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Choosing Your Everyday China

When my mother was in college, she traveled to Europe for the first time. She was an interior design student and had an excellent eye for treasures. Instead of typical souvenirs, she bought special things–an Hermès scarf, a watch, and china.

I grew up using the china she bought on her trip as our “everyday china,” something that elevated even the simplest meals. I’ve been trying to decide on everyday china of my own, for my family–something that looks lovely on display, but isn’t too precious for everyday use.

I’ve, admittedly, been stuck on which pattern to choose. I have a few pieces from Villeroy & Boch’s “French Garden Fleurence” pattern, and while I like it, I’m not quite sure it’s “me” enough for everyday use. I find myself increasingly drawn to my mother’s pattern, but I’m not sure pink is the right color for us, either (as much as I love it!) I love my Delft mugs, like the one pictured, but I like collecting those for special occasions. So I’m in a bit of a holding pattern while I browse and try to decide what’s best for us. I don’t want to use my great-grandmother’s china, which I’ve inherited from my aunt, for everyday–at least not at this season of my life. So a nice but practical everyday china is on the list for now.

Do you have an everyday pattern for china, and if so, did you choose it yourself? Was it given to you? And please do share your pattern with me!

15 thoughts on “Choosing Your Everyday China

  1. I do, but not a well known one. We live in an area with a lot of local potteries. Our everyday dishes came from one of those. It is stoneware, so it is sturdy, and glazed in a simple neutral that goes with everything.

    With the help of the internet, it is much easier to connect with small makers even if you don’t live in an area with a lot of craftspeople.

    1. That sounds so wonderful, KH! I love the idea of finding a small local pottery and purchasing dishes from them. There aren’t any near us, but perhaps our next trip up the Hudson I’ll seek a few out. That wound be a special way to remember a trip, and support artisans!

  2. I was married 25 years ago and chose Haviland Symphonie platinum as our special occasion china and love it just as much today as I did then. We have Heath Ceramics Coupe Stonewear (bought on a trip to San Francisco 20 years ago) as our everyday and it’s perfect. If I was starting over I’d go with Juliska Berries and Thread. In fact I’m getting ready to order Juliska Country Estate salad plates to mix in with the Haviland. That’s the benefit of going with a simple design!

    1. I considered Haviland Symphonie (in gold) when we were engaged–we ended up not creating a registry, but I loved its simple and elegant design! I think it’s so special that you purchased your everyday on a trip; a great way to remember that trip! I do like the idea of a simpler design, because it would be fun to mix and match for different occasions. I’m considering the Villeroy & Boch French Garden china in the “orange” pattern, which is a simple trellis–they seem only to have dinner plates and smaller saucers right now, but it would be a simple enough pattern to match with others, creating something really unique!

  3. For a long time, we used Royal Worcester Evesham Gold. It’s elegant but practical. While it’s dishwasher safe, it can’t go into the microwave. After 20+ years, it was showing wear from everyday use. The serving pieces (large covered casseroles, a pie dish and a large platter) are in perfect shape and still in rotation, but the table settings have been retired.

    I was lucky to find a very large set of Wilton Armetale Queen Anne in an opportunity shop here. They look like pewter. Like the Evesham, these pieces can go into the oven.

    The pattern I have which I can’t bring myself to use is a very large set of china mother’s brother bought for her in Japan during the war. She asked him to buy it before she had even met my father! It’s elegant and lovely but I worry about using it!

    1. Ooh, those sound lovely! I love searching for china in opportunity shops, and I should do some exploring here. I’d love to see a picture of the china your maternal uncle bought for her in Japan!! XO

  4. We use Wedgwood Nantucket for our everyday dishes, but I don’t love that it is now manufactured in Asia – so I’m deciding whether to search out needed replacement pieces that are made in England, or use what we have and move on to another pattern when it reaches the end of its life.

    I’m also slowly mixing in some pieces of Burleigh Regal Peacock, which is really lovely and well made (and still dishwasher safe!). My husband finds it too “busy” so we may need to find a compromise 🙂

    1. That is frustrating! I really dislike it when manufacturers switch their manufacturing for no reason other than a profit. Replacements.com has always served me well, if you are looking for specific pieces.

      I love Regal Peacock! It would be great to mix and match that with your existing everyday set.

  5. We use Denby Juice in the Berry color for everyday. It’s sturdy and I mix in a few complimentary blue and white patterns for extra serving pieces. We use “busier” table linen. We chose it together.

    Still in love with our Wedgwood Wild Strawberry china. I have my mother’s china as well. I have been offered additional sets by relatives, but really, how many services can you use and store?

    Thank you for sharing your silver and dishes with us.

    1. I love that! You are so right that a busier table linen asks for simpler dinnerware. I love Wedgwood Wild Strawberry–such a lovely spring pattern! I just snagged some beautiful Porthault table linens from our local opportunity shop (still cannot believe that!!!) and that would look perfect with them. I agree with you that it’s difficult to have too many services–I have my great-grandmother’s on my father’s side of the family, and then my maternal grandmother’s as well.

      Thank you for sharing your beautiful pieces with us, too! I love this little community 🙂

  6. Late to the party! Dishes are my weakness and I collect multiple patterns. My favorite everyday pattern is Mikasa Antique White (discontinued…similar to Villeroy & Boch Manoir). My Granny owned Mikasa Antique White and those were her everyday dishes when I was a little girl. Hers were sold in an estate sale and I hemmed and hawed for a long time over whether or not I truly *needed* those. I waited so long they were discontinued! I found mine for a steal on FB Marketplace and they bring me such joy. 🙂

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