Cracking Fine China Code - Chronicling Home

Cracking Fine China Code

4:00:00 AM

China is such a classic piece to any home and an essential to the dining table. Most people do not even begin to think about china until they are registering for their wedding. It was one of the hardest decisions I had to make when registering. There is so much pressure. The china you choose will be around for years to come and then for your children to use! See lots of pressure to get it right the first time, especially since china is rather expensive. I promise you though china is absolutely gorgeous for a formal dinner or even just a fun dinner party. I have complied a list of tips on how to figure out the code for china.

Types of China and why to choose them

  • Traditional China place settings comes in 4 or 5 piece settings. Casual settings are normally 4 piece and include dinner plate, salad/dessert plate, soup bowl, and mug. Formal place settings are those 4 pieces plus a saucer for the mug. There are also many platters, vegetable bowls, gravy boats, sugar bowls, cream pitchers, and coffee pots to choose from.
  • Fine China: the catchall term for China. It refers to the formal version of china that is expensive and traditionally used for formal occasions. Porcelain and Bone China are the two big categories under the umbrella and are similar, but different. The patterns revolve around 4 basics: floral, oriental, banded, and geometric. The price range varies for each place setting and depending on the brand of China you pick out. 
  • Porcelain: one of the common of the china materials. It is strong, durable, and not to be confused with the term fine china. Bonus, it is dishwasher and microwave safe. This type of china is more casual and used for everyday, because of its durability. Porcelain is made of kaolin, feldspar, quartz. There aren't as many options for this material, but it still is very common.
    • Options: 
      • Somerset Island Indigo: the watercolor pattern is so chic, but great for everyday use
      •  Indigo Simplicity: Vera Wang, you just can't go wrong! Pattern mixing is not always bad either. As long as they go together, go for it!
      • Charlotte Street North: Stripes and polka dots make this collection just fantastic 
      • Wickford: Chic white with a basket weave pattern around the outside. Simplicity at its finest.
  • Bone China: another common type of china material and similar to porcelain. The only difference between porcelain and bone china is the bone ash. The bone ash is added to give it the whitest appearance, greater strength, and translucent quality. It is very durable given the delicate look of the pieces. These are not dishwasher or microwave safe, unlike the others. The patterns in bone china vary, but one of the most popular things to see is plain white.
    • Options: 
      • Library Lane: My personal favorite, because it is my wedding China! The traditional navy, white, and gold color palate will go beautifully with my mom's China pattern one day. 
      • White: Classic white can be used for formal dinners or a weekday dinners at home
      • Larabee Road: Kate Spade and polka dots! Sign me up!
      • Solitaire White: Classic white and a dessert plate that has the pop of pattern? Could this get any more gorgeous?!
      • Country Roses: Floral patterns are widely popular and very classic 
      • Grace Avenue: This pattern is more modern with the silver and sweet bow touches, but this one could not be any more gorgeous!

Tips to keep China looking beautiful
  • Never use abrasives (steel wool) to clean the China, it will ruin it
  • Always store china with felt or paper plates between each plate and cups should be hung. Stacking can damage the plates and cups if stacked on top of each other with no protective layer.
  • If using the dishwasher, used mild detergent and the gentle cycle. Try to stop the dishwasher before it dries to allow the china to air dry.
  • If hand-washing, make sure to be extra extra careful. It is easy to chip on the sink and that would be devastating. 
  • NEVER put over an open flame unless fireproof. (This seems like an obvious one, but it always warns against it) 
  • Basically, be nice to the China! 

China is such a gorgeous addition to any dining collection. It is a hot item to register for when you are getting married, true. But you don't need a wedding to invest in some gorgeous china. When you're going shopping, think what pattern you will love today and 50 years in the future. What do you see on your dining table down the road for holidays or family dinners? Make sure it's something you adore, because it is an investment!

Tomorrow, we are going to get the China cabinet ready. Since you know all you need to know about China, it's time to set the cabinet!

Home Sweet Blogging, 

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  1. Such an insightful post! This will definitely be helpful when I get my own home and need to set up a China cabinet!

  2. I never knew fine china could be so complex! This was a great read...and now this rookie knows - thanks for that! x Nicole |

  3. I had no idea about fine china but have always admired my parents and knew I wanted to get some of my own when I had my own house.

    Such beautiful picks!

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

  4. These are fabulous tips, and mostly new to me! Thank you for putting it all together! I hope to get my own set one day and know that it will be a hard decision- I'm pretty indecisive about big decisions like that!

  5. Such neat tips- can't wait til I'm able to own my own home and get a set to cherish!

  6. HUH! I had no ideas there were so many different types of china, heck, I don't even own any china yet!

  7. Wow. I never knew this was so complicated!!!!

    The Fashionista's Diary

  8. I'm so excited to register for China one day... hopefully sooner rather than later ;) I will be consulting you for advice!

    XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass

  9. This is such a great post! Who knew there was so much to know about China! I'll definitely be coming back to this in the future when I'm getting a house!

  10. So useful, maybe I'm clueless but I had no idea there was so much to know about china!

  11. This was so useful to me! My mom has been collecting a China pattern for me since I was little, and when I get my first apartment next year I'll finally get to have it. I also can't wait to register for a pattern of my own when I get married someday!

    xoxo A

  12. My mom has some china I am hoping to inherit some day! I never knew taking care of china was so complicated! Great tips!

    xo Ashley

  13. Such great tips!! Really I never knew that this was so complicated!!

  14. I had no idea about the world of China! I don't think I'm quite ready to invest in some yet (I live in an apartment building with so many bros!) but these tips will help once I'm finally able to take the plunge!

    xo, Alicia | Alicia Tenise

  15. We just pulled out my mom's wedding china the other day! I'm not sure I would get fine china when I get married just because we aren't that formal, but I'll probably change my mind lol

  16. This is a really great and informative post! I love the floral china, it's so classic like you said! I will have to bookmark this post for the future :)

    Kayla |

  17. I love China but never really knew much about taking care of them and buying them. My parents normally take care of that and we always use them during Thanksgiving and Christmas! I love the Kate Spade Charlotte Street North collection.

  18. I seriously know nothing about China, so this was so interesting! I know so many people who collect China, so this will definitely be helpful during the holidays.

  19. This post was so helpful! My fiancé and I are moving in together soon so I'll definitely be using this post for advice!

  20. Porcelain is definitely my favorite! Thanks for sharing your knowledge, I would love to own some fine china of my own someday! Xo
    Chelsea //


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