Decorating & Design

May 19, 2009


Okay so I’ll admit it — I’m obsessed. I’m in love with all things “ye olde English garden” at the moment. There’s something about those rolling English hills in the Lake District and the faded floral chintzes, linens and plasterwork that get me going. Robbie and Cecilia (a.k.a. James McAvoy and Keira Knightley) in 2007’s Atonement didn’t help my case either. Those sets, those gardens, those accents! I think we’re all yearning for a little timeworn romance in our spaces right now, and I have just the budget fix!

willow blue dinnerware set

Enter the classic and timeless blue and white Johnson Brothers Willow-Blue dinnerware collection (above). A 20-piece set is on sale until May 31st at Rob McIntosh for only $140! The Johnson Brothers Willow-Blue Tea Set below (13 pieces for $140, on sale until July 19th) is also a bargain from none other than Sears! These steals are about the same amount you would pay for a single plate in some of the shops I frequent as an editor. You’ll see similar patterns in many an English nana’s cottage, and in many pricey antique shops to boot! Fortunately, these offerings are high on style and low on wallet smarting.

Willow blue tea set

The Blue Willow from Sears is a steal, but here are some more options to whet your appetite. These are true antiques from Cynthia Findlay Antiques (below). Now some are very old and therefore very expensive. But as I mentioned, this pattern has been made for years and some of these examples are from the 20th century. You can get some side plates for under $20 at Cynthia’s! So why not create a mix-and-match collection that spans the decades and is truly personal. You can add to it over time and really get that heirloom-quality, layered look from a bunch of different sources.

true blue willow antique dinnerware

So if you’re like me, and thinking of brewing a cuppa and settling in with some Lord Byron, do yourself a favour and set your linen cloth-covered table with this classic Willow-Blue pattern.

Photo credits:
1. Rob McIntosh
2. Tea set, Sears
3. Michael Penney