With the holidays approaching, people are starting to assess their home dining situations and thinking about what kind of setup they have that could be appropriate for hosting a few people – and using mixed match sets for your tablescape could be just the thing.
Having a mixed match set of dining ware is about letting go of the idea that your dining sets and flatware all need to match, and instead picking and choosing the things you love. And who better to give advice on this than Tiffany Pratt?
With an amazing dining room tablescape herself, Tiffany’s put together the perfect example of how while nothing truly matches, everything goes together. She explains that everything in her dining room actually came from various thrift stores – something she refers to as a “be ready for anything” situation.
“Everyone makes excuses – family meals, holidays, whatever – that they can’t set the table because they don’t have a big serving set and nothing matches,” she says. “But who cares? There should never be a limitation on the fun you’re going to have in your life with your family in your home based on the things you do or don’t have.”
When it comes to the things that you do have – such as that antique dining set that everyone has passed down through generations – Tiffany knows exactly where you’re coming from. “My mother has these incredible dishes she used throughout my childhood that were the special Christmas dishes that she only pulled out at Christmas. And it always upset me that my mom treated these dishes like they were this dying old woman that could only come out for a special occasion. It always bothered me that we never used them otherwise.
“I want people to actually use what they have, because they might have a great set of dishes that their parents made them feel like they couldn’t use every day because it was too fancy. Or the silver’s not something you can use every day, or the candlesticks have to match.”
The idea, she adds, is to “make room for style” in your dining room, and to elevate the everyday with the fun of feeling a little fancy. But fancy doesn’t necessarily mean untouchable – “just because the table’s beautiful doesn’t mean it can’t be useful and fun and exciting for people to partake in,” Tiffany says. “Having things loosely placed makes it look so much more beautiful anyways. I feel like if something’s too lined up and perfect and symmetrical, it just doesn’t make you feel like you’re going to sit down and enjoy being there for a while. It can be super simple and pretty.”
At the end of the day, Tiffany emphasizes, your mixed match tablescape should be part of creating a memorable moment for the people you love – that extra little fancy effort that doesn’t need to cost too much or take too much time to put together or look super perfect. Instead, it’s all about showing your own unique style, and demonstrating that your mixed match set means you’re always ready to share a meal with others.
“I don’t think people need to be intimidated in order to do something beautiful,” she states. “I think it’s just a matter of stepping outside yourself and really wanting to take that extra half a day to go find all this stuff at thrift shops. That means your home is always stocked with the opportunity to make memories. Your home is a special place, and it’s a landing place for our friends and our family to come and feel safe and at home. If you always have enough food and plates and glasses and cutlery to make it come-one-come-all, it’s a beautiful feeling.”
We’ve got a bonus Q&A with Tiffany to help you get a head start on the mixed match tablescape of your dreams:
Why do you think a lot of people get hung up on having their dinnerware match?
Because we are creatures of habit. We saw our parents and grandparents with big matching set of everything and feel that we should do the same. Let’s break old patterns and traditions where we see fit. Agreed?
Where should people begin looking when it comes to finding mismatched sets?
Keep your eyes open! Garage sales, thrift stores, friend’s cupboards, grandparent’s basements. Mismatched sets of dishes are everywhere!
What kind of things should people avoid when putting together a mismatched table?
Avoid nothing! Have fun! Mix whatever you want! The most important thing is that everyone has a place at the table and that the table itself looks playful! The idea is that you can literally use what you have and celebrate the imperfection of it all.
What little touches do you add to your table to make it really stand out?
One place that I always splurge on is the centerpiece or a floral arrangement! This is the star of the table and the more interesting the floral the better. You can make one yourself or farm it out to your local florist! But I think this is a worthy splurge!
What are the keys to having an Instagram-worthy mismatched table setting?
COLOUR! QUIRK! FUN! The more interesting and original you can be the more Instagram worthy your table will be! Everyone is looking for inspiration and doing things your way and trying out new looks is the best way to gain some social attention!