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Bridal Guide: Taking Grandma’s china from vintage to vogue

Bridal Guide: Taking Grandma’s china from vintage to vogue

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April 17, 2013
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(BPT) - New brides are transforming something old into something new. That’s according to the latest bridal tabletop trends.

While in recent years brides have been registering for casual dinnerware, lately industry experts are seeing brides returning to fine china. Sales indicate they’re opting for porcelain and bone china, which are more durable than stoneware because these mediums are less likely to chip.

White patterns continue to be strong bridal sellers, ranging in shades from pure white to ecru, with gold trim making a resurgence among millennial brides.

But in an emerging trend, observers are finding vintage is vogue.

“Brides are embracing heirloom patterns for a number of reasons,” says Keith Winkler, product marketing manager at Replacements, Ltd. “First of all, there’s a strong, emotional connection to those inherited pieces because it ties them to family and tradition. At the same time, vintage is huge throughout the fashion industry, and that’s impacting dinnerware trends. Brides are hanging onto Grandma’s china, but they’re also looking to give family treasures a more contemporary spin.”

John Griffith oversees the visual merchandising team at Replacements, known as the world’s largest retailer of old and new china, crystal, silver, and collectibles. He often hears from brides needing help transforming family treasures.

“It doesn’t matter whether inherited dinnerware is decades old, patterns are timeless through the magic of mixing and matching,” says Griffith. “I suggest using your heirloom pattern as a starting point, then mixing in various colors, shapes, and even other mediums such as glass or acrylics. By creating a sort of ‘retro remix,’ you can dress up your sentimental favorite for formal entertaining, or just as easily dress down your tableware for a casual evening with friends.”

For example, Griffith says mixing in square salad plates with round shaped dinnerware creates art deco flair. Mixing different colored plates or glass can open up an entirely new color palette.

He’s adamant; don’t be afraid to be bold and try something new.

“I recently had a customer come in with an heirloom goblet she wanted to match,” he says. “We didn’t have any pieces in her pattern, so I instead zeroed in on a design element with the goblet, in this case the stem style on the glass. I added in four additional crystal patterns, all with a similar stem design. By matching that particular design element, we created a really elegant, contemporary look.”

Griffith leads design seminars on creating trendy tables at the company’s retail store. Many of his insights appear on Replacements’ YouTube channel and Facebook page at www.facebook. com/Replacements.

One challenge brides often encounter with heirloom pieces lies in the fact family members sometimes forget the name of the pattern. Griffith suggests taking advantage of Replacements’ free pattern identification service. Additional information is available on the company’s website, www.replacements.com.

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