Set the Table with Antique Rose China

How to set a beautiful table using your favorite collection of plates.

A bird's eye view of this table shows how to collect and display rose patterned china. Modern elements like ombre napkins, fresh flowers, and a stylish eyelet tablerunner keep it from looking too old-fashioned.
A bird’s eye view of the table shows how vintage plates set the tone of this table, but modern elements like ombre napkins, fresh flowers, and a stylish eyelet tablerunner keep it from looking too old-fashioned.

I’m often drawn to flea markets, thrift stores and yard sales. The thrill of the hunt never ceases to excite me! Certain pieces just seem to speak to me, and vintage china always seems to be on my radar while I’m out treasure hunting. Recently, I’ve been drawn towards antique rose china embellished with beautiful patterns and it’s become one of my favorite things to collect. These vintage patterns are feminine and flirty, and best of all, they work beautifully for a romantic table setting.  

Collecting beautiful examples of rose china patterns is easier than you may think. Look for plates in similar pink tones and patterns, and they’ll coordinate perfectly with each other.
Collecting beautiful patterns of rose embellished china is easier than you may think. Look for plates in similar pink tones and patterns, and they’ll coordinate perfectly with each other.

Easy to find  

The next time you visit a flea market or thrift store, be on the lookout for pretty pink rose patterned plates. You can often find them in small sets, which is my favorite way to acquire them, but unique individual plates are also quite practical and fit in nicely if they’re in the same pink color palette. My favorite patterns are made in England and made of fine bone china, but I’ve found gorgeous German examples that are quite unique and look like they’re hand-painted.    

Collect and display rose patterned china with pink accents for romantic charm
Pink accents add romantic charm to the table, while a white runner provides the perfect backdrop and keep this whole look light and lively. Delicate patterns in the pressed glass and eyelet runner offer subtle texture and contrast to the whole setting.

Mix and match for fun

Just like any collection, mixing and matching is made easier when the plates have a common design or color. Dinner plates, salad plates and bread plates all layer beautifully with each other, and especially look lovely in coordinating but mismatched patterns. I’ve found that collecting different size plates also helps when arranging them together at a table setting.  

Feminine details set against the farmhouse table and chairs will create the perfect romantic table setting as you collect and display rose patterned china
Feminine details set against the farmhouse table and chairs creates the perfect romantic table setting. This look is easy to pull together, if you just remember a few of these simple rules for using your favorite collection of vintage china.

Accessorize with Pink

To get more bang for your buck, tie the whole table together with pink accents. Adding pink glassware, napkins and flowers will naturally accentuate the pink rose pattern on the china, and capture everyone’s attention. Think pink when setting this kind of table! 

Small and large patterns of roses on each plate complement each other, while the vibrant pink hues in the flowers and napkins punctuate the vibrancy of the pink roses at the center of each place setting.
Small and large patterns of roses on each plate complement each other, while the vibrant pink hues in the flowers and napkins punctuate the vibrancy of the pink roses at the center of each place setting.

Include feminine details

What’s the easiest way to turn an ordinary table into a romantic table? The answer is feminine details. Of course our rosy plates add feminine charm, but go ahead and add one or two more girly elements, just remember not to go too over the top with frills and such. To keep this table from looking stuffy, an eyelet table runner does the trick and adds a little whimsy to this whole look. 

Set peonies at the center of the table as you collect and display rose china patterned servingware.
Gorgeous peonies mimic the shape of the cabbage roses patterned on this new pitcher. Set at the center of the table, this display of fresh flowers takes only a minute to put together, and adds a bit of drama to the table

Incorporate modern elements

A few modern elements help keep the table from looking a little too old-fashioned. As romantic as roses are, a pitcher of pink peonies adds modern flair to the table, while the colors of these fresh flowers work perfectly with the roses on the plates. Vintage bamboo flatware offers the perfect contrast against the pink tye-dyed napkins and both these elements add a much needed dose of fun to this tablescape.  

As you collect and display rose china patterns, pink peonies add a modern flair to the vintage inspired tablescape.
As romantic as roses are, pink peonies add modern flair to the table, and the two tones in these flowers work perfectly with the rest of the table.

