Question: Phoebe, I love my china, but I just cannot bring myself to use it. Your tables always look so lovely … but how often do you really use your china? Do you have any tips for making me use it?? I feel like I can only use it on really formal occasions.
Phoebe’s Answer: Since I am Southern, I am an avid collector of all types of china - old and new. When I was 12 years old, I used to ride my bike to antique stores and spend my babysitting money on chintz china, mostly teacups. I think it is a lot of fun to have a lot of options for setting the table, as well as different combinations. I generally use a modern placemat and charger paired with antique dinner or salad plates to keep it fresh. Try different combinations, and by all means, if you have it, use it! What good is it doing sitting in a cabinet untouched?
There is a story of a lady in Jacksonville who bought so much china, she had her handyman bury it in barrels in the yard. I hope I get to that point one day too! Here are some tables we have set with china: