Modern Table with Vintage China

One of my closest friends, Paula, emailed me with a design challenge. The pattern in the center is china given to her by her grandmother. She loves the pattern, but feels it looks a bit dated. She asked me to try and give it a fresh look. Paula likes modern, clean lines and I tried to keep this in mind while designing her table.

Don't be afraid to mix patterns! Ikat for the tablecloth picks up the silver in the plates.

Four separate floral arrangements in white cubes with square votives are a modern twist to a classic look.

The charger has a silver hob nail design which will frame the china.

Lucite napkin rings and chairs add pop. Don't want to buy them? Rent them!

Modern wine and water glasses mixed with silver flutes are a little more interesting than all matching glasses.

You can easily have menu cards printed or print them yourself for a nice added detail. I wanted a hip graphic for this table rather than a classic script.

Paula has traveled through India and I thought she would love the place card holders. Elephants also bring good luck which seemed like a good omen for a new year!


  1. Kate - you did an absolutely fabulous job of updating Paula's china. I love everything you picked (I picked some of the same for a post on all clear things I did right after Christmas). You can come and do my table any time!!

  2. Wonderful. Gorgeous china and so easy to add a bright accent by mixing a fresh pop of color. A fresh pink placemat or a pretty linen tablecloth and colored candles....like Eddie Ross does so well!
    Hope your New Year is starting with a lovely table like that!

  3. Kate - you could start a consulting business and help anyone who is stuck with vintage china to update their look. I love these choices, especially the flowers in white cubes - stunning!

  4. Love it!! You gave it a new fresh look, stuning. Lucky friend!! Kathysue

  5. Nothing dated about that look! Bet Grandma would be surprised, but love it! xo Cathy

  6. Love what you came up with... the modern touches are great and the elephants are just too darn cute! xo