Slowly, over the last few year’s, I’ve been developing a deep affection for the iconic combination of “Blue & White.” It has kind of been creeping up on me. For some unknown reason when I was much younger I just didn’t have a particular interest in it, in fact there where times when I would ignorantly murmur “Blue & White, again?!” when I would see it… but now, my, oh my, what the passing of time can do to a girl’s taste! I think I must attribute this to a combination of a brilliant designer friend of mine (you know who you are Ms. Susan!), too much Southern Living magazine (is that even possible!?) and of course, the divine Carolyne Roehm. These three have influenced me so heavily that I have been slowly but steadily building a growing collection of blue and white items so that I can now enjoy sweet little blue & white vignettes in my own home. Of course they are nothing compared to the incredible displays seen on the pages of such beloved tomes as Ms. Roehm’s A Passion for Blue & White, but still, they make me smile and more importantly, fit my much more meager budget!
Over the next few posts, I’m going to show you the many ways and spaces where blue & white is taking over in my home. Today, I’m sharing a little sideboard in my dining room. I like to start here because I think it shows how a small grouping can have a big impact and be very budget friendly.
Let’s start from the outside and work our way in. As you can tell, I really like symmetry and often look for items in pairs when I’m shopping. I found these two large urns/vases at Home Goods a while back – they were $25 each so I scooped them right up. (A quick search on ebay teaches us that “fine” porcelain urns can cost hundreds, thousands even, so while my little $25 urns may not have a “pedigree” they are still quite pretty and give me my blue & white “fix” at a price point that is doable for me.) Today they are filled with big magnolia branches, but for many months I enjoyed them sitting empty on my dining room table, or with a small bouquet of pretty pink peonies as you can see here.
For a bit of interest and well, just something pretty, I’ve captured an ornately detailed floral tea cup under a petite cloche. If you are curious about the pattern, I’m sorry but I’m unsure of the exact name, the bottom of the cup reads “GOLDCASTLE, Made in Japan.” I hope that’s somewhat helpful…
My obsession with tureens is still quite strong and I just love this dainty dish. The bottom of this reads simply “Made in Japan” so I’m afraid I can’t direct you to a specific pattern name. It is a favorite which I’m delighted to include in this display. To elevate it slightly, and add in a bit more texture to this scene, I have placed it atop an antique silverplate platter with a decorative punched border that I found on my recent trip to Lancaster. I love the tarnished patina…
My extremely small collection of blue books have also now found a home where they don’t look quite so meager. I especially love this copy of Pride & Prejudice, which was a Christmas gift to myself – I found it at Barnes & Noble. It’s the only book in this group that I’ve actually read! Oh well… do you buy books for decor too?
A delicate milk glass vase with an intricate raised pattern (a thrift store find for fifty cents!) has become a perfect planter for a few succulents – one of the few house plants I’ve had luck keeping alive! – and rounds out this happy scene.
Oh, don’t let me forget this mid-century modern tin which sits on the floor and adds a dash of fun to this blue and white scene. This was another Lancaster find for $6! It’s no longer functional as a picnic tin (or whatever it may have once been) but I think it’s adorable so I’m quite happy to include it in my home.
Now that we’ve visually walked through it all, here are some of the key elements that make this scene work (for me, at least):
#1 – Work with pairs to create symmetry;
#2 – Add varying heights and shapes (tall & short floral containers; variety in their shapes: square/rounded/oblong);
#3 – Mix in a bit of white, green, and even a bit silver, which interact in a very neutral way;
#4 – If you don’t have a large collection, just start small like I did here – a tabletop filled with just a few pieces can have a big impact in a room
#5 – Keep your eyes open at all times for pieces. Believe me, I didn’t expect to find blue & white in my grocery store!
I’ve got loads more blue & white going on around here so please stay tuned for more. In the meantime, if you’re curious to see what we’re eating this week, you can check out the menu here, it includes a birthday breakfast because my little valentine has a birthday coming up – so hard to believe she’ll be 4! Time is flying. 🙂
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