blue & white finds

by | Jan 23, 2018 | All Things Home, Antiques, Decorating, Favorite Finds | 76 comments

I will admit that I am basically a collector of blue and white things.  If I spot it in a store, I am drawn to it like a magnet.

My mom and I went to Home Goods a couple of days ago and, front and center, there was a display featuring blue and white.  On the display was a pair of Ralph Lauren pillows in a blue and white check.  I impulsively went to grab them.  I hesitated.  First of all, I have enough pillows and most of them end up strewn all over the floor.  Second, I have enough blue and white check and this particular pattern didn’t match any of them.  So, I left them there for someone else to buy.

I didn’t resist blue and white finds altogether, though!

Before Thanksgiving, I spotted some pretty blue & white Johnson Bros plates, also at Home Goods.  I thought about getting them to supplement the white ironstone we use everyday.  The plates are more of a lunch size, which is perfect for everyday, but there are some meals that need a bit more room!

I talked myself out of them that day, though.  I have a lot of plates.  More than a lot.  I could feed an entire professional football team, including back-ups and those on injured reserve on all of my plates.  But many of those are very old and not suitable for regular use (not microwave & dishwasher safe, possible lead in the glaze, etc.)  So, those plates stuck in my mind.

When I found eight of them on this most recent shopping trip, I didn’t think twice this time.  (It also helped that I had a gift card burning a hole in my purse.)

It’s the Devon Cottage pattern by Johnson Bros. and it’s so pretty.

My other recent blue & white find was these cotton tea towels from Target…

They really aren’t absorbent enough to use as dish towels, but they are great to use as oversized napkins.  I have collected eight of them from various trips to Target and I am just smitten with the simple design.

What I love most about collecting a color palette is that I can put together a bunch of things that have been collected over time and they all work.

What color palette do you collect?


  1. Kristyn

    Oh just the picture of the blue and white makes my heart skip a beat! I love it!! I always have and I’m pretty sure I always will! Now I want to run to a home goods and find those plates because they sound like they size I’ve been needing! Thanks so much for sharing all of you’re finds!

  2. Christina

    I cannot resist blue and white at any time, aND although I admire your forbearance in passing up those RL pillows I can’t help wishing I had been the one to find them!!

    Love everything you design, Marian! Stay true to your aesthetic <3 <3

  3. Sofia

    I am blue and white all the way! Probably one of the many reasons I so enjoy your blog-ha! Aren’t the tea towels too large scale-wise for a place setting? I do love that pattern from target though. Thank you for your lovely blog-it’s a bright little spot with my morning coffee. 🙂

  4. Amy

    I love blue and white. I recently hauled a trunk full of old dishes for donation, after moving them all over the country for 15 years and using them a handful of times. It felt silly to try to find storage for one more thing in a new house, which is already overwhelming me in terms of decor, settling in and overall tidiness. But goodness…your blue and white setup is charming and sweet and bright as winter chugs along. I love that you have different patterns, even with the napkins, yet it all melds together into one overall theme. I feel like this might be your superpower. It’s a good one to have.

  5. Elizabeth

    Blue and white too! I love other colors but I get tired of them in my home. I have started collecting Johnson brothers coaching scenes dishes ! I will have to check my local TJ Maxx for other patterns by then.

  6. Kim

    I also love blue and white! Do you have any recommendation for good affordable set of nice white dinnerware. I have blue now and have been considering mixing in white.

  7. Becky Delson

    I am also a die-hard blue and white fan. When we got married eighteen years ago, Pfaltzgraff made a pattern called Indigo Rose for their Nautica Bermuda line. We registered for a set and now have about 15 of the dinner plates, plus a big serving bowl, a platter, and a few odds and ends. Not antique ironstone obviously, but I love them! Despite a large set of pretty china passed down from my great-grandmother, I always seem to haul out the Indigo Rose for Christmas dinner.

  8. Teresa

    Blue & White is a timeless classic that never goes out of style. However, while I love blue & white, I never really use the combo until the warmer summer months. I know its a year round staple but for some reason I only use it during the summer.

