A friend of mine recently asked me to share some of my favorite serving and tableware shops in a blog post, and I will happily oblige to her request! As much as I have long adored collecting beautiful decor for our home, hosting, and entertaining, I realized that I haven’t shared much of the behind the scenes or where I find some of my treasured pieces for hosting. For decades now, I have had a deep love of curating a really beautiful and sentimental tabletop collection and scouring for vintage glassware and linen napkins, in particular. So many of my most beloved hosting items have been passed down through the generations in my family from my grandmothers. There is little more precious than an heirloom set of china or a tea set or any of the other legacy pieces that tell such a meaningful story and have so many memories tied to them!
I don’t have a large budget for adding new pieces to our entertaining and hosting collection, and I’ve definitely started to run out of room for storage in our dining room! But, as I always say, the heart behind hosting events or throwing dinner parties is never perfection nor to impress. Gathering with friends, family, and neighbors in our home and around the dinner table (pre-pandemic) is one of those things that makes my heart sing, and we try hard to make a point to do so often. Inviting others into our home (no perfection or insane hosting skills needed!) is the heartbeat of life and of community. No matter how big or small your space is, no matter how elaborate or simple you keep it, no matter how well you know how to cook or not, no matter whether you serve dinner on heirloom china or paper plates… I believe it’s so important to invite others into our homes and our lives and to share genuine community with one another. I love to host and entertain, and celebrating life is something I am passionate about and always have been! Long ago, I declared myself a celebration enthusiast, and I firmly believe there’s always a reason to celebrate and to have a dinner party.
If my budget allowed, I would purchase so many serving and tableware items from these beautiful shops:
Serena and Lily (such a dream but not always in my budget… love their colored taper candles, rattan placemats, Brela napkins, wood and marble serving set, Beaufort tray, toile trays, blue Fairfax wallpaper, and Rhinebeck bowls)
The Little Market (a non-profit committed to alleviating poverty and made up of fair trade goods made by artisans in need – a shop mission I can definitely get behind!! I love this woven basket, dotted linen napkins, painted salad bowl, ceramic blush salad plates, white ceramic glasses, and French blue flower glasses)
In reality, most of the items we own come from these wonderful, more budget-friendly shops:
World Market (love these textured stoneware plates, black and gold flatware, olive wood salad servers, marble and wood cheese board, textured stoneware bowl, dusty blue fringe linen napkins, villa stripe napkins, deco floral fan napkins, blush tumblers, white and gold taper candle holders, dotted glass tealight candle holders, and colored taper candles)
Target (of course! Target has ever-changing great basics and seasonal tabletop and serving decor – some of my very faves include this dusty blue buffalo check tablecloth, beaded white cake stand, and neutral options from Hearth & Hand)
Crate and Barrel (adore their linen tablecloths, gold flatware, gold serving set, tour wine glasses, white gold rimmed chargers, French champagne glasses, wood and marble footed fruit bowl, marin serving bowl, blue stripe serving bowl, white ruffle platter, glass footed cake stand with a dome, striped linen napkins, and perfect chambray blue napkins)
Anthropologie (such fun items, and I’m eyeing these colored coupe glasses, colorful dessert plates, herbiflora cheese knives, gold etched stemless wine glasses, botanica pitcher, wood serving set, and fringed placemats)
family heirlooms & vintage and antique shops – Truly, so many precious items in our dining room have been passed down from my grandmothers, mom, or mother-in-law, which makes them all the more meaningful and sentimental to me! My maternal grandmother made and sewed sets of napkins for each and every holiday and hobby, and I firmly believe my love of collecting linen napkins comes directly from her! I also have a minor obsession with collecting beautiful, unique glassware… from blush wine glasses to coupes in every color and size to champagne flutes to fun water glasses… there are so many gorgeous and fun options!
It really is about mixing and matching new and old, varying higher end items with less expensive accents, selectively choosing what you’d like to invest in and what’s merely a fleeting trend, and finding meaningful, special pieces that make your house a home.
It’s not about a picture-perfect dinner, though (goodness no!): it’s about choosing joy; deciding to savor those little moments; inviting your friends (new and old!) and community to gather together; creating memories; finding ways to make an everyday evening and occasion to celebrate. Life itself is a reason to celebrate, and I, for one, plan to embrace that and host as many dinner parties with friends as soon as I possibly can!
If you’d like to see many of my favorite serving and tableware purchases and designs come to life, along with additional thoughts on hosting and entertaining, here you go!
a Thanksgiving tablescape, our home tour, fall tablescape inspiration, how we decorate for Christmas, a summer tablescape, quarantine dinner tables, and tips for hosting dinner parties and entertaining at home,