Truly Timeless: Blue and White China
I have been collecting blue and white china for many many many years (OK decades)!
There has been no method to my madness (I mean, collection). New and old pieces have been added over the years, although it can be difficult to find affordable new pieces. But…I notice that Winners and HomeSense have started adding some blue and white accessories to their stores, since there is no doubt its current popularity is growing.
Although it is rare to find these coveted pieces at second hand shops, one of my recent scores was the ginger jar below (fourth from left) which I picked up for $5 at a thrift shop (the bargain hunter in me was thrilled with that acquisition!).
I started off my dinnerware collection with a few pieces of vintage Booth’s “Real Old Willow” dinnerware – plates and teacups and saucers – and have added “new” replicas now manufactured by Royal Doulton. This is a sampling of my collection:
The white painted interior of this antique cabinet provides an ideal backdrop for some of my blue and white collection:
Notice how the strong orange tone of the wood is beautifully contrasted by the vibrant blue of these pieces. This is because blue and orange are complementary colours (on the colour wheel). Complementary colour combinations are considered especially vibrant and pleasing to the eye. Check out this post for a quick explanation and lovely examples of rooms which feature complementary colour combinations.
I consider my collection (some may say obsession) classic and timeless. Designers have been featuring blue and white china in their designs for eons. Contributing no doubt to its current popularity, this design classic is a match “made in heaven” with the fresh grays, blues and whites of the current colour trend in home decor.
I was thrilled to see that the recent cover (June 2015) of House Beautiful featured – you guessed it! – blue and white accessories.
Did you know that ginger jars were originally a vessel for storing precious spices in ancient China? These ancient designs which originated in China and exported to Europe in the 1600s fueled a form of porcelain mania and a huge industry in Far East-inspired items to meet demand.
Let me share with you some designer inspiration.
Feast your eyes on this traditional dining room by Michael S. Smith an internationally known designer. The blue and white accessories not only add freshness and energy to this space but also banish convention and fussiness from this stately room. I love how he repeated the blue and white pattern on the chair upholstery.
Here is another dining room featuring traditional antique furniture in a very modern setting. I love the navy blue walls combined with crisp white wainscoting. I usually don’t like matchy matchy designs but I love how the pictures of white coral on a dark blue background and white matting replicate the blue and white theme of this room. And, of course the table top vignette of three blue and white china pieces. Notice how these three pieces are layered – large, medium and small – and placed in a triangular formation? This is a perfect vignette and very pleasing to the eye!
Blue and white accessories and patterns, including drapes, are thoughtfully layered throughout this restful contemporary living room by Georgica Pond Interiors. I am loving the black painted bookshelves with the fresh blue-green interior – a perfect backdrop for books and accessories.
I love this quote by famous “style icon” Babe Paley:
You can never be too rich or too thin or have too much blue and white.
Well, I am neither rich or thin, but I have lots of blue and white and it is all good because Babe says it is not too much!
So….are you loving blue and white? I would love to hear your thoughts on this timeless classic!