Crystal Details

If you’re new to picking out crystal, it might seem like all of your options are all nothing more than clear glasses. While the majority of crystal patterns are indeed clear, the beauty is found in the details of the different pieces. For example, take a look at the shape of the clear Fostoria Navarre pattern. The bowls of the glasses are shaped almost like a bell. This is a similar shape as Wedgwood Monarch, with the difference being that Monarch has more straight and geometric cuts and Navarre has an elaborate floral design. It’s this small difference in details that can really have an impact on a table setting.

Waterford Araglin is another pattern that has more straight lines and cuts to it, though the bowl is more rounded. Compare this with Waterford Ballymore, also with a rounded bowl, sharing a multi-sided stem and sunburst cut on the foot. Though they are very similar, Araglin has more diagonal cuts and Ballymore has more vertical cuts. Once again, it’s the small details that make the difference. You can use these subtleties to make the perfect match between crystal, china, and flatware.

Fostoria Navarre – Clear

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Lenox Flatware

In thinking about the Lenox company, most of the focus goes toward their beautiful china sets with fanciful trim and creamy backgrounds. There is also a good selection of Lenox crystal. If you really enjoy the brand and its style, then you will be happy to hear that Lenox also has some silver and flatware as well. It can be just the thing you need to finish off the look of your table setting.

It’s always good to have a set of stainless flatware, such as Lenox Swedish Lodge. This set has rounded handles with a braid-like detail. These glossy pieces are timeless and durable, making them perfect for years to come. If you want something a little different, you could always try Lenox Hannah. This is another stainless pattern, but these traditional looking pieces feature a small, architectural sort of detail on the handles that is almost shaped like a heart. Both of these patterns can be used with a huge variety of china and crystal, regardless of the other patterns’ colors or designs.

If you want your flatware to be a bit more specific to your patterns, though, just try finding some that shares a common detail. For example, take a look at the dishwasher safe Lenox Eternal Gold. Those gold accents can match well for a bolder look with patterns such as Lenox Landmark Gold.

Lenox Hannah (Stainless)

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Patterns for Early Autumn

Summer is often a happy season largely because of the warm weather. Not only does the sun feel great on our skin, but being outside also allows us to participate in a wide range of activities not often seen in the colder months. For many people, one activity includes gardening. Some may be sad to see the warmth on its way out, and others may be happy for the cooler days to start rolling in, but one thing is sure: if you’ve been planting over the summer, then the end of the season means it is harvest time.

Why not celebrate the harvest with some matching china? Whether you garden or not, making the best out of the seasons is sure to help us enjoy them and our lives much more. Bring that joy to your table with some harvest-themed patterns, such as Villeroy & Boch Basket. This cheery pattern hosts a barrel of colorful fruits and can help you feel like you’re eating at a picnic even when you are indoors. Or, if you are more interested in celebrating with flowers, the floral rings on Royal Doulton Pastorale pieces are perfect for you. For those who are ready to embrace Autumn in full swing, following the fall color palette is always a good idea. Enjoy the season’s finest shades with Spode Buttercup as the newest member of your beautiful collection.

Villeroy & Boch Basket

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Internet Slowdown Day


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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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