October 2, 2013

{Simple Hospitality, Day 3} White Dishes


 I love beautiful dishware.  And I have a thing for beautifully set tables.

In fact, back before I became a self proclaimed "aspiring minimalist" and still thought that more was more, I had shelves and boxes and cupboards full of lovely thrifted dessert plates and serving platters and four, count them four, cake stands.

You know, for all those times I baked four cakes at once...

And I thought that having all the right stuff would make me a party planner extraordinaire.  Taco's with friends? Cayenne coloured stoneware.  Romantic dinner for hubby and I? teal polka dots of course. Murder Mystery Party for 10? (yes, we actually did that.)  Only silver platters will do. 

I have long given away all but enough simple, flexible, beautiful white dishware for a large dinner party.  When we host a holiday meal, every dish in the house is dirty.  Everything I have goes together nicely, and I never need to spend time thinking about which dishes to use. Setting the table is simple, and always elegant.  And I can still gussy it up to suit any occasion by adding flowers or candles or balloons.

Every item in my kitchen gets used at least 100 times a year.

My shelves are tidier and no longer warping under the weight of unnecessary items.  And I no longer browse pinterest feeling like I have to go out and buy more stuff in order to pull together something beautiful.

Because when we pare down our belongings and become deliberate about simple hospitality, we are not only clearing room on our shelves but also vigorously rejecting the notion that successful hospitality is about having the right stuff.   And there is freedom in that.

Of course, your simplification may look different.  Maybe you'll keep only the colourful Fiestaware, or just enough mismatched vintage china. Or maybe you don't really have enough dishware to serve a crowd and you're realizing that's not as big of a problem as you thought.  The point is that less is more and simple is beautiful and all of the things we hope to get out of authentic hospitality can't be bought at a store.

Somehow keeping our stuff simple helps to keep our hearts focused on what really matters.

This is day 3 in a series about simple hospitality.  Click here to see more.


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19 comments:

  1. I have been reading your blog for quite awhile, but I am so glad that you have chosen to do this topic for 31 days! (I'm doing my first attempt at a 31 Days series at my blog Taurbar.com too). I currently am gathering items to move out of my parent's house for the first time and am definitely glad I discovered minimalism and simplicity before I gathered loads of unnecessary things. But all along I've been thinking that white dishes were definitely the way to go. You said exactly the same words that I have been thinking! Kudos!

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  2. I'm loving this series! Thank you, Kelly!

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  3. "Every item in my kitchen gets used at least 100 times a year." - Love that!

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  4. I'm so excited you are back writing and not only once but every day! Love it! And I love your topic at this 31 days series. Thanks!

    -Anu from Finland

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  5. I love this! I wish someone had told me this when I was first married ... register for white dishes, not that green color that was trendy at the time haha!

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  6. I went for white too after so many years, mostly because we wanted to have crowds at our house and the white dishes were what was on special.! You explained the "why's" real well, I can relate. I found that if I don't have time to plan I HAVE to accept what I have. It is real fun to plan though ;)

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  7. So great!! I, too, have switched for white! It really does keep things simple!

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  8. White dishes all the way! I like to add in metals and woods for serving pieces too. Both still very neutral and lend an earthy elegance to things. So glad your back at the blog! God bless!

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  9. NOT on purpose, I've ended up with red, white, and blue dinner plates, so when I set the table for a crowd it looks like the Fourth of July! I'm looking forward to phasing out the bright colors and moving toward a more simple, versatile look.

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  10. After my divorce, I purchased all white dishes and have never looked back! Christmas? No problem - throw some green and red napkins on the table and I'm all set. Fancy dinner? Dress it up with nice water goblets and silver napkin rings. Easter...pastel napkins. Hmmm...uh...I think I may have a napkin issue. :)

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    1. I agree! White dishes play well with everything - casual or fancy linens, pretty gold chargers or $2 woven placemats, all different colors of luncheon and salad plates. And I love white serving dishes, too, because they make a simple salad or casserole look elegant.

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  11. Thank you for this series! This is just what I needed to hear.

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  12. What a great reminder. Spot on.

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  13. i love this. i just got married and registered for mostly all white dishes. it just makes food look better! but of course, i had to buy some tiffany blue lenox dishes for when i need a pop of color. ;]

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  14. Love this series. With our last move I desperately tried to pare down my crazy dish collection and I almost have it where I want it.

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  15. You've inspired me to do my own '31 Days' series! And I completely agree on the white dishes - my husband and I registered for a beautiful cream coloured set for our wedding and I've never regretted it.

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  16. Yep! I moved to white a few years ago. When you have lots of kids it's far less stressful when they inevitably break them. Love your blog <3

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  17. We once had a dinner party where we realized just as we were setting the table that we didn't have enough dishes to serve everyone because we had never had that many people in our home, so a few people ate out of round cake pans and pie plates! We all had a good laugh about it at the time and I doubt anyone but me remembers the incident. I got a beautiful all white set of dishes -enough for 16 people -as a group wedding shower gift so I don't have that problem anymore!

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  18. White dishes make life so much simpler! I love them. And I'm loving this series - I'm late to the party but catching up today!:)

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