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Yet Another Thing to Mis-Match: Plates!

Once upon a time, I had a plan to build up a full service of awesome mismatched plates. As this was a world before Etsy, my plans were foiled by the local Goodwill not having a strong supply of very interesting plates. I could have had a set of mismatched plates that was meh, but isn’t the whole point of mismatched plates having them all be kind of fun, kind of cool?

Who needs a full matching service?

It’s still a look I love, even though my current dining set is a matching set of plates and things. It’s very nice – and of very good quality – so I can’t very well justify ditching it to go collecting. But as things break, and break they will for I have a child, perhaps I will replace my set with mismatched plates and bowls. Maybe even plates and bowls I’ve made myself!

What do you think about the mismatched plates look? Cool? Cute? Good for the young, but not past, say, 35? Too silly? Just plain dumb?

I'll take one of these...

and one of these...

and one of these!

A Mix of Modern and Traditional by Vicente Wolf

I am loving the big chunky farmer’s table smack dab in the middle of this otherwise very modern dining room by designer Vicente Wolf! Sometimes I look at my own house and realize that you couldn’t call it modern or traditional or cute or any other thing, really. My house is a mishmash of new and old things I’ve acquired and made over time, and things I’d love to replace but can’t afford to, and I do my best to make everything look nice together. I like how it’s turned out so far, though I’m always changing this or that. So if you’ve ever wondered why I love contrast so much, part of it is that I have to or I’d go crazy!

Contrast = Cool

What do you think about mixing old and new and modern and traditional and maybe something bright and shiny and expensive paired with something awesome you found on the side of the road? Because I love it. To me, a space full of awesome mixed treasures – arranged and chosen with some care, of course – is so much more fun and inviting than a perfectly coordinated and homogeneous space.

Kitchen Benches vs. Kitchen Chairs

A different kitchen seating option

When you have a small kitchen or even a wee dining room – maybe even a tiny little breakfast nook – huge dining chairs with arms and upholstery can really take away from the space you do have. If you can’t shove your dining chairs all the way under your table… if you want to use a tablecloth… if it’s difficult to move your dining chairs from under the table without shifting the table, you have a problem. (And don’t even get me started on high chairs!)

The solution? Kitchen benches instead of kitchen chairs. Benefits of kitchen benches over kitchen chairs include the ability to easily stash your seating under the table when not in use, the ability to use a longer tablecloth without it bunching everywhere because chairs are in the way, and more versatility when it comes to how many people will fit at your table. The main downside of using benches in the kitchen is the lack of the back, which may not work for people with physical issues like back problems.

Anyone out there using kitchen benches instead of kitchen chairs? I’m thinking about making the switch, but I work at my kitchen table so I need to be sure that I’ll be comfortable working on a bench instead of a chair.

Reflections In the Kitchen

The first time I saw a mirror above a sink in a kitchen my first thought was, ugh, that must get SO dirty. You can well imagine the first thought I had when I saw a mirror hanging on the wall right above the stove. But hey, I’m a grownup person and I know how to use a paper towel. (And I hope we’re all cleaning anyway.) Mirrors get dirty no matter where you hang them – especially when you have little hands in your household. So mirrors in the kitchen? I’m down with that. For example, a mirror can be a great window stand-in in a windowless kitchen, or open up a small kitchen. See how good a mirror in the kitchen can look?


William Abranowicz for House Beautiful


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More Mismatched Dining Room Chairs!

So as it turns out, I wasn’t quite finished with the subject when I posted about mismatched dining chairs a few weeks back. Problem was I had lots more images of great dining room “sets” featuring a varied selection of chairs. Sometimes it’s the color that’s different, sometimes it’s the pattern of the seat upholstery, and sometimes it’s just a great mix of chairs that have absolutely nothing in common. Anything goes when you’re picking out your dining room furniture – have fun with it!

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A Wise and Whimsical Way to Sweeten the Table

I love this pretty porcelain owl sugar shaker from West Elm. Owls are still a making an appearance on everything from pillows and tea towels to umbrella stands and mobiles, but I think this one is my favorite because it’s not super in-your-face.

While it’s listed as a sugar shaker, I don’t see why you couldn’t fill it with salt or cinnamon sugar or something else.

What do you think of owls – cute or super overrated?

Not Necessarily My Style, But I’m Still In Lust

I don’t know the story behind this table – I found it on my wanderings and a Tineye search yielded nothing – but I’m finding it really, really inspirational. Normally, I lean toward Saarinen’s beautiful Tulip table when I think of how I’d like to outfit my kitchen. But there’s something about invading my rather artificial and absurdly colorful cooking and eating space with natural, unfinished wood that makes me feel a little giddy.

Does anyone else get a kick out of doing that – of taking something ridiculously out of place and making it the focal point of a room that’s decorated in a completely different style?

Soup and a Sandwich? Yes, Please!

There’s not much that’s more comforting on a cold winter’s day than a bowl of piping hot tomato soup and a warm grilled cheese sandwich. But if you’re like me, figuring out how to serve it – or at least get it to a location that is strategically chosen for movie viewing – is a big pain. A plate and a bowl, and two trips? Or a small bowl on a big plate, where the bowl is sliding around everywhere, threatening to spill soup? I know, I know, I sound like one of those cheesy, inept people on an infomercial… “Opening jars, what a hassle! And it’s so hard!” Still, I do like this soup and sandwich plate from Uncommon Goods for its ability to keep my soup where it belongs.

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