Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Decorating With Dishes

I love dishes.  I come from a long line of dish-lovers.  So consequently, I have more than my fair share of pretty dishes collected from thrift shops, garage sales, antique stores, and department stores. I've realized that a great way to enjoy these pretty plates, bowls, tea cups, etc. is to use them in decorating. Today I just want to show you some things you can do with your favorite china, glass, and pottery pieces so that those pretties aren't just tucked behind glass in your china cupboard, but they are out where you can see and use them every day.
I requested these adorable, chubby little Crate and Barrel bowls for my b-day a few years ago.  They live on our stovetop as a cute vintage touch, holding a tin cookie cutter, tiny wire whisk, a cinnamon stick, and a coffee scoop.  I love them...and I need to remember to use them for serving more often!

My mom in law gave me the darling polka dot plates for a gift!  So cute!  I decided to leave them out on my kitchen counter as a part of a little display, so I can enjoy seeing them and use them often as well!  The plate in the back of the plant is a black and white New York City plate.  I swap it in and out with other plates in my collection, to fit the feel of each season.  The little green bowl is an antique from my husband's grandmother's home.  I enjoy floating a large flower in it or just using it for a wee bit of storage now and then.

Our kitchen/dining room wall...this is the only thing on this large wall and it just fits our home.  The three plates I purchased at Home Goods to go in our green and white kitchen...decorating with plates is very inexpensive, and allows you to change your design whenever you want without alot of work.  This wall is a happy-wall, to me!

My parents were downsizing last fall, and this pottery piece from their wedding gifts 51 years ago didn't make the cut.  I LOVE it!!  And it's been a special piece on our living room lamp table ever since.  It's pretty, earthy, and a piece of my family history.

Not only are dishes a beautiful, inexpensive tool for decorating, but they create 'story' vignettes throughout your home.  The green and white tea cup was brought to me by my sis in law from Romania.  I love it AND the church plate which I found at Goodwill.  I change out the plate on my mantel according to the season.

This piece was made by me from pieces found at Goodwill.  The cloche was a cheese tray lid.  The plate was something I already had, and I glued a sweet cut glass goblet under it to act as a base.  

Another heirloom from my mom...this aqua relish dish was also one of her wedding gifts.  I used it for a relish dish for years, but now use it on my bedside table to hold vintage costume jewelry, some nail polish, and some of my own everyday jewelry.  I love that it matches our aqua, green, and white bedroom so well and that I can enjoy seeing it everyday rather than 3 times a year.

I bought one place setting of this vintage aqua Pfaltzgraff set at Goodwill 3 years ago.  Our daughter was getting married and her wedding colors were black and aqua, so I just knew I'd use it for something with the wedding, and I did.  Now I am using the pieces in our bedroom/bathroom.  I have one of those amazing, pricey LUSH bath bombs, which I can never quite bring myself to use!  So I wrapped it in aqua tulle and it now decorates our garden tub in the master bathroom.

One of my favorite vignettes...I created this for my mother's 70th B-day Luncheon back in April, and I love it so much, it continues to grace my china hutch.  Just pieces that I already had along with antique gloves.

A round wooden tray that was a wedding gift for my husband and I 27 years ago is such a versatile piece in decorating.  Right now it's on our dining table along with a vintage footed green dish that I love (it's for sale in my etsy shop) and this darling little green custard cup that I got for Christmas...it's holding my daily vitamins, rather than being always tucked away behind cupboard doors.

The rest of the place setting of aqua Pfaltzgraff.  The bowl is upside down, functioning as the perfect pedestal to the dinner plate.  Layered over that I have a white hankie, a beautiful piece of my dear friend Lori's mother's pink depression glass, and then a sweet little tealight candle.  I love this on our dresser.

Two little vintage glass salt and pepper shakers make the sweetest little bud vases.  I'm so enjoying these this summer with cuttings from my gardens.

And lastly, I recently decided to use this darling Pfaltzgraff tea cup set that I've had for decorating inside my house for about 4 years, and use it to make a tea cup bird feeder for my front flower gardens.  One less thing to dust in the house, and a new sweet way to enjoy the tea cup!  The shape, size, and decor of this set were just perfect for a bird feeder.  I also have some similiar ones for sale in my etsy...the shop is listed in my sidebar if you are interested.  The tutorial for making your own tea cup birders is HERE.

Thank you so much for joining me on this little dish display!
I'd love to hear about and see pictures of how you use dishes to decorate in your home and garden too.



Linked to:
Tip Junkie
Someday Crafts 
My Romantic Home 
Don't Waste Your Homemaking 
Very Merry Vintage Style


  1. Donna.....these were all so lovely! I have so many dishes and vases that should be out, but I never think to do it! Thanks for the inspiration! I also have vintage gloves (was collecting them for years, so I have many!), and they would look really nice on the bedroom dressers, along with some pretty plates and things! I can't wait to do it! Thanks!

  2. How lovely! Each and every piece! You've given me so many great ideas....thanks! Oh, and Donna? My name is Dona....pronounced with a long 'o' and short 'a'!

  3. Pretties! I wonder if I'll be a dish person someday! :) My favorites are your mini flower vases... so sweet and darling!

  4. I found you via Don't Waste Your Homemaking. I love the pictures in this post! I enjoy decorating with dishes, too. I spent some time in college doing mission work in Eastern Europe and picked up dishes to bring home. They are some of my favorite decorating pieces now.


  5. These are great decor ideas! My favorite is using the little salt/pepper shakers for flowers... I love using glass jars to put flowers in! Thanks for linking up at Unwasted Homemaking!

  6. I love dishes too... The bowls look so pretty stacked up and I love that relish tray--great color. Thanks for linking up to Share the Love Wednesday!


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