What's in Your Hutch?

It’s very early, and I’m up for quiet time (and, okay, time to think of RE posts!) I love getting up early – I love the no-sounds-sound of the house, knowing that my children are upstairs asleep (and my husband is out writing in his office), and that this small slice of the day belongs just to me.

Along with ideas flowing comes quiet time spent in a study or inspirational reading, and then I’m out the door to meet my dedicated running partners. The hectic hours to come are balanced out by this special morning quiet time. It’s simply required of me, in order to have a successful day!

Which brings me to this idea. A few gals have recently asked me about my dishes and stemware, and how many sets I have? So I thought I’d take you through my hutch and home, and show you. I really have simple taste when it comes to dishes, and I’m very practical. In fact, we just had a garage sale as I went through all my dishes and got rid of unnecessary items, and re-organized my hutch!

I currently have 3 sets of glasses and 3 sets of dishes:

* White, wedding dishes (in hutch), set of 12

* White, everyday (Williams Sonoma), set of 12 , which sit out on my kitchen counter because I have limited cupboard space

* Glass party dishes, set of 24 (garage sale years ago for $15)

* Goblets, wedding (in hutch)

* Party goblets, set of 24 (from Dollar Store, stored in garage)

* Goblets, smaller, set of 8 (also in hutch, garage sale $5)

I don’t want to spend an extra thought on what dishes to use when I’m getting ready to entertain, and white or glass goes with everything. And I don't feel the need to stay up on the latest fad, buying the glitziest and newest on the market! If I am having more than 12 adults, then I pull out my glass party dishes.

Now I do think about which tablecloth to use, because I love tablecloths! You can take the ugliest table, and by covering it with a tablecloth, it becomes transformed immediately! I have quite an assortment, many from sale racks, TG Maxx, garage sales, or gifts from friends. I love coordinating my tablecloths with the flowers in bloom in the yard, or simple tea light candles.

Entertaining should not be overwhelming!

I find if I get myself organized (simple set of dishes, tablecloths ironed and hung, napkins ironed and put away), my energy really only needs to go toward meal planning.

Part of the fun of entertaining for me is the excitement of visiting with friends! So if I can keep things simple, avoiding stress that is inevitable when I try to complicate things, then I begin to focus on what really matters: people.

What’s in your hutch? Is it freshened up and ready for entertaining? Or is it stale and dusty and – well, the dishes haven’t been used in quite some time?


Momma Roar said...

Oh, you have so many lovely things. Makes me really wish I had a hutch! :-D

Dawn said...

I share a love of tablecloths. I enjoy finding them at antique stores, garage sales, etc. My next investment towards entertaining will be for more silverware. We only have a nice set for 8. I really don't like plastic.

GiBee said...

Let's see... I love this little exercise -- I have 12 blue and white dishes from my grandfather from when he graduated from West Point. I love this china, and even though it is fine bone china, it is very sturdy, and I love to use them because of the rich family heritage. I also have a set of Lennox Butterfly Meadows china for 8 that my mom gave me for Christmas one year, I have a set of Crate and Barrel white bistro dishes for 12, I have a set of Waverly china for 16, and a set of Christmas china for 8 or 10 (I can't remember). Then, for every day, or really casual meals, I have a 20 Correlle plates in all white with a blue rim. Iknow I have other things, but can't remember...

I have 16 glass water goblets I got at target for under $20 (sale!), I have 12 drinking glasses my sister gave me for Christmas one year, I have 10 green mexican hand-blown water goblets I got for our wedding, I have tons of fine crystal stem pieces I never use (that I got for our wedding) along with 8 green mexican hand-blown margarita glasses I use for desserts, and 4 princess house margarita glasses I use for desserts.

I have various colored glass shot glasses and stem-less wine glasses I use for desserts or shrimp cocktails...

Finally, most of my serving pieces are large pieces in all white, which goes with everything. I do have some pieces that are colored, but for the most part, I like to use white so it will go with everything I have.

Can you tell I love to collect china??? It's a fetish.

I like to use white table cloths and I like to bring the color in with colored cloth napkins and flowers.

Like Dawn, I need to get some extra pieces of my flatware -- I was given Hammersmith stainless by Towle for Christmas by my sister one year, and I adore it, but it is too expensive -- so I need to save to get more!

Jen said...

We just used our china last night that was passed down to me on Scott's dad's side...3 generations....it was nice. Dinner and conversation was nice. I do need to look for some clear glass plates and new goblets though...

Kirstin said...

I have never had a hutch....okay don't fall over. We never had one at our old house, for whatever reason, probably room or finances. And right now we don't have our own house, but...I do hope to someday own one, and when I do it'll be lovely! And then I'll tell you all about it! I do have my eye on a few I like, but even then it won't be in the first phase of our new home. It'll have to wait for the second phase

Barb said...

Wow, I need to re-organize! Look at that awesomely-organized hutch!!

linda t said...

Many years ago I started my collection of 'winter white' Corelle dishes. I don't like paper plates so I thought, why not use Corelle (you can stack em like crazy and they take up very little room!)
I now have over 50 white Corelle dishes that I can set out for bigger functions. And most of the dishes were found at thrift stores and yard sales. I love that they stay so white and work so well with any Holiday decorations. Works for me!
And I lend them out all the time... so easy to transport!

Tarrah said...

I only have one set of white dishes :( and I don't have any matching glasses to drink from or goblets or matching wine glasses or table clothes or pretty napkins ;( It's really sad really because I LOVE entertaining.

Now that I live closer to town I'm really looking forward to yard sales this summer. Hopefully I can get a good start :)

ValleyGirl said...