Collect what you love

Vintage or new, rose patterned dinnerware is fun to collect, but if your passion is collecting another type of china, you can still keep these tips in mind when setting your table. The same rules apply for other fun collectable plates like transferware or cabbageware.  Just remember to mix and match, accessorize with a fun color, add a modern touch and incorporate feminine details. Your table is sure to be a hit with your friends and family! 

Collect and display rose china patterned plates with hints of pink as a common motif for your vintage tablescape.
Two different patterns of china are used at each place setting with a simple white ironstone plate visually anchoring the look. And of course, hints of pink are a common thread used throughout this tablescape.

Crafting elegant tablescapes is one of Fabiana’s many talents and passions. She regularly shares her inspiring designs on her blog, Ciao! Newport Beach and on instagram.

A Fresh Home Makeover for a New Beginning

Turning over a new leaf in life calls for a fresh interior to match.

Kathryn Ivey used a leather loveseat to balance the room's color palette.
A low profile loveseat and slipper chairs keep the space open, as the living room flows to the dining room. “Because we were using light colors and textures, I wanted something heartier to balance it, so we used a camel leather to cover a loveseat,” Kathryn says.

Sometimes all you need for a new beginning is to start right where you’re at. Rather than move to a new place, opt for a top-to-bottom makeover and turn your house into the home you’ve always dreamed of.

Wanting a fresh start for herself and her two children after a divorce, this homeowner seized the opportunity to redesign every room in her own style. “It was a full facelift for the entire home, and her way of reflecting the new season she was entering with her kids,” says interior designer Kathryn Ivey.

The living room, though formal, does not sacrifice comfort when it comes to seating.
The chandelier features lily-of-the-valley shaped bells made of porcelain.

Leaving no detail untouched, they infused her personal style into every design decision, making over the once-ordinary home in suburban Washington, D.C. with heavy, ornate furniture into a more transitional style of home with a light and airy feminine flair.

“Along with bringing the interior up to date, she had a clear aesthetic in terms of what she enjoys, which is very feminine colors and soft textures, and she wanted it to be a relaxing space,” Kathryn says. Here are the details behind creating the soothing, cohesive look.

the homeowner loves a little bit of sparkle, so the Ceasarstone counter surfaces have a little shimmer to them, while overhead crystal pendants add glamour.

Opening up

Delicate hues of cream, white, gray and blue were key to the home’s transformation. Continuing the color scheme keeps the rooms flowing from one to the next and brings the entire design together.

Like most other family houses, the kitchen is the heart of the home and connects to the breakfast area. They elected to remove the kitchen cabinet fronts for show-off open shelving, which the homeowner loves to decorate with her colorful glassware.

With multi-functionality in mind, the breakfast room table, located between the kitchen and family room, is also a desk and a command center.

The breakfast room serves as a sort of pass-through area, but they covered the walls here in a Phillip Jeffries woven grasscloth to give it a sense of place. “It has a beautiful texture to it with blues, grays and greens in it that lead into the family room where we used Farrow & Ball Blackened paint, which is the faintest blue-gray,” Kathryn says.

A barely-there lucite side table adds to the family room’s airy atmosphere.

While the soft color palette visually expands the space, other design tricks create the light and bright feeling throughout. To bring in as much light as possible, they opted not to hide the windows behind window treatments.

With a little help from furnishings such as glass coffee tables, mirrored chests and a buffet, and transparent lucite chairs that reflect light, the clean and simple palette feels very feminine and glamorous.

A glass-front cabinet displays treasures and stores clutter
A traditional cabinet displays treasure and stores family room clutter away, while gracefully balancing the space.

Maximizing storage and space

Even in a spacious home, storage is necessary. Kathryn worked with the family to figure out how they used every space in the home—and what would make sense for storage and minimizing clutter.

They created storage to fit each space such as custom built-in cabinetry or large bookshelves. In the case of the family room, Kathryn explains, “It was a need for storage, but also a need to take up space because the rooms are so large. You have these large blank walls that need a focal point, but you’re always going to need storage.”