  9. Lee Ann

    These are beautiful, so inspiring and bright. While our “everyday” dishes are various blue and white patterns (with a tad of green thrown in), our “special occasion” dishes are gold and white … variousantique patterns. Both my partner’s grandmothers and my great grandmother, as well as a couple of aunts, had different gold-rimmed china patterns. We love combining those sets for special dinners. Many years ago, I found a pretty set of gold (colored!) flatware from Horchow, and at a Mikasa outlet, a beautiful set of gold-rimmed crystal glasses by Oscar de la Renta, so those complete the table.

  10. downraspberrylane

    Blue and white for me ever since I was a little girl admiring my grandmother’s collection in her curio cabinet. These are lovely Marian, and I’m going to try to get a couple of those tea towels today (if the roads aren’t too bad from our snowstorm yesterday).

  11. Barbara

    I have always been drawn to blue, ever since I was little. My mother bought me blue kitchenware as a young adult starting on my own. Over the years, I have decorated in different styles and colors, but always was drawn back to blue. I’m glad it’s making a comeback in decor. Beautiful finds, and have a great time with your mom! Blessings!

  12. Betsy

    My heart jumps when I see anything blue and white. I have the older Johnson Brothers Blue Willow, back when it was still manufactured in England. If it was made in England I grab it. Scoping out second hand stores is always fun.

  13. Robbie Zeller

    Marian, I love blue and white too and always enjoy seeing your collections and how you put them together. You do it in such a wonderful way!

  14. Mary in VA

    Don’t you just love Home Goods?! The blue and white plates are so pretty, glad you found them.

  15. molly

    ha! must be the only non-B&W reader😉. i love browns and greens and neutrals with bits of many other colors. i kind of pride myself on keeping a serene connected flow going while using a surprising number of colors. Mainly by having lots of neutrals and leaving enough empty space, and combining muted shades or colors with true colors.
    my mil and gmil and mom all have lots of blue though, and i do appreciate the B&W look. its too cool for my personality which is a bit on the cool side.

    • Vicki

      I too am not a big BW collector, neutral with bright colors mixed in…blue is too cool for me but I love green…so restful…

  16. Dina

    And I thought I was the only one! I’ve been collecting blue and white dishes, porcelain – you name it blue for years. In fact, at this time, none of it is on display/used in my tiny studio! But creative be me in where I store all these pieces. It’s an obsession, and my therapy! Along with fabric, and yarn. Have a wonderful, ‘blue’ day!

  17. Karen L.

    We have cream, embossed-like border with natural leaves design everyday dishes, all cream on cream. I’ve put them with mostly greens, which seem to bring out the natural, organic feel to them. I favor deep blues with greens and the cream touches in our home, along with brown leather in the family room. Works well together. Although it’s such a pretty look, blue and white just doesn’t feel like me for some reason. I prefer greens with a touch of blue.

  18. Lynette

    I love green (and often red with it, all year round)! I’m a sucker for anything resembling plant forms (leaves, teapots like cabbages, artichokes and asparagus, platters resembling cabbage leaves, etc.)

  19. Darcy

    Those tea towels are great! And way to show restraint. 🙂 I’ve been working on that too, and it’s HARD! We mostly collect earth colors – rust, red/maroon, leather, tans – but I have a few blues & turquoises in there to punch things up. 🙂

  20. Kim

    Well, I am also a dissenter of sorts, in that my favorite combo is red and white! I also collect brown and white, green and white, and yes, a substantial pile of blue and white. I love bold stark contrast colors like red, white, and black as my décor that I want to live with overall, but I do have a pastel room (the office here) and a brown and cream bedroom. Long ago I used to use the cobalt and white dishes, but retired them. Nevertheless, I cannot pass by a blue and white transferware dish ANYWHERE without potentially buying it. There is one thrift store in town that is THE blue and white mecca, so I get a lot of odds and ends (think sugar bowl lids, random teacups, etc.) there for 99 cents or less. The blue and white pile is massive and we generally use them for photoshoots instead of décor. My daughter has requested that when she goes off to her own house someday, that she is taking the blue and white motherlode with her. I really love reading your blog and others who use blue and white as their main décor, because I get to appreciate its gorgeous beauty in someone else’s house without having to live with it myself. Although I love it nonetheless, I am more energized by red, though I still might create a blue and white room someday just for fun. 🙂

    • Donna

      Red and white are my happy colors too. Glad to see I’m not the only one!

