what if I could cook?
October 20, 2009

Mismatch Plates

Mismatched Plates

thrift store finds

thrift store finds

Well, I can’t. But I can arrange a good-looking table setting, even on a lowly editor’s salary. My tableware is a mismatched collection of hand-me-down plates, flea-market stemware, vintage linens and glasses and flatware from Bed, Bath & Beyond. It’s no Missoni China (a girl can dream) but it can look just as good. The secret is to use two-parts existing items, add a dash of vintage finds and mix in a smartly edited combination. Second-hand shops like Goodwill, or garage sales and flea markets are undoubtedly stocked with gems. A porcelain salad plate dotted with roses in shades of yellow and pink may scream “Grandma’s Sunday dinner,” but paired with a gold-rimmed, scallop-edged, round plate it’s very modern, albeit girly. Or alternate different patterned or colored plates paired with fun, oversized wine glasses. My marinara sauce may come from a can, but the table setting is all from scratch.—MR