A light and airy master bedroom
The master bedroom perfectly combines light and airy with plush and cozy.
The reading nook is the perfect place to relax.
Reflective surfaces, like the mirrored nightstands, are a glamorous addition to the neutral bedroom.


They added a custom uphostered daybed to the master bedroom, daybed surrounded by bookshelves as a casual reading spot. “Her daughter loves to come in and hang out so we upholstered the daybed in a blush linen fabric and added a grasscloth wallpaper behind it and bookshelves as well,” Kathryn says.

Floral wallpaper makes a statement on the ceiling, while still appearing feminine and delicate.

One pretty focal point in the entire home is a space that solely belongs to mom: her master closet, which was completely designed as an elegant dressing area.

With such high ceilings, Kathryn decided to use the top perimeter of the closet to add small cabinets for storing hats and seasonal items. “If you have a lack of space, height is your friend,” Kathryn says.

The free-standing soaking tub is an elegant focal point in the master bath. The shades can be drawn for privacy, but will still allow sunshine.
Surrounded by pale pinks, creamy whites and other dreamy finishes, the vanity chair’s cheetah print cushion add a wild element of interest.

Then in the adjoining master bathroom, they created two pretty vanities with Venetian mirrors, one with a mirrored glass makeup tabletop.

“She loved the idea of white-washed wood floors, which isn’t practical for a bathroom, so we went with a porcelain floor that looked like white painted wood and it turned out absolutely beautiful,” Kathryn says.

3 Ways to Balance Comfort and Clutter:

  • Choose attractive furniture pieces you love that are also practical. For example, opt for soft furnishings that save space and are easy to clean, like upholstered ottomans and slipcovered sofas.
  • A cheerful painting in the entryway is a welcome first impression.

    Add storage to every space, no matter its size. Whether you add built-in cabinets or some sort of shelves, storage is a must. Don’t just go for utilitarian pieces; select the prettiest storage pieces you can find that become design features in a space.

  • Accessorize, but continue to cull. “The small things (throws, art and lighting) are as important as the large pieces, like the sofas, chairs and bookcases, but they add warmth and personality,” Kathryn says. “You need to always be cultivating your spaces with an edited eye and add those things that mean a lot to you,” Kathryn says.

How to Blend Faux and Fresh Greenery

Get the best of both worlds for your holiday decor.

Gay’s canine companion, Riley, enjoys the front porch decor.

The traditions of yesteryear included a freshly-cut Christmas tree and boughs of holly brought into the home a few days before Santa was to descend the chimney. Today, reproduction trees and greens are so life-like we are tempted to deck the halls with them soon after the last of the pumpkin pie has been devoured. But doing so leaves little opportunity to display and enjoy the bountiful fresh greenery of the season.

It’s easy to have the best of both worlds, though. You can decorate early with faux greens and incorporate fresh seasonal foliage into your Christmas collections for a cheery holiday look. Here’s how:

  • During the first week of December, take a walk to your local park or bike path with a large basket or tote. Gather all the greenery you can find, bring it home to soak in a large bucket filled with water. Keep it in a cool spot (garage or basement) until you’re ready to use it.

    Tuck fresh sprigs into stockings
  • Tie small green bundles together with festive ribbon, and tuck them into your stockings hung by the chimney, add them to doorknobs, and use them as embellishments on all your Christmas décor throughout the home.

    Ice skates make a unique, winter themed display.
  • Tie sprigs of aromatic pine branches into your faux wreaths and stairway greens near the front door. The breeze that comes in when the door is opened will fill your home with the fresh aroma of the Christmas. 
  • Always use small branches so that when they need to be replenished you won’t have to redo the entire display.

A little bit of greenery goes a long way in making your home feel merry and bright for the holidays. For a warm and welcoming Christmas style, bring in the colors, textures and beauty of the season.

For more on Gay Van Beek, visit

Seven Valentine Treats for a Sweet Holiday

Make something beautiful and delicious for someone you love this year.

