I just love love love the history behind family china. Heck, I think I love the history behind all china. Please don’t tell anyone that if I had to pick between laundry & a documentary about presidential china patterns, I would totally pick the latter.
I enjoy setting a beautiful table and my heart skips a beat when it gets to be pretty and sentimental to boot.
My grandfather shipped me my grandmothers set about a year after Darren and I were married. Man, it’s beautiful. It is this perfectly creamy gold with gold stars everywhere, it’s unlike any china pattern I have ever seen & I adore it. We kept it in the crawl space since we didn’t have any other storage options and every holiday Darren would schlep downstairs and grab ‘the china box’. We then inherited Darren’s grandmothers’ sets, 3 generations of china and I am so honored to be able to showcase these sets every holiday.
Every holiday it became a little trickier to find everything. Darren would laugh every time I would say ‘I’m missing a box’. Laugh, curse, grimace…tomato/potato.
This brings us to the present here in the new house. I wouldn’t say it has a formal dining room, it is more of an area off the kitchen and the far wall was just begging for a china hutch. Now to go find it…
Why do I do this to myself? Where in the world am I supposed to find a china hutch? Took weeks, I scoured the internet, every day I would go to a shop or two that would be a little bit further away. I was about to give up hope when I found it. It was hiding in the corner of this beautiful shop the next town over. I think the heavens may have opened and an angel or two sang when I saw it. Or it was just the electrician guy working on something and a new song on the PA system, but whatever. I went running over only to be crushed by the ‘HOLD’ tag that was dangling off one of the knobs. It was mocking me, I was sure of it.
Darren woo’d the sales lady and found out that they could order me one from North Carolina and it would be here in a couple months. SOLD
As I anxiously awaited the cabinets’ arrival I started to do some research. I don’t just stack plates in the middle of the thing and call it a day, do I? That can’t be right.
Dude. There is a whole world of china cabinet organizers out there. I had no idea. I found one article that talked about a lady that changed what was displayed in her hutch with the seasons/holidays. I tip my hat to that lady. There was this other one where a lady has a china hutch in her bedroom closet for her shoes and accessories. She is just plain brilliant.
My inspirational article talked about finding a focal point, arranging with symmetry and display-display-display. Ok, I can totally do this.
The day the cabinet arrived I sat and stared at the monstrosity for a while. Fine, I stared at the thing for a few days. As beautiful as the beveled glass and wainscoting were, they were intimidating me.
I slowly brought up all the china boxes and got everything out. And by ‘I’ I mean Darren did it for me. Duh. More intimidation as each box came upstairs, how in the heck am I going to fit all THIS in THERE?
Insert my dose of disbelief, right on cue. ‘This was a horrible idea’, ‘what was I thinking’, ‘this isn’t going to work’. You get the idea. I hate it when I get like this, stupid pity party. OMG, am I seriously having a pity party about HAVING a pity party. Sar, you don’t have time for this, shake it off.
I had bought a couple different kinds of stands. I’ve learned the hard way that although something says ‘Amazon Prime’ it doesn’t necessarily mean free returns. I made sure that with this project, the stands could be returned if they didn’t work.
One of the articles I read talked about how you shouldn’t display any stemware or crystal as you will never have the right lighting to make it shine and you’re just asking for it to get broken. This made me think of my jewelry problem and I just wanted to throw everything back in the basement protected in the safe pink packing peanuts. Seriously Sar, stop it. Display the flippin’ china.
Ok, fine. Let’s do this. Big girl undies are on. Stop procrastinating, it’s embarrassing.
I opened every box and got everything out. I needed to be able to see everything. I needed to know what I was working with.
I put one place setting of each set out for display, mixing in serving bowls and trays here and there. I also put the stemware out. Why? Because it’s beautiful, because it meant something to a Schroeder woman many generations ago and I want THAT to mean something.
I added a few black and white family pictures. I may have also put the ceramic squirrel holding a plate of nuts out on display and that’s only because it’s hilarious.
I’m happy that the project is done and I am quite pleased with it. I adore being able to see everything every day & I love the warmth it brings to the room. I think Darren loves that this means one less day of schlepping.