More people have jumped onto the trend for ‘mis-matched’ china as a way of livening up the dinner table.

Plain white china may be the preferred choice for chefs who want to give the best possible backdrop for their creative, arty cuisine – but it can get a bit boring to use at home week in and week out.

Perhaps that’s why more people have jumped onto the trend for ‘mis-matched’ china as a way of livening up the dinner table and creating a talking point..  

Colourful, chintzy tableware in a variety of patterns first became a thing at girly tea parties and wedding receptions but now it’s gone more mainstream, as part of the trend in interiors for “maximalism” as opposed to minimalism.

Mixing rich colours and patterns certainly livens up a table – and as well as being fun, it’s a look that can be easily achieved on a budget.

Check out any charity shop, boot sale or second hand store and you’ll find a treasure trove of patterned china from the ultra-florid Edwardian era right through to Art Nouveau and Art Deco pieces from the 1920s and 30s and the more geometric designs of the 1960s and 70s.

Individual items can often be picked up for pocket money prices, and added to the collection of treasures in your kitchen cupboard or dresser.

Afternoon tea becomes an occasion when you bring out a collection of delicate teacups and saucers or beautifully painted cake or sandwich plates.

Even if you prefer to stick with your basic white dinnerware, why not introduce a set of mis-matched vintage dessert plates to bring a bit of colour to the pudding course, or some mis-matched breadplates to sit on the side.

And if you want to enjoy your lovely china treasures away from mealtimes, you can acknowledge their true value as vintage art, by mounting a collection on the wall.  Alternatively,  use your vintage cups and saucers as plant holders, sugar bowls to hold pot pourri or sweets, and cream jugs as flower vases.