Valentine's Day lace cookies
Recipe and Photography by Ayda Algin

A candy box at the grocery store can borderline tacky. The love you have for your significant other is beautiful—so your Valentine’s Day treat to him or her should be too. But you don’t need to phone the local bakery for a flashy cake wrapped in layers of expensive fondant. We’ve compiled a list of recipes you can do yourself that will make any pastry chef’s head turn!

Lacy Valentine’s Day Cookies

Make sure your cookies taste as good as they look! This sugar cookie recipe serves as the perfect base to royal icing imprinted with lace.

Recipe here.

Pink champagne cake
Recipe and Photography courtesy of Olivia, Liv for Cake.

Pink Champagne Cake

Want to rekindle the spark in your relationship? This cake will do just that—and not just because it’s topped with lighted sparklers. With an exciting kick of champagne and the dreamy taste of vanilla buttercream, you’ll float higher to cloud nine with each bite.

Recipe here.


Pecan Linzer cookies
Recipe and Photography Courtesy of

Pecan Linzer Cookies with Cherry Filling

Love can sometimes drive you nutty—which is why these pecan-flavored cookies are appropriate for the occasion. But with an oh-so-sweet cherry filling, the soft touch of confectioner’s sugar and adorable heart cut-outs to top it all off, these charming cookies will only bring back sweet memories of love.

Recipe here.

rose petal chocolate bark
Recipe and Photography Courtesy of Ella Leché, Pure Ella

Rose Petal Dark Chocolate Bar

This recipe combines the world’s most popular aphrodisiacs—chocolate and roses—for the ultimate Valentine’s Day delicacy. Not only does the ingredient list call for dark chocolate, but it asks to include a secret, adults-only flavor: raw maca powder. No store-bought box of chocolates can inspire the same romantic feelings this chocolate bar will bring.

Recipe here.

red velvet heart cupcakes
Recipe and Photography Courtesy of Steph, Raspberri Cupcakes

Red Velvet Melting Moments

If you’re not fond of desserts heavy on the sweet side, these shortbread biscuits are your saviors from the usual Valentine’s Day cookies and chocolates. The biscuits’ red velvet flavoring and the cream cheese icing smushed between them will still give you a reasonable amount of sugary goodness.

Recipe here.

strawberry pops
Recipe and Photography Courtesy of Sommer, A Spicy Perspective

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Pops

Chocolate-dipped strawberries are cliche. Reinvent these classic Valentine treats by turning them into strawberry pops! Add stripes of red, pink and white with melting candies, and adorn the cute pops with ribbons and sprinkles. These adorable pops are especially perfect to serve at parties.

Recipe here.

heart cake roll
Recipe and Photography Courtesy of Tasbih, Cleobuttera

“Love is All Around” Cake Roll

Wow your significant other with a dessert that looks like it came straight out of Food Network. This patterned cake roll may look complex, but the recipe actually requires boxed cake mix. Not only is it the epitome of a Valentine treat with its sprawl of hearts and bright pink hue, but this cake roll is the perfect introduction to tackling the often daunting realm of patterned baked goods.

Recipe here.



Decorating for Spring in Pink and Green

Decorating for spring in shabby chic style with green walls, white furniture and pink cushionsDecorating for Spring

Springtime always arrives like a surprise. When the first hint of spring wafts in on a late winter breeze, it makes us pause, take a deep breath, and then let it out again with the reassurance that, soon, the trees will blush pink and the world will turn green once more.

You can capture that moment of anticipation all year long by choosing the right color scheme for your room. The green walls shown here are color of new plants peeping out of the earth, and provide a nurturing background for the blushing pink pillow on the sofa.

Don’t overdress the simple spring setting with too many accessories. A bit of bling and a bouquet of flowers are all you need to convey the fresh, vibrant feelings of springtime.

Get the Look: Pretty in Pink

Get the look of this bright pink room with these frilly finds.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, which means lots of pink. But October is months away, so we think February should be the official Pink month. In honor of Romantic Home’s favorite color, here’s an adorable pink bedroom and some of our favorite pink finds from around the web.

Romantic Pink Bedroom

Bedroom Bench

This fun tufted bench would look perfect under a windowsill as a faux window bench, or even standing in the hallway next to a side table.

