Cups, Saucers and Basic Table Décor

Not everyone not everyone grabs a matching cup and saucer when they want to have a cup of tea. In fact many people seem to enjoy drinking tea from a mug instead. I can understand that, as you can certainly get a lot more tea into a mug than into a regular sized teacup. However, it is nice upon occasion to set out matching cups and saucers, especially if you are entertaining guests or even if you feel like treating yourself to a special afternoon tea.

While it may be surprising to some people, you do need to get some thought and attention to the types of cups, saucers and other tea accessories you use. Clearly, you should never use saucers that do not match the cup that is sitting on them–for example a gold tea cup on a blue saucer–unless it is really a set! While that may seem a little ludicrous to some people I have actually seen it happen. However there is more to basic table décor than merely using matching cups and saucers or in the placement of the cup saucer and other tea ware.

For example, you may need to pay particular attention to what is on your crockery sets. If, for example, you have beautiful, floral cups and saucers you may want to avoid laying down any floral tablecloth as the whole table can look simply far too busy. If you do have a floral or a patterned tablecloth it is far better to use plain colored cups and saucers, preferably trying to match the color of the cup and saucer with one of the colors present on the tablecloth. Choosing a cups and saucers carefully and matching them with your other dining ware and your table setting can really be quite a lot of fun, sometimes challenging but always very effective. There are times when you could use patterned cups and saucers and a patterned tablecloth, you would just need to be sure that the patterns enhance each other and did not clash.

You should also try to match your napkins and napkin rings with your tea cups as well. If you have the type of teacups that have either a silver or a gold rim around the top of the teacup you really should try to make sure your napkin rings are the same metallic color, usually either gold or silver. Little touches like this will really make a difference in your overall table setting.

Another way to really accentuate the design of the tea sets is to make use of a centerpiece in the middle of the table. Make sure the centerpiece is not overly tall as you will want people to be able to see across it and converse without having to try to dodge around the centerpiece in order to be able to see the other person. Small floral displays often make great centerpieces. If you use a floral display, try to have the colors of the flowers match the colors of the cups and saucers. Or at least have them complement the colors used on the cups and saucers.

If you are entertaining quite a few guests you may not have enough of the same patterned cups and saucers, considering that you often only buy cups & saucers in sets of two, four or six. It is perfectly acceptable to have two different sets of cups and saucers on the table at the same time. It is best if they do match or at least complement each other. In other words it is nice if you can find a set of saucer cup and perhaps even bread plate with a floral design and then use another different floral design set as opposed to having one floral design set and one with fish or birds on the side of the cup. You can also mix and intermingle sets that are patterned and that are singularly colored. In fact this is something to keep in mind if you ever buy sets of cups and saucers. Always remember that there may be circumstances when you will be using the tea cup and saucer set with your other sets and try to see if you can at least buy sets that match with your other sets. Of course, sometimes you do not have any control over the sets of cups and saucers that you receive; maybe someone gives them to you as a gift or maybe they are inherited and passed down from your mother or grandmother for example. In these cases you simply have to do the best you can with what you have, but if you ever buy any other sets tried to look for sets that you can use with what you currently have.  Just remember, matching cups on matching saucers.

You can also become very creative with your use of cups and saucers. While they are primarily used of course for drinking tea there may be times when you only have one cup and saucer left in a set. Sometimes, rather than using this for drinking tea you can set it out as a decorative item. If the cup & saucer is decorative enough it can stand alone as its own declaration, or you could try some really unusual and creative ideas. For example you could use it as a small pot plant holder and set it on the window seal of your kitchen. Or you can fill it with potpourri or even use it to hold a decorative wax candle.

While I love the convenience of tea bags and k cups nothing is quite the same as a well set out matching tea set!

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