Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New plates!

I love the plum and turquoise Sasaki dishes that D's grandmother gave us years ago, but there are times when a simple white plate is exactly what you want. I started browsing the whiteware collections at Macy*s, hoping for something to go on sale. Dishes are expensive! It's hard to justify buying new ones when we already have a complete set on hand.

Goodwill to the rescue! A few weeks before Christmas I went to Goodwill looking for lace trim to repurpose. I struck out, but I did happen to find a set of 6 place settings (each has a dinner plate, salad plate, bread plate, cup + saucer) in a beautiful matte white china. It is certainly used, as evidenced by a few chips and scratches, but I love it.

white plates
{white plates}

The best part? It was a half off blue tag day and I got the entire set for $12.50. Score.

white plates
{white plates, stacked}

People sometimes ask me how I find stuff at the thrift store and all I can say is that a lot of the time I don't. If I'm in the neighborhood I'll stop by and browse and frequently I don't pick up anything. I just look successful because I don't post when I come up empty handed (because posts that say "I went to the thrift store again but didn't find anything" would get terribly repetitive). The key is to drop in regularly, avoid getting discouraged and have an open eye (be willing to look past minor repairs, paint touch ups, dirt, etc).

General cleanliness tips - if you purchase clothes or sheets (my favorite source of vintage cloth) put them in the dryer IMMEDIATELY. I openly admit that I am terrified of bedbugs, but the high heat of the dryer kills them dead. Apparently 10 minutes is all you need, but I play it safe with 30 on maximum heat. I wash them as well, of course. Dishes get plopped in the sink right away and soaked for 30 minutes in a 10% bleach solution. This is what we use to remove DNA from stuff in the lab, so I can guarantee that it's effective.

26 comments:

  1. i've always been slightly reluctant to use other people's dishes, but your cleaning solution alleviates that! these are classic and clean-looking; such a nice find!

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  2. oh these plates are fantastic...but i'm a total sucker for all manner of white dishes ;-)

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  3. These two tips have given me the gumption to start looking in Thrift Stores more often.

    So glad you had such a winning purchase!

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  4. So, I just have to persevere! I get so disheartened at times with thrift store hopping. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  5. good find! nothing beats shiny white.

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  6. so very, very true with thrift stores; "luck," i find, is about 10% eye (which develops quickly when you've thrifted for a bit) and 90% shoe leather.

    big ups for your dryer tip as well; i am also terrified of bed bugs after our adventure with them earlier this year. i would also note that bugs can hitchhike into your place on and in furniture, books, and old records (they lo-ove hiding in little cardboard and paper creases, and their eggs are too small to see); to de-bug items that can't go in the dryer, seal them up in a black trash bag and leave them in direct sun for a few hours.

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  7. Great Job! Congrats. And thank you so much for these tips. I have been wanting to go to the thrift store for such a long time, but have been wary of it.

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  8. ooh, those dishes are gorgeous! good work! and thanks for the tips, maybe i'll work up the courage to actually start doing some thrifting...

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  9. I miss being as close to a thrift store as I used to be. It is fun browsing.

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  10. Thanks for those tips! The biggest reason I won't buy clothes at thrift stores is my fear of bedbugs.

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  11. That's wonderful advice! I'm always weary when I see a few cracks or dirt but you're right. A few touch-ups make it worth it!

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  12. This is awesome. Target had a sale like this too, $14 for a set! I didn't need it, but I thought very hard about buying it.

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  13. Joe and I hosted 18 people for dinner at our tiny little house. I realized last minute that we only have about 5 complete table settings, so I ran to kohls on Christmas eve. The line wrapped around the store and there were only 2 cashiers. I didn't even think about goodwill!

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  14. i love white dishes! food takes center stage.

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  15. I have started to get Fiesta Dinnerware when I got to Goodwill. I only have two pieces but I love them.

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  16. these are gorgeous, great find!

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  17. that is so brilliant with the dryer and bleach solution proportions! thanks so much for sharing that! i'm a huge thrift store shopper... :D

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  18. Wow that's a really great score! My parents have slowly been creating a new set, Pottery Barn's Au Naturale. It's not even on their website, and some stores only have it in the back, not on display. But its the prettiest off-white, off-shape set I've ever seen! Perfect large, just-shallow-enough salad/pasta bowls too. But they're not cheap, so they'll get some here and there and made it the only thing on their Xmas list. :)

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  19. You just need to *say* bedbugs and I'm vowing never to buy cloth from a thrift store ever. (we don't have a drier)

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  20. Great find! There's something really timeless about pure white dishes.

    Oh man...bedbugs never even occurred to me. Gross. Thanks for the cleanliness reminder!

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  21. I like coloured plates, quite rustic ones, but we have a set of white porceline plates, my daughter loves them and call's them 'the clean plates'.

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  23. it DOES seem like some bloggers have all the thrifting luck. i'm glad to know that it's just the "appearance" of thrifting luck! :) it always seem like i majorly strike out when thrifting. BUT, i'm resolving to be more patient and thrift more often.

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  24. I love Goodwill for kitchen things. You can find great deals.

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  25. reason #99 i'm a total weirdo: i have serious trouble eating off of plates that aren't white.

    i got bed bugs in our hotel in florence. on our honeymoon. it sucked the worst.

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