Blushing Chandelier

This chandelier will add the perfect pink sparkle to your home. Try it in a bedroom, the kitchen or even a breakfast nook.

Blushing Chandelier


Lacy Comfort

This comforter set would contribute to the ultimate romantic bedroom with white walls and some rose petals scattered along the windowsill.

romantic bedroom


Pillow Fest

Jazz up a contrasting bed color with pink pillows! Even if you don’t have a pink bedroom, a touch of blush wouldn’t hurt.



Seeing Pink

This fun mirror will brighten up a space and add a touch of pink, even if the shade isn’t your main color.

fun mirror

House Tour: The Shabby Sophisticate

A sophisticated take on shabby cottage design, this home embraces white and pink with a grownup sensibility and style.
A sophisticated take on shabby cottage design, this home embraces white and pink with a grownup sensibility and style. The glossy, dark wood floors are anchor the  slip-covered sofa and soft silk curtains.

While most people seek out artwork that match their home decór, homeowner Christine Derderian had different ideas. Chris wanted a living space that not only made her shabby cottage dreams come true, but also showcased her 27-piece collection of artwork by painter Susan Brown. Enter interior designer Catherine Wiley, who was happy to take on the project.

“Chris has a very strong sense of what she likes,” says Catherine. “She knew what she wanted.” What Chris wanted was a home that was soft, feminine, and filled with flowers. Pink was a must.

A dining room table surrounded by white and dark-pink chairs
The secret to decorating with a strong color is moderation, variation and consistency. This dark pink hue shows up throughout the owner’s home, but never overwhelms. Here, two pink and black chairs make a strong impact against the white table and side chairs. The upholstery echoes the chair in the painting, but is different enough to make it interesting.

The 4,000-square-foot home was built in the the 1990s, but had already been through multiple remodels and additions, creating what Catherine calls, “extended cottage architecture.” She encouraged Chris’ ideas of filling the home with true cottage ambiance. “The house can become what you want it to be – in spite of itself.”

The multiple remodels actually helped them out. “It all seems to blend and flow into one another,” says Catherine. “We could get creative and make a cottage out of it because of all the remodels.”

An all white office is brightened up by the shabby bright pink desk
The distressed pink desk is the anchor for this all white home office – a dreamy space for grown ups.

The first step in the design process was deciding which paintings would go there. Once the artwork was placed, Catherine pulled colors directly from the artwork to build the color palette for each room. “I went from color to color, concept to concept, using the artwork as a guide. I pulled colors from the art for each room – pink, soft-green, gray, beige, rouge – so it resembled the romantic color palette of the artwork. That’s how all these soft colors came together.”

Custom paint colors was key to Catherine’s approach. “There wasn’t one paint color taken straight from the can. We mixed the colors tot get the desired effect. I haven’t used paint from a can in years.”

A chair and ottoman upholstered in dark pink sit in front of a large floral artwork
A piece of artwork can become the inspiration for an entire room. Here, the designer upholstered furniture pieces in colors drawn straight from the artwork behind. Set against the neutral walls and floors, the combination is dramatic and beautiful.

Hardwood floors replaced the carpeting throughout the house, stained to a dark and glossy hue to provide contrast the soft color palette. The effect is striking and sophisticated, highlighting the gorgeous colors and making features like the delicate pleating on the slipcovers and the breezy silk curtains really stand out.

Deep pink walls and a white bathroom sink
Don’t be afraid of strong colors, even in a small space like this bathroom. Here, the white paneling below the wainscoting balances the deep-hued pink and keeps the color from being overwhelming.

“People don’t know how to tell you technically what they want,” says Catherine, “but they say, ‘This is what I love.'” This, of course, the secret of true romantic design – enveloping yourself in all the things you love the most.

“With the help of Catherine,” says Chris, “This house is everything I ever wanted in a home. It is a very peaceful, welcoming, warm home, and I do believe I will never move from here.”

A black and white damask arm chair in front of a painting of a dancer by artist Susan Brown
Blank and white is the perfect counterpoint to the strong pinks throughout the home.