  21. Marilee

    I, too, love blue and white, but my heart always gravitates to what I’d call a sage green and cream color combination, although finding dishes in that color combination isn’t easy, so I have settled on it in my bedroom. We don’t have a Home Goods near us, but Tuesday Morning always has a nice selection of blues and white. Of course, if you don’t buy it when you see it, it won’t be there when you go back.

  22. Susan

    Another blue and white lover here, but I love my green table linens.

    I love Home Goods!

  23. Carrie

    I recently spotted those towels at Target and almost bought them. They have now been haunting my dreams! May need to go back and get a couple 😁

  24. June Pope

    Like you I go straight for anything blue and white…..and then pink.

  25. Sandra

    While I love to see all the different color palettes that people use for their homes; I stick to crème and charcoal/black with one accent color. I have moved many times over the years (domestic and overseas) and know that I will always be able to find crème and charcoal. Each time I move, I select a different accent color to go with the crème and charcoal. Currently, my color scheme is crème, charcoal and brushed metals (champagne, silver, gold). My “shots” of color come from the large vases I have scattered around the house (bedroom, living room, kitchen, foyer, guest room) full of multi colored roses and a smaller vase of roses in my bathroom.

  26. Argelia Brown

    My heart swoons when I see anything in 1930’s green. Which in my house we call it Martha’s green after a family friend. Plus any red transfer ware. Beautimous!!!!

  27. Mary M.

    I too love Johnson Bros. English china. I have a particular pattern that is very French country but does not have a name. I have picked up bits and pieces here and there. Got the idea a few weeks ago to look on eBay. Well my ship came in and I found six dinner plates. I will keep adding to my collection. I have had blue and white Dansk for over
    twenty years and we were down to four plates but many soup bowls. Go figure. These new plates work very
    nicely with the Dansk. Now I need a trip to Home Goods. It is 45 minutes away. Good thing or I would be in
    big trouble “visiting.”

  28. Tracy G

    Pink, pink, pink – any darker rose – white and gold (esp any Old Paris) – and brown and cream transferware

  29. Nan, Odessa, DE

    Red, Red anything!
    You can always find blue and white but looking for red isn’t that plentiful. Sometimes it is too much orange for me to buy. I think your blue and white is beautiful.

    What caught my eye on your table is the covering. Is it feed sack? Linen? Details, please.
    I need this with a RED stripe.

    • downraspberrylane

      Nan, try searching for “pink” instead of red. Even though it looks red to me, I often have found my “red” transferware under “pink”. Take a look on ebay and see what I mean. Maybe you knew this, but it was news to me until recently!

  30. Heidi

    I’m a sage green and deep brown girl. In my head, I add fuschia accents or vibrant purple or cobalt blue, but in reality…everything I own seems to be sage and dark chocolate. Sigh. I’m 35 and still look like I just moved into my first place complete with all the mismatched hand-me-downs and complete lack of intentionality. I get so much inspiration from you, Marian! Just wish “inspiration” translated a little more easily into “action” for me.

  31. Diane

    Oh, Marian, we are kindred spirits. I too have enough dishes to feed a team. In fact, I’ve hosted many sit-down dinners for our whole staff and their spouses…. 30+ people with all the various silver and glassware, too. It’s a crazy thing that I LOVE. And I LOVE your blue and white collection. What a pretty table setting!

  32. Marlene Stephenson

    Blue and white all the way, i love all yours you have a great collection. I know i have quite a few but i don’t care.

  33. DeAnna

    I’m mostly attracted yellow, pink and soft green, but I’ve been on this blue and linen color kick lately because of all the french linens out there. They are so fun and fresh right now. I even bought a light blue stove which isn’t my usual go to color, but it looks great paired with my favorite colors. Who knew? 🙂

  34. Norma

    My daughter and I use to love going antique shopping for Blue Willow, but then I found Flow Blue. I have my collection on a plate display that I love. I also have Phoenix Blue chocolate set that was my husbands grandmothers. I have tried other colors for decor, but I love the blue and white the most. It is coastal, which I live near the water, and makes the room look clean and spacious. Love the way you display your collection and your rooms make me know I chose the right color combo.

