Monday, October 27, 2014

China Cupboard Reorg

After the dinner party last weekend, it took me a few days to get through the rest of the dishes and glasses.  Everything I use for a party is hand-wash, and after a cooking class for 6-8 I can seriously get through all the dishes in an hour.  But for this party, even though my awesome guests got through most of the plates and cooking pots the night of, there was just a lot of mess, a lot of dishes.  We used cups and plates for appetizers, plates for the entrée, for dinner, and for salad and multiple dessert plates for everyone.  Lots of plates and dishes!  I talked to a friend today and we agreed I am somewhere between  the laid-back California girl and the laissez-faire French-shrug Francophile.  Honestly, if you get upset that there are few night-before dishes left over the next day, you need to refocus.  I mean, who can worry about dishes when there are fantabulous guests to talk to, herbal tea and lattes, Chopin and Strauss to listen to, and these adorable faces to look at~


Photo, which I adore, by Lorie via La Contessa of Vintage Hen House.  Seriously, look at those faces?  In between tea and coffee and brioche French toast, we fed the dogs bacon and snapped IG photos.  Forget the dishes~~FORGET them!  Thankfully, none of my guests had a care….we were all about spending time with each other and enjoying the moment.

Anyway, several days later, it was time to get to the business of putting everything back in the cupboard.  This is how the dining room looked.


A few of the dishes had made it back into the cupboard; this is the finer stuff, not the everyday dishes, which are in the kitchen, and the buffet holds still other stuff that gets used rarely.  But it’s definitely time to reorganize this space.


A short time later, everything was out of the cupboard, and on the table, on the floor and in the hall.  China galore.  It’s good for me to do this once a year or so, because sets and like-pieces get separated, and this is time to put it back properly.


I have purged various pieces over the years, and added others.  Sometimes I regret getting rid of my collection of Wedgewood and English pieces from London and New York, but that’s water under the bridge.  I have ended up with a set of dishes that are mostly French, with a little English and little Japanese added in.  Oh, and some nice American glass pieces and a lot of teacups that were wedding gifts that belonged to each of my Grandmothers.  We used many of those this last weekend at dinner; it’s like having my Nana and Grandma come to my dinner; they would approve.


God it looks like a lot though, towers of plates.  It’s ok though, I’m ready for dinner for fifty. When we gonna do that?  Oh, maybe next spring….dishes, check.  Glassware, check…..


I can never have enough white Limoges with simple or fancy gold rims.  I can change the look of a dinner in so many other ways, but the food always looks awesome on a clean white plate.  But I need smaller plates, for appetizers and salads and desserts, so…, I just need lots and lots and lots of plates, what can I say?


One of my guests said she had never seen so many plates in all her life.  OUI!  But I love and use it all, so isn’t that ok? I’m not really asking for approval, it’s me.  I have a rule, if you use it all, it’s ok, and all of this gets used.  There is the occasional attrition, but I don’t mind that.  An excuse to buy more….


Elsewhere in the cupboard are various small pieces….the small pink slipper shoe belonged to my Grandma; though it looks French, it’s marked Made in Germany.  I don’t get what these sweet little show pieces are about, but maybe someone can explain it to me.  The small pitchers and teacups are used constantly, as we love tea and brunch in this family, and then use them for soup or desserts or whatever….


I have the top three shelves done; next up, the linens and other items below.


The small pieces are layered in front,high-low from French sterling to $1 egg cups.


At the end of the day, here is the finished cupboard….I am happy!


Now, on to the next cabinet!


  1. You can't have too many dishes - and you have the room to store them, bonus! You have some lovely things, but I've never understood the china shoe thing either. :-)

  2. Beautifully done Andrea. You collection of china and serving-ware of all kinds is very impressive. The best thing is that you, your friends and family all enjoy using it and that It is cherished!

    The Arts by Karena

  3. God I love organizing beautiful things!
    Well done Andrea
    Love the votives in there for the purpose of a gorgeous photo!
    I have a similar cabinet but it is in my garage and not as easily accessible as yours. Love everything you do!

    1. I knew you would approve!! Thinking of you and the party as I put everything away. I'm going to look at the calendar again today and hope we can set a date for the cooking class at your must be off treasure hunting today....?

    2. Gorgeous!! You do have more beautiful plates than anyone I know. And of course, if it's used, any and everything is OK! I love your style and the way you think.
      I can't wait for the coming class!! xoxo

  4. Those little shoes.......I have had a few over the years in my shop and I thought of them as Souvenirs.I doubt they were for the shape is a bit off.......nuts,candy?I shall google and find out!
    As for your TASK of the cupboard........OH MY!BRAVA.......again!I so agree with you about the "CLEAN UP"enjoy the company the moment...........there will always be a dish to clean.AND we do not want to be tired or in a hurry when we clean YOUR dishes!!!SO,did I understand WE are on the hunt for more smaller plates???????I can start the SEARCH!XOXO

    1. Contessa, OUI always looking for great plates....especially a certain shade of French Pink porcelain or super excellent Limoges bread plates or more great white and gold....and then we have to keep shopping for the house in Beaune, but we'll do that next summer....have a beautiful morning~

  5. Antique porcelain shoes, I have collected them for years and they came in handy when my son in law started his own shoe company I gave a dinner and used them as a "chemin de table" (do not know the english word), as for dishes? inherited my Grandmother's dishes for 40 people in those days there were lengthy meals (I am french) with many changes of plates for every serving. We (French) do not like to mix food on a plate which caused me quite a surprise when I came to the States. And of course everything has to be washed by hand, did that stop me from buying any more dishes? absolutely not, and they all come in handy with the changing of my mood!!! So enjoy your beautiful dishes one of the delights of life....

    Annie v.

    1. Annie! You are incredible! Whatever the original purpose of the little shoes, they are a treat on the table now, sort of like the porcelain bathing beauties that I have passed too many times. We did not change plates for each course last weekend, but for most; the pasta and then the meat were on a shared plate. And we do not use bread plates here, but in Beaune I would totally use them. I'm searching for some fancy Limoges ones here in the U.S. that will pair well with my simple gold band Limoges....thank you for your comment!

  6. Forgot one thing, we do not use plates for our bread,

    Annie v.