Well, if I HAD one, it would definitely be dusty!!! I have two small sets of stoneware dishes ~ one plain black, and one white with black accents and a single, pale pink flower. I bought them long before I ever moved out of my parents' house or got married and they just don't need replacing! I've never had more than one other family over at a time, so I haven't had the need for more dishes yet. At birthday parties or other such get-togethers, we just use paper plates and plastic cups. VERY casual. I should really invest in some table cloths though. I highly doubt we'll ever get around to refinishing our oak table, so I seriously need to think about just covering it!!

~j~ said...

What a fun post Sandy, I am going to take pictures of my dish cabinets... I love,love,love those clear glass plates of yours, those are just darling. Oooh and tablecloths now that's where it gets embarassing, way too many to count, damask coming out of the corners of my house for sure, some with monograms that don't even match my last name :)
thank you as always for sharing,
love j

Tonni said...

I posted pics of my buffet and hutch today :)
I guess I was inspired!


Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

I have two hutches - one is set up and the other is waiting in the wings. Things are dusted off, but I have no complete sets of anything. Hopefully this summer I will be able to change that with my thrifty garage saling ways! :)

I love my hutches, by the way! I can't wait to have them both up in our new home!!


Mrs. Jules said...

Beautiful pictures. I'm a big fan of goblets, too. I do like using all of my dishes regularly...even the wedding china!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

I have creamy white dishes and glass dishes. That is it! I love the simplicity of it and that is all I have space for. I've gotten rid of everything else. It is so easy to punch things up with some color, tablecloths and centerpieces. And the white is appropriate all year round, every season. I'm practical I suppose! :-)

Mrs. Darling said...

Sadly I dont have a hutch but I do have the dishes for the hutch! Aint that the pits? And I have to say my dishes are well used. I entertain a lot and love it. Now im feeling all left out cause I dont have a hutch! :( :)

Anonymous said...

1 floor-to-ceiling cupboard 12" deep filled with white diner china: oval plates; bowls and salad plates (service for 12+)

various service bowls

sushi dishes,espresso cups, ramekins, drinking glasses

Good china and crystal is in basement, packed in quilted carriers. Never use.

My favorite tablecloths (not the only type I use, but favorite for quick entertaining) are $1.00/yard cotton knit lengths of fabric.

I have stripes and solid yardage. It stretches beautifully and creates a smooth surface, curls under itself so the selvages don't show, and I wrap the corners around table legs and tie in a loose knot. Fabric doesn't fray, they don't shift around, people don't catch their hands or legs in the hem-tails. And a breeze to stain treat, wash and dry.

Store all tablecloths folded over hangers in the laundry area.

deb meyers

Monday through Sunday said...

LOVE this blog! I really enjoyed my time here! Thank you!

Stephanie said...

You have some great things in your hutch. Mine is new to me, so Im just starting to fill it up. Altho, Im already seeing, Im going to need a bigger one!!!

jen said...

You're AMAZING! Thanks for all of the great ideas!

Linda said...

I don't have a hutch and unfortunatley we don't get to entertain much but I sure love reading about your entertaining and how easy is can be.

Myrna said...

I hesitate to comment, because I own SOOO MANY dishes and my hutch is a giant built in!!! However, I purged and what I have I actually use at minimum once a year, even the antiques and china!! And like so many others, my dishes were either gifted to me or I bought them cheap!!! I love to pamper my family and friends with a beautiful table. But always remember it's not what's on the table that matters---but who's on the chairs!

Mrs. Jones said...

Ikea has a really pretty set of white dishes that I want to get for my hutch. Great price, too.

Wow. I never thought about actually cleaning my dishes in my hutch ahead of time. That makes so much sense!


Ornery's Wife said...

I don't really have a hutch, but I do love dishes. I have a set of eight bone china that were my mother's. Set of six white OLD corning ware plates (when they had metal in them), eight clear glass 10" plates that we use everyday, 30 12" clear glass plates and a set of 16 "cheap" china plates (like you'd get at a grocery store) I found at a garage sale for a song. We bought all the clear glass plates, mugs and stemware for entertaining at BB&B, or Garden Ridge for about $1.00 per piece. Clear goes with anything, and if I don't have enough flatware, I can use clear plastic for a really large group. The most I have ever had for a sit down dinner was 30, but I have often hosted showers and receptions. I like everything to match, so I agree that simple is best.

Fun post!

A Woman Who is: said...

Ahh, I am a little late on catching this post. I am so glad you showed us your hutch! You put it to good use. I like it simple too. I have one good set of Desert Rose Franciscan Ware for special occasions. One set of glass plates that I mix and match like you do, with my other dishes. Mine are rose pink pressed glass that I picked up at the dollar store years ago. They go very well with the Franciscan ware. My everyday dishes are a restaurant grade white embossed dish, that have lasted through years of kids loading and unloading the dishwasher ;>) I must admit, I am ready for a new set, but find it difficult to get something less durable. What I really love is your stemware. For some reason, I have such a hodge podge of glassware, and need to consolidate and purge. I think I have only eight of any one style. Table cloths, I am so guilty here. I have a ton from yard sales, but never have them pressed and ready to go for a party. Not good planning on my part. But I so hate ironing. Fun post, thanks for indulging my curiosity.

Sue Cramer said...

My Christmas dishes are in my hutch. I do not have any China, so they are the closet thing to fine dishes I have. Very simple yet elegant. Soft white with gold trim and embossed snowflakes.

I drool everytime I pass a Pottery Barn, I use Corelle, but would love to have something from PB!

G. said...

A hutch is something currently on my "wish" list. Yours is lovely. I'm sure if I had one it would be slightly dusty but, full of different dishes! :)