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china

ENTERTAINING Featured

Enjoy the Sun With a Fun Summer Picnic

One of my favorite activities during the summer is enjoying a fabulous meal outdoors. There’s something so rustic and charming about spreading out a blanket, enjoying the sunshine, and dining with people I love.

That said, enjoying a gorgeous and memorable picnic can take some planning. After all, not all color palettes work well outdoors, and some foods don’t fare well under the hot summer rays. To help make it easier to throw your own park date or lawn-based dinner party, I’ve put together an overview of my own favorite “tablescape” for the summer.

Enjoy an elegant meal outdoors with these simple but elegant summer picnic tips.

Tip #1: Your blanket is your tablecloth

Rather than using a tablecloth as the background to the art piece that is your tablescape, the tone for your design is set by the blanket you use. So, while comfort is definitely important for a piece that you’ll sit or even lie on, you also want a blanket that contributes to your overall color scheme.

For my table setting, I went with a neutral hazelnut color, complementing it with pale dogwood pillows and some bright white flourishes. Because spring color trends are still in full effect, much of my inspiration drew from Pantone’s spring 2017 fashion color report. Many of the accent items were also inspired by these trends, including the kale color of the San Pellegrino bottles, the flame label of the champagne bottle, and even the pink yarrow of the flowers. Plus, all of these colors work great against the green grass and island paradise hue of the sky!

Tip #2: Stay hydrated

Whatever delicious cocktail or rosé you may be enjoying while lounging on the lawn, remember that it’s also important to stay hydrated in the summer heat—which means also including a few bottles of water that contribute as much to your design as your health. I love bringing in some simple glass bottles, a gorgeous pitcher, or even some sparkling water with a distinctly European flair.

Tip #3: Use some truly stunning china

While some picnickers prefer paper or plastic plates, I prefer using my favorite chinaware from our Lionel Richie Home Collection (my dishes were from the London and Riviera lines)—they mix and match so well that it’s easy to make a fun and sophisticated pairing.

Just don’t forget to pair that china with some equally gorgeous stemware, such as Manhattan champagne flutes, also from the Lionel Richie Home Collection.

Tip #4: Bring it all together

I love finishing my design with some deliciously natural elements, including small sprigs of flowers, a few candles from The Estate Collection, a wooden tray, and a simple wicker basket. I also brought a few crochet towels which serve both as cloth napkins and packaging protection for my china.

The most important part, however, is sharing your experience with people you love. After all, there’s nothing that brings an event together like laughter, great memories, and wonderful company.

 

 

ENTERTAINING Featured

The Difference between China and Porcelain

chinavsporcelain

So what is the difference between China and Porcelain? Not much! In fact, these different terms are used to describe the same product: “porcelain” is more popular in Europe while “china” is more commonly used in America.

So what is china?

China is typically crafted from a combination of clay, kaolin, feldspar, and quartz. Unlike stoneware, china becomes very white and translucent when fired. Due to its delicate beauty, china is at the top of the list of ceramic products.

When describing dinnerware, the words porcelain and china are often used interchangeably. However, there is a slight difference between bone china and porcelain china.

Villeroy & Boch Old Luxembourg

 

Bone China

is made using translucent white ceramic clay and is known for a more delicate and refined look. In England, the percentage of bone ash must be at least 50% for a piece to be considered bone china.

Bone china is usually thinner with smoother glaze than porcelain china. Bone ash gives the body  a unique milky white color and adds a translucent quality to the body of the dinnerware.

To quickly test to see if your plate is porcelain or bone china, hold the plate up to the light or sunlight. You should be able to see the shadow of your hand behind the plate if it is true bone china.

Hermes MosaiqueMy Favorite China Brands

Popular brands known for high-quality china include Villeroy & Boch, Rosental, Hutschenreuther, Rosental meets Versace.

China patterns have even made their way to the runway. Valentio, Roberto Cavalli and Naeem Khan’s Pre-fall Collection include gowns reminiscent of blue-and-white porcelain patterns of classic china.

China for All Occassions

BONE CHINA: is the strongest, most sophisticated of all china materials. Slightly translucent, milky white tone. A blend of bone ashes and porcelain. Use this for fancy dinner parties, important guests, and holidays.

PORCELAIN: High firing temperatures give this opulent favorite durability and a glowing, non-porous surface. Sometimes decorated or hand painted with gold or silver accents. Porcelain is perfect to elevate everyday uses, dinner parties, and luncheons.

IRONSTONE: This is a highly durable alternative to porcelain. While sharing many of the characteristics of porcelain, ironstone is more casual and reasonable and in some cases a better alternative for everyday dining, breakfast, and lunch.

How to Care for Your China

While Porcelain and Bone China are generally safe to use in the dishwasher, consult the manufacturer before running them through. Gentle hand-washing and drying is often recommended.

Be careful near the microwave! Metallic details including gold or silver rims are never microwave safe and will cause a mini lighting scenario in your kitchen. Heat up and prepare food on a different platter than you serve them to be safe.

Pictured: Valentino Dress, Hermes Mosaic Collection Presentation plate, Rosental mets Versace The Butterfly Garden.

Versace jardin

blue-white-ginger-jars-framed-prints-wall-decor-gilded-chandelier-dining-room-decorating-ideas-veranda

What is your favorite China Collection? Comment below!