- Are you at ease with human-made items of beauty?
I recently heard a story about a woman with her future groom registering for their wedding. They exclaimed over the price of a stainless steel flatware place setting to the salesperson.
“Forty-four dollars? How many people can eat with this setting?”
“One!?” And they walked away shaking their heads.
Now, I am sure there were a number of facets involved in their decision. And my point in telling this story is not to debate purchasing items for your tabletop when world hunger is not yet solved or child labor is used for imported American goods.
I also know a home is not built on what one possesses.
But I tell the story because my heart was saddened that they held no vision for the value of gathering beautiful items. After all, why purchase less of quality (or ask your friends to) when one can buy enough to overfill the silverware drawer for the same price?
Here are four reasons Tea Party Girl suggests choosing quality over quantity when it comes to gathering items for dressing your table:
- Price is often connected to artistry. Who made the item? Is it stamped “Made in China” or from a company steeped in family tradition and artistry? I suggest it is worth owning one of the latter (and better for the environment on so many levels) than clutter from the former.
- Items that are well-made and taken care of help build your family’s history. When I set a table for tea, I can choose from the cups given to me of my great-aunt, my husband’s great-aunt, my husband’s grandmothers, and my grandmother. My children hear the stories of the women behind these cups. We eat off the plates chosen for our wedding. We only own six, but they add to the history of our family the well-set table represents. And when the heartbreaking day comes when my mother passes away, she will leave me items that will add to the table, tangible memories of her style and the many meals she prepared and served us over the years.
- Beautiful items can bless YOU. How much emotional investment do you place on the kitchen item you picked up at your local Big Box store? Probably not a lot. And many items in our homes are used for utilitarian purposes. Why NOT pick-up the inexpensive option? But what if we took the time to learn what we love and use our purchasing choices to build an expression of our unique creativity; slowly gather the items for our homes that communicate beauty to us? This can be difficult to do with the options at Stuff-Mart. Thankfully, thrift stores and eBay allow some of us to make our choices at more reasonable prices. It takes more time often to find what you want, but how rewarding once you do! In other words, don’t always be blinded by the price of something so you ultimately reject its possible value. Ask questions, find out why something costs what it does, and be open to learning something new.
Are you inspired to gather items for a beautifully set table? Need more information? Here are a few books I recommend to add to your library for reference:
- Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your Home
- Mrs. Dunwoody’s Excellent Instructions for Homekeeping: Timeless Wisdom and Practical Advice
- The Art of the Table: A Complete Guide to Table Setting, Table Manners, and Tableware