  35. Vicki

    That silverware would make frozen dinner plastic plates look awesome!
    I know you have given pattern before,do you mind sharing again?

  36. Sheila

    Love the blue and white, but my everyday is Fiestaware. I have it in several colors and love to mix it up. I also have an old “Carnival” set that I bought at an antique store. I don’t use it everyday, but pull it out for special occasions. I love the colors and the feel of Fiestaware, solid and heavy.

  37. Karen K from Buffalo

    Blue & White for me, too!! I collect mostly Blue Willow, but have some other blue & white dinner plates that I use for meals. I saw those plates at Home Goods & now I am tempted to go & get them myself, if they still have them!

  38. Debra Lyn

    LOVE those plates! Smart buy! I’m going to keep my eye out for them myself, as they are beautiful.
    I also love blue and whites, I added red accents in my home with my blue and white…or should I say, I have Tricycle accents in my home 🙂
    I adore your style, you have such a good eye.

  39. Bonnie

    The emotional response we have towards different china patterns, colors and styles is a continuous surprise. I began collecting old china en mass for my daughter’s wedding. Old Noritake, Johnson Brothers, Haviland, Limoges. One man, with tears in his eyes, explained that the gilded green & white plate his dessert was served on was his grandmother’s pattern. You can be sure I sent him that plate after the wedding!
    Collecting old china became such a habit that the only way I could justify buying more was to turn it into a business and rent it out for weddings & special events. I’m up to about 250 place settings. My favorite pattern? Just about every one of them!

  40. Teresa fr Canada

    Wow what a great idea and that was so thoughtful of you to send the plate.

    • Bonnie

      How could I not send it!
      I should have added my everyday dishes are blue & white, along with most of y’alls!

  41. Susan Cecere

    I too love blue and white. It is my favorite go to colors. I a large amount Polish stonewear, the dinner plates are very large. I added some white pasta bowls, to.coordinate. I bought them at Crate & Barrel. We use them frequently for more then just.pasta.

  42. Lillian

    Blue & beige with accents in yellow & or cranberry.

  43. Elaine

    I do gravitate towards blue but our dishes are Fiesta and I have a variety of colors. So many colors to choose from and I enjoy mixing them. Very informal look.

  44. Sue Shepard

    I also collect blue and white dinnerware, especially blue willow. I am drawn to green like a magnet! I have a large collection of Bordello cabbage plates, bowls, chop plates, etc. Love mixing the blue willow with the green cabbage plates. Loving your new house and the way you have decorated. When I read your blog it brightens my day and energizes me to change things around and get out of my comfort zone.

  45. SUSAN

    Same as you. I’ve had it in my home for 23 years. I was told a few years ago that it was out of style but kept it anyway because it’s what I love. Glad to see that it has come back. And now I don’t have to redecorate 😁. I’m kind of surprised that you girls still frequent Target. I won’t go because they allow men in the ladies restroom and dressing rooms.

  46. Louise Webb

    For many years I had mainly blue and white: check, Toile, and ticking accented with dark yellow. On a whim for something different, I added accents of burgundy/yellow toile. Now that I am in small apartment I like the cheerfulness of burgundy and yellow. Furniture is muted burgundy/taupe paisley but I kept some blue and white accents with urns, Chinese garden stool, bench and side chair. It all mixes well with my large pieces of black chinoiserie case goods. I chalk painted 2 old wicker side chairs in yellow.

  47. Carol

    I am not a B &W collector either – I LOVE greens, browns, colors from nature. Blue is just too “cool” for me.

  48. Sheri

    Love your blue and white “finds”!! Especially the plates. I am a blue person too and white is fine, but I do like mixing up what I do with blue…….

  49. Rebecca

    I do the red and white, or some say pink and white, transferware much like your blue. When I started collecting, everyone in NC, it seemed, was collecting blue willow. I was just out of college and couldn’t afford even a salad plate!! So a friend suggested I collect the red willow. It was much cheaper and other collectors looked right over it!! Over the years, I’ve done with the red and white much the same as you and collected different patterns in the red and mixed it with the ironstone. Fast forward 20-ahem… some years, and I still love it and it’s now more expensive and harder to find that the blue in this area! 😊

  50. Ann

    Our cottage on Lake Huron was built in 1909 and when my mom started going there in the 1920’s it was filled with white ironstone. Sometime since then my grandmother supplemented the ironstone with blue and white Royal Copenhagen china. We’re still using it all these years later. I love to mix in green depression glass as well. Still collect white ironstone and I too can serve an entire meal to a HUGE team!

