Home decorating

Finally! Some plates.

1:06 PM

Those of you who have read me for years might remember that DH and I usually take forever to make decisions regarding home decor and what to buy. And one of the longest ongoing indecision had been with our food plates. We started out with no furnitures and the basic steel plates you will find in most households in India. Ours were the high rimmed ones that looked more like a pie dish than a plate, and we had 4 of them. They were very practical when all we had to sit comfortably on was our mattresses in the bedroom, no risk of spillage with such high rims. We then moved to Bangalore and had more friends over there, and that generally left us in the tricky situation of being short on plates when having some of them over, so we bought two extra steel plates that did not match the old ones, but we had no furniture still so mismatched plates went well with our lifestyle.

We then got married, and not one but two relatives decided to gift us dinner sets, one made of melamine in a yellowish green colour that was to be fair nice looking enough, and one glass set made of blue transparent glass that in its glory time was fine looking. Needless to say we graduated from the steel plates instantly, using mostly the melamine set at first. That didn't last because as decent looking as it was it was of poor quality, and I think half the dinner size plates broke in the first year under the heat of the food and by the time we moved to Navi Mumbai we had only the rice plater left (we still have it by the way), every single plates, quarter plates, serving bowls and vegetable bowls of said set broke over the years. We inherited 6 dinner plates made of melamine from a friend after that, as I type this only 3 plates survived and look in a very bad shape. Our glass set became more and more used, but barely 2 months in Navi Mumbai and the set got decimated by our very careless maid, only the salad dish and 5 dinner plates remained, all chipped badly I might add. This left us again in a position of having mismatched everything, which isn't really too nice now that we are living with proper furniture and have a social circle of a higher standard than in our early years, even casual dinning looked funny and a bit shabby with our collection of chipped and cracked dinnerware. Something had to be done about it, and putting an end to our endless indecision about what to get had to end.

You see, at first DH figured out we would be better off buying a nice fine bone china set just for special occasions, which is fine, except we rarely have so special occasions to use it at home, when the occasion become too special we dine out. Then we looked at opal glass sets such as the Corelle range, overpriced, with too many pieces we didn't need and not even that nice looking. We gravitated toward going for stoneware (aka ceramic plates), but couldn't find anything we really liked at a price that was fair. So while we had the idea of getting a full set of dinnerware a few years back already, nothing was put in motion, until a few months back when I realised that we had only 3 tea mugs left and were not only facing the problem of serving food to guests on mismatched chipped and faded plates, we also had no way to serve tea to everybody all at once...gasp! That is when I told DH I would do a reconnaissance round on my own in the various home stores in our area, and only inform him once I narrowed it down to something before making the purchase. I ended up finding some really nice, elegant yet basic ceramic sets in Lifestyle. The sets were for four persons: four dinner plates, four quarter plates, four big cereal bowls and four teamugs! All we needed, since we had enough vegetable or pudding bowls we got for free over the years. The sets came in three different style all priced at 1999 rupees a set, the cheapest I found so far. Of course since I noticed it a few weeks short of the end of season sale started, I didn't buy it just then, knowing the price could go lower then. By the time the sales came the price was discounted at around 1700, DH liked the one I liked, and we bought two sets as when we have people over that usually make about 6-7 plates needed. This is what we got :

 

A bright cheerful cream and green set with a hand painted artsy quality about them, perfect for everyday use as well as more fancy occasions.

 

The dinner plate has a more mutted design than the quarter plate, to avoid clashing with what will be served on it food wise. This is one of these silly little thing I care about having grown up with parents that reverted meal time and believed that one not only eats and tastes food with their mouth but with their eyes as well ( and it seems science agrees with them here)

 

And while we use the dinner plates a lot, and are happy to have some quarter plates back after several years not having any but two of them left in our blue set, the ones we use extensively are these nicely sized cereal bowls, they just are the perfect size for a noodle fix, a salad, some oatmeal, or a table top TV munchie snack. Added bonus being that they also bring memories from my childhood having the same size and shape as the ones we had home, the bowls that saw me every morning holding a nice substantial serving or real Swiss Muesli (no it isn't that ore packaged cereal mix crap you are told to add milk to). We aren't using the teamugs much yet, we agreed to continue decimating our mismatched collection before attacking the new ones though. So that guests can have a first go at our nice cups. And of course because we finally found a set we liked, it goes without saying that our maid is prohibited from touching it, we wash our plates ourselves before patting them dry and storing them away neatly.

 

And notice that the blue salad bowl from the old set is the only one I kept in sight, and that I already had a green ceramic serving dish I bought a few years ago in Fabindia that goes with the new set, and of course some small dipping cups I brought back from Thailand last November. And because I waited for the sale and used some loyalty card points, 2 sets that would have cost a total nearly 4k at full price ended up setting us 2500 rupees! That give some reason to our crazy years of indecision and going back and forth let me tell you.

 

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