like, really don’t. Trust that if you like each of your plates, all will have some intangible spirit in common that will transcend any color or pattern matching you might try. If you find two that are similar, that’s okay, but then you’ll want to add something contrasting for balance.
What do you think? Can you imagine hosting a dinner party with mismatched plates?
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