Getting More Use Out of the Good China!

When we moved back into our house post-renovation, I was able to rethink where to put furniture and how to store some items.  Our dining room was one of the least changed rooms in our house although it did get about 2 feet longer thus making it more functional for larger dinner parties.  I already had our great, classic dining room set which my parents bought for us at a used furniture store when we moved into the house 8 years ago.  Thanks Mom and Dad!

Prior to our move (out and then back in again), I had kept most of our good wedding china stored in the lower part of our china cabinet (on the right above) and the crystal was stored in our buffet (on the left above).  Needless to say it was rarely if ever used except on a rare holiday hosted at our house or an adult dinner party (VERY RARE!).

I think this is a real shame because I love our china (discontinued Lenox Jaquard Gold) and wanted to use it more.  It can also be dressed up or down.  Finally, real china is generally more durable than stoneware and ours can even be washed in the dishwasher.

So, I set out to redesign the display part of our china cabinet to both hold most of our china and also be pretty since it has glass doors and it is one of the first things guests see when they come in the front door.  I started by neatly stacking the china on the bottom shelf of the cabinet.  I put the crystal wine glasses on the second shelf with a crystal pitcher between.  Behind the glasses for a little color, I added a beautiful floral square plate by Gien purchased during a trip to Paris (great souvenir idea for anyone going!).   On top I added a few of the serving pieces for our china, accent plates, and a couple of silver candlesticks.

I love the overall effect now and it doesn't feel stodgy or like something out of a grandmother's house (no offense Grandma!).  Since I made this change, I have used the china more times than I probably would have if it was stored underneath out of sight.  This also cleared up a lot of room in the bottom cabinet for other serving pieces, additional place settings, and other dining necessities.

How often do you use your good china (or do you even have "good china")?  Where do you keep it?  Do you wish you used it more?  Do tell!