January can be an opportune time for pitching, repurposing and purchasing. While assessing the wear and tear of seasonal decor, why not take inventory of other household items, too? Can your dishware withstand another dinner party? Are kitchen utensils starting to resemble artifacts from archeological digs? Or perhaps entertaining space could simply benefit from a decorative boost. Even if Santa didn’t load your stocking with home-goods gift cards, not to worry. A little supplementing, expert tips and do-it-yourself tricks can transform your serving ware from duds to studs.
Those who covet sturdy plastic ware may be reluctant to part with it. Although plastic utensils and cooking and serving items can withstand many a party and dishwasher, it may be time to consider pitching and replacing. “Cooking utensils, especially plastic, silicone and rubber versions, take a beating during the holidays,” said Catie Parrish, chief homemaker and design expert for Wayfair. “Swap these out for metal whisks and wooden spoons as needed, but be sure to have appropriate utensils for nonstick cookware.”
Repair and repurpose
When in doubt, you need not always throw it out … especially if it’s a matter of breakage. ApartmentTherapy.com, inspired by design book author and regular HGTV commentator Maxwell Ryan, offers several tips on how to repair and repurpose damaged entertaining pieces. For example, the site offers a tutorial on how to repair chipped china by first removing residue with rubbing alcohol, followed by re-attaching broken sections with a quick-drying epoxy combined with artist’s powder filler. After drying, sandpaper can be used to smooth the ceramic’s surface. Oil-based artist’s paint can be used as a finishing glaze. For full instructions, visit ApartmentTherapy.com.
If entertaining stock suffers from the blahs rather than breakage, it may be time to repurpose. When a chair or couch needs a facelift, new fabric can give it a boost. If kitchen utensils and serving ware appear dull, a little paint can go a long way. Visit www.sarahhearts.com for a play-by-play from designer Sarah Khandjian on how to use acrylic paint to spruce the handles of wooden kitchen utensils. Select colors to match existing dishware and entertaining collections. Or, create multiple sets to accompany various seasonal decor. Try experimenting with stripes, or incorporate a wood cutting board to paint with matching colors.
Rather than retire a prized, albeit dated entertaining set, add to it instead. “Supplement what you have with white, or mix and match a variety of patterns in a color you love,” Parrish said. “A hodgepodge of blue and white dishes looks charming, not tacky.”
Many kitchens contain a mixture of wood, metal and copper utensils and serving ware. Pinterest can be a gold mine for maximizing the aesthetics of eclectic collections. One popular trend: labeling Mason jars in chalkboard paint that contain spoons, whisks, spatulas and more. Or, if kitchen space permits, conceal utensils in a variety of colorful vases, jars and ceramics on accessible shelving.
If DIY kitchen power has reached its full potential, it may be time to make a few purchases. After the essential supplement items have been added, a few frivolous and fun finds can pep up entertaining space without packing a punch to the wallet.
“Family-style meals for company are coming back into popularity, so consider purchasing a lazy Susan for help-yourself serving,” Parrish said. “Another fun item to consider purchasing are mini individual salt and pepper servers to place at each setting. Guests can season their food as they please without hunting down the salt and pepper shakers.”
Vintage-inspired serving ware has become a popular and timeless trend. Visit Etsy for a mecca of unique finds like Bumble Beading’s “ Ocean-Colored Beaded Pie Server” or a “ Retro Tangerine Drink Set,” by Vintage Handmade Perth.
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