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Working With Different Styles

Some patterns are sort of like neutral colors. They can mix and match well with almost anything. This is useful, of course, for building your china and crystal collection and to get the most out of what you have. It’s also handy if you haven’t been able to find all of the pieces for a set that you are totally in love with. Other patterns aren’t this easy to work with, though, with styles so specific that they don’t mix as well with pieces of a different theme.

In this case, the key is finding smaller details and similarities between items instead of necessarily matching an overall visual look. For example, let’s first take a look at Lenox Windsong. This soft and graceful pattern has a light blue floral band. It has a sort of country charm to it that makes for a very welcoming table. For a crystal set to go with this, you could try Waterford Ashling. Though Ashling has what may be a stronger appearance to it, there is still a grace in the pieces, plus, the leaves cut into the side fit the plant theme.

Now, let’s look at Wedgwood Amherst. Quite different than Lenox Windsong, this Amherst pattern condenses its beauty to a small gray band. The lines are much straighter and geometric, unlike Windsong’s naturally inspired design. They might not seem to go perfectly together, but the commonality is that Amherst also has a very small floral design inside its band. What crystal works well with Amherst? St Louis Chantilly is a piece that fits in easily to the table setting. Another piece with strong lines and deep cuts, it easily matches the strength of Amherst.

The interesting part comes when you try to mix and match pieces like this. Windsong and Ashling go well together, but how would Ashling and Amherst work? How about Chantilly with Windsong? It is all up to you to decide.

Waterford Ashling

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Matching Different Patterns

When it comes to making a collection, it is easy to pick out individual china, crystal, or flatware patterns that you like, but if you’ve got one, you will surely want it to work well with the others! Making those matches is easy if you can find something similar between your items, though. For example, take a look at Noritake Silver Palace. It has a beautiful curved and textured floral pattern that combines for a soft and graceful look. Compare this with the delicate details and matte finish found on the Waterford Carina Matte pieces. Though they are not exactly the same pattern, they are similar enough visually that they compliment each other very well.

If you want to build your collection but are hoping for a more eclectic appearance, you could always try mixing and matching your pieces instead of using items from the same pattern. For example, if you love bringing that extra touch of nature into your table setting, then perhaps you are drawn to china patterns with colorful floral motifs. While Dansk Eden and Lenox Temple Blossom obviously aren’t the same pattern or even from the same company, they share that same vibrant color selection and floral whimsy. Mixing and matching your pieces is a good option for those who can’t choose just one pattern.

Lenox Temple Blossom

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Beauty in Bloom

While some patterns focus on achieving a strong, grounded, bold look, others focus on attaining a softer and more fluid beauty. Instead of hard lines, geometric patterns, and structured designs, we can often find gorgeous inspiration from nature. Not all of these have to be bursting at the seams with flora and fauna, though. If you prefer more of a simple beauty, you may enjoy taking a look at Waterford Lismore Platinum or Lismore Gold, as both feature an embossed rim with a curved template.

If, on the other hand, you are someone who enjoys that strong, bold look but with a softer influence, then Spode Fitzhugh Red is the pattern for you. Right away, it’s vibrant red color catches the eye and attention is kept through its gorgeous details. With a scalloped band, intricate florals, and hint of Chinese influence, this is truly a pattern that is hard to ignore.

Of course, getting just the right balance between these two extremes is ideal for many people. If you like a cool, laid back, and refined look such as Lismore Platinum, then the beautiful Dansk Eden set could be perfect for you with it’s calm color palette and soothing plant-like design. Of course, for those more interested in warmer colors, Aynsley Pembroke Gold is a token example of just how much beauty a classic floral pattern can bring to your table and collection.

Aynsley Pembroke Gold

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Spode in Charge

We may not all be royalty, of course, but that certainly doesn’t mean we can’t have a more regal taste. If you consider yourself someone who fits this description, having a fancy for outstanding pieces with an air of strength and beauty, then perhaps investigating some patterns by Spode will be a good idea. With a history dating back to 1767 and a headquarters in England, Spode certainly has had a successful run.

