Magazine article Sunset

The New China Policy: Mix and Match Patterns for a Vibrant Table

Magazine article Sunset

The New China Policy: Mix and Match Patterns for a Vibrant Table

Article excerpt

* "The number one rule in china selection is that there are no rules," says Isabelle von Boch, whose ancestors founded the Germany-based china maker Villeroy & Boch 250 years ago. She urges people to rethink their china policy. "Apply a fashion strategy and develop a dinnerware 'wardrobe,' which begins with the basic 'dressing,' then is accented and accessorized with other patterns, linens, textiles, crystals, candles, and flowers," she says. The concept is to mix and match your dinnerware - pairing solid colors with florals or geometric patterns - rather than opting for traditional place settings all of the same pattern.

Von Boch isn't alone in her viewpoint. Many manufacturers, including Lenox and Noritake, are also promoting open-stock policies, urging people to experiment with different patterns and colors. Noritake's Edward Allen Lent, who recently staged four mix-and-match table settings for a nationwide promotion at Macy's, breaks all the old rules when it comes to using china. He says the accent salad plate is the most versatile piece in both casual and formal table settings. "The salad plate is like a tie or a scarf," he explains. "It can make or break the look."

Lent urges people to be creative. "If you select a solid-color dinner plate, pair it with a salad plate that has a striking design or pattern on it. The trick is to make sure that at least one of the colors in the salad plate relates to the dinner plate," he says.

ISABELLE VON BOCH'S CHINA PRIMER

China is a generic term used interchangeably with ceramics to refer to tableware. …

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