As I mentioned in my recent post Taika by Iittala, I often turn to a rich, deep palette for the early months of winter.  This year I went in a slightly different direction, inspired by photos in the January/February issues of Victoria Magazine and Southern Lady, 

Definitely rich colours, but in a different area of the colour wheel. I began to ponder incorporating shades of mellow yellow, soft peach and deep coral with pewter tones and green transferware. It’s a warm palette and refects the rainbow of colours we often see in tulips and daffodils at this time of the year. 

I use the Evernote App to plan various seasonal table settings. I created a new folder for Spring Refresh and gathered images of pieces already in my collection. Doesn’t it make a fun collage? There are pieces from modern to antique in the mix, and I was happy to see Sarah’s Garden again. I’ve had that set for more than 20 years and it’s been out of the rotation for a while.

Feel free to call me completely insane. At each change of season, I switch out the china in my kitchen pantry cupboard. Yes, it’s a lot of schlepping for a couple of hours, but it’s the tableware we use every day, and I like to have a variety on hand that I can mix and match for family meals. It’s all dishwasher safe and fairly kid-proof; there are no tears if something breaks.

The antique and delicate pieces live in the nearby Butler’s Pantry and other than giving that a thorough dusting twice a year, it stays undisturbed.

There are four cupboards, each thoroughly filled – an effective deterrent against adding more delicate glassware or antique pieces.

Here is the “French blue” one. Those bunny bowls will be getting an outing soon, I have no doubt.

This year, the schedule for the house turnover was a bit tight, because we were left for Cape Cod on December 27, and “de-Christmased” the house on the 26th. Three trees, one real and two artificial came down, and all the Christmas decorations were returned to the basement, including two front door wreaths, Glenn gave me the hairy eyeball when I mentioned the kitchen china swap. I’ll admit that it was a bit of a push, but I managed. Where there’s a will…

At the end of the Christmas season, the china pantry cupboard looked like this. The bottom two shelves are dinner plates. The middle three shelves are salad and appetizer plates. The top two are bowls – pasta and soup plates on the lower one and cereal, soup and prep bowls on the upper one (that one remains largely unchanged).

This time I decided to be strategic about the task, rather than employing my usual hit and miss method, which involves taking the stacks of plates I am finished with downstairs and bringing up too many to fit into the cupboards, only to have to return the rejects to the basement. Looking at the picture, I calculated that I could fit six stacks of dinner plates, nine of salad plates and two of appetizers. The plain white of each size remains in place, as well as the white soup plates. 

Here is the cabinet after the December changeover.

What made the cut? A lot of the pieces from the collage and some I hadn’t considered until I started digging downstairs.

I also changed the display cabinets in the kitchen: platters, serving pieces, and teapots. Lots of Sarah’s Garden this time.

The lighted cabinets have seeded glass inserts.

You can see better with the doors open, though. 😉

Over on the other side of the kitchen is a small display cabinet where I put a small set acquired in Provincetown many years ago (20?). It’s not great quality, but I loved the soft yellow and sage green palette with accents of lavender. The two small cups have lids, a very appealing feature. They’d be perfect as jam pots or as pots de creme.

The family room got pretty short shrift.  I simply removed all the cushion covers and stripped the mantlepiece bare, leaving a fresh clean start for when we returned in late January.  

Here are some of the ideas I tossed around for refreshing the family room. It’s gradually coming together, but I’m not quite finished yet. I’ll update you when it’s done.

Meanwhile, here is a sneak peek at a table I set yesterday. I was lucky enough to find a dozen orange parrot tulips and augmented them with coral and orange regular tulips. Oh, happy day!


I hope everyone is having a relaxing Sunday. We’ve had more snow here, but it’s warmed up a bit, so time to get all the dogs (and their parents) out for a walk.

I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.