First, feast your eyes on the Colonel Blue Gold pattern with its scalloped edge and blue floral border. The gold comes in the form of a gorgeous trim, adding a lovely balance to the pieces and that extra special touch to finish it off. Though this pattern is no longer being manufactured, it had a very successful run of around 47 years! If you can manage to get ahold of it, it will definitely add lots of beauty and value to your collection.

Another pattern with a similar scalloped shape is Fleur de Lys Grey. As the name suggests, this pattern features a series of repeating fleur de lys symbols. Throughout history, the fleur de lys has been used in religious, political, and military settings. This stylized lily pattern is different than Colonel Blue Gold not only because of its stricter and more organized design, but also because the pieces are made of bone and have a platinum trim instead of gold. If it is the gold that you fancy so much, though, perhaps you should see Knightsbridge, which, like its name, has the air of a royal knight. This pattern has a deep blue band around the outside surrounded by gold trim and details. A series of golden scrolls and dots, with use of the imagination, can actually appear similar to small crowns, perfectly crafted and ready to serve your table.

Spode Colonel Blue Gold

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Royal Doulton’s Classy Patterns

With so many years of history under its belt, Royal Doulton certainly has a large following and perhaps an even larger selection of patterns to choose from. While some enjoy a more bold and loud look for their table settings, others are hoping for something with a more subtle beauty. For example, the Anthea pattern may appear to be plain white at first, but upon closer inspection, you will find a beautiful floral leaf pattern around the edge. Coupled with the platinum trim and verge, this is a perfect simple and sweet pattern to enhance any table. A similar pattern would be the Precious Platinum, also with a platinum trim but this time featuring gorgeous curved lines and dots making for a gentle and graceful look.

If those are too subtle and you want something with just a little bit more going on, then Royal Gold might catch a bit more attention. It’s another piece that is very simple in design, but the beauty shines through in the smaller details. In this case, it is the textured gold rim that catches the eye. With its neutral colors, matching Royal Gold with other china, crystal, and flatware sets is easy. Of course if you’re looking for something that is a similar style to this but not as neutral, take a look at Martinique, which features a beautiful deep red geometric design around the rim.

Royal Doulton Royal Gold

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Wedgwood Style

If you are looking to start your own china collection or expand one that you already have, what better place to look than a brand that has a well established name and a long history of quality and success? Wedgwood is the company you should look to.

Many people enjoy china pieces with border-based designs. Wedgwood Chester is one such pattern, featuring a gorgeous green band topped with gold scrolls. This pattern is one that looks beautiful on its own but that also won’t detract from the delicious appearance of any food you place on it. If you like the idea of this set but you don’t want a completely white background, you could always take a look at a similar pattern with a verge to add a visual break such as Wedgwood Colorado. Similar to Chester, Colorado is a border-based design with gold details, though this one features a deep red band with blue flowers.

While many people enjoy adding those small, colorful details to their tables, others are hoping to get a china set that can work with almost anything. Colors are great, but they can be hard to match with as many table settings when compared to other pieces with a more neutral pallet. If you want a set that gives off a bold and sophisticated appearance that can also match a huge range of crystal, flatware, and other table setting items, then Wedgwood Ascot could be just right for you. With its brilliant gold band, Ascot can add beauty to your table no matter what the occasion.

Of course Wedgwood has other pieces besides those specifically with border designs. Sure, border designs can be versatile, but other pieces can be as well. For example, take a look at Wedgwood Quince. Popular due to its colorful and fruity design, this more natural and traditional pattern can be used in a huge range of situations. Not only that, but Quince is also easy to use as your food can be heated and served directly on the pieces.

Wedgwood Ascot Dinner Plate

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Waterford Crystal

Waterford is a company based in Ireland that has been well known for its quality and history, having been around since the late 1700s. Though their china selection is quite vast, what makes this company shine is its beautiful crystal. Whether you are looking for an old fashioned look or something more modern, where are definitely some patterns that will suit your fancy.

One such traditional set is Waterford Kylemore, showing off cut glass and a tapering stem. It had a great run being in production from 1966 to about 2010. There are square cuts that are met with vertical blaze cuts. This bold look is similar to what can be found in Powerscourt, which is perhaps one of Waterford’s most successful patterns. Powerscourt came out only a few years later in 1969, however, despite its popularity and continued success, it is now discontinued. Powerscourt features cuts in a criss cross pattern and, compared to other crystal, is heavy for its size. This asset allows the set to be very sturdy and strong, helping it to continue to stand the test of time.

Another popular pattern is Kildare which, perhaps like a combination of the previous two patterns, features both diamond and vertical wedge cuts. Unlike the others, though, this set features a plain foot base. Not only do these pieces measure up with the high standard of Waterford quality, but they are also a perfect example of the Waterford style.

Waterford Powerscourt

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Exploring Royal Doulton

Royal Doulton is an English company that is almost 200 years old at the time of this post. Naturally, after being along for such a long time, the company has not only made a huge variety of patterns, but they have also met a lot of continued success. Over time, they’ve found their own style and traits, though there are also some pieces that break this mold.

Royal Doulton English Renaissance is a great pattern to look at to examine this style. On a white background is a very thick border, full of intricate green and gold scrolls. Though many of the pieces feature this thick border, it is not something that distracts from the pattern’s beauty. Actually, the bold gold and complex scrolls are typical of Royal Doulton pieces, combining for a bold look that doesn’t go overboard.

If you want a piece that still fits in with this same stylistic direction, but perhaps are hoping for something less strong, then Royal Doulton Gold Lace is worth your consideration. As the name suggests, this pattern is laced with beautifully elegant gold designs and trim. Around the edge is a geometric series of diamond shapes and floral shapes, combining together to make a golden garden of lace castles. Because of these details, Gold Lace is the perfect addition to almost any collection and can add grace and a bit of royal whimsy to any table.

As stated earlier, there are some patterns that don’t fit these stylistic trends at all, and go so far from what is typical that you would usually not be able to guess they were made by Royal Doulton. One such pattern is their Kingswood pattern. Unlike the previous two mentioned, Kingswood does not have a bold, chic appearance, and definitely does not host the same amount of gold details. Instead, this pattern has more of a country traditional look, featuring a friendly arrangement of colorful florals. While many of Royal Doulton’s pieces surely exude the look of Royalty with their strong looks, Kingswood does not have this same effect necessarily. Regardless, it is all up to one’s personal taste, and the pattern is beautiful for a wide variety of occasions, whether you are hosting a family dinner or just getting together with some friends for afternoon tea.

Royal Doulton Kingswood Dinner Plate

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Mixing and Matching

When it comes to collecting fine tableware, there are two different approaches you can try taking. The first is to find versatile pieces that you enjoy and that can work well with many other sets. For example, flatware and china that both feature a platinum rim. While these pieces are likely not going to be from the same pattern or even brand, they can still look great on your table because of the shared detail. The other approach then, of course, is to stick to the brands and patterns that come in a sort of matching set. For example, some brands produce china and crystal sets both with the same pattern name, making the perfect match for your table.

Take a look at Lenox Snowdrift Gold. There is a gorgeous gold trim and verge, and, while the pattern may appear to be plain white, after looking more closely you can see a flowing white on white embossed design. The design is simple yet it has enough subtle detail to set it apart from many other options. To match Snowdrift Gold, try finding some other pieces that share some of the details, such as the gold rimmed Lenox Encore. Like the china, this crystal set shares a simple yet elegant design. The beauty here is not in a bunch of intricate details, facets, and cuts, but rather in the smooth, almost pure look. Snowdrift Gold and Lenox Encore match very well, but both are versatile enough to work well with many other patterns, too.

Another similar set of crystal is Mikasa’s Golden Tiara. Like Encore, Golden Tiara is quite simple, the most noticeable detail being the gold rims, though there are also many chic vertical cuts that add a lot more depth to the look. As such, it can be a good idea to match this crystal with some china that also has a stronger look, such as another Mikasa pattern, Imperial Lapis. Once again, these two sets both share a gold detail, but Imperial Lapis helps to balance out the striking Golden Tiara.

Lenox Snowdrift Gold Salad Plate

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