  51. Mildred

    I love dishes! But blue and white dishes are my favorite.
    Upon seeing the towels, I immediately went to and ordered 12 of them to use as napkins.
    I don’t know that I could have walked away from RL blue and white pillows….I admire your will power and level-
    Thanks for sharing.

  52. Mary

    I love blue and white…….I started with Finlandia over 20 years ago and still use some. I went to greens and botanicals for awhile with Portmerion but the plates were too heavy. I found some Devon cottage at Tuesday Morning and I adore it! I need more. My temporary green phase is over and I’m back to blue and white. Love it and all you style with blue and white. Keep giving us blue and white fans tons of inspiration!

  53. Sue in Northern Iowa

    I’ve had blue and white dishes for over 30 years and I never tire of them.! I tend towards greens and blues in my home, though. I have a thing for Granny Smith apple green and I even bought a sofa in that color about 10 years ago. Love it!

  54. Barbara Warkentin

    I so agree with Lynette’s comment about leaves, plants, cabbages. All in greens and whites so I can accent with all the rest…

  55. Norma Rolader

    Beautiful collection and thank you for sharing

  56. Annette

    Not a blue and white fan. I have Fiestaware in many colors but this collection and pairing of yours is beautiful!

  57. Kathy K

    I love your blue and white! I collect red and white things. Pitchers. Plates. Trays. Lanterns. Pillows. But I throw in blue and white every now and then to break up the red because I figure I can have too much of a good thing. Love it all!

  58. Dana

    💗. Can you tell me what kind of silverware that is? I am in 💗💗 with them.

  59. MaryLisa Noyes

    Blue and White always…Target and Home Goods can’t be beat! There is a new Home Goods close to me opening March 1st so you can bet where I will be…LOVE your finds!

  60. Paula

    I love your blue and white – its part of why I love to read your blog. Such a timeless look. I am a blue & white lover too. I design my own fabrics and wallpapers in blues and I collect Royal Copenhagen Blue Flowers Curved and Fluted Half Lace, plus Meissen Blue Onion oval back stamp. It just goes with everything!
    (I also love your antique and vintage linens. They are also timeless)
    I can picture a few pieces of Burleighware mixed in with your b&w collections!
    Keep following your style, it is lovely!

  61. Genevieve

    Absolutely stunning! Blue and white is my favorite as well. My hubby’s grandmother’s Royal Warwick Lochs of Scotland blue and white transferware was my very first set and I just love it.

  62. Alana

    I love blue and white and black and white!!! Now I have an urge to run to the store and get these plates!!

  63. Kim

    Team B&W!!!! I never decorated with blue until I inherited 6 blue and white plates from my mom. That was 5 years ago and now I can’t stop myself — it’s in every room, except my son’s room. Is there a support group? Do they meet at Home Goods?

  64. Cindy A Redman

    That is an exceptionally pretty blue and white pattern! … and I love the boho/simple look of the little napkins. The combination couldn’t be more charming!

  65. Donna

    Red transferware, rose spongewear, white ironstone it all goes together. And looks good on my European feedsacks with the pinky red stripe….layered on my table…makes me very happy!

  66. Bonnie

    Blue and white is definitely my favorite also and just like you, I am drawn to it whenever it see it in a store. I love your new plates and towels used as napkins. What a pretty table!

  67. Cheryl Potthast

    I collect green and creamy white dishes. I cannot help myself. Like a moth to a vintage flame! Your blue and white is so lovely and completely timeless.

  68. Sharon R

    I started collecting red (pink) & white transferware in the mid to late 1990s. Have “all the same” Spode r&w dinner plates but loving mixing a variety of 4″r&w cup and saucer sets with them!

  69. grace in florida

    l love b/w too. but could never find enough stuff the decorate only in b/w. l like a mix of blue, sage green and tan.
    like nature the colors seem to go together. love blue with tan/ivory.

    stay warm in minnesota miss mustard seen.

  70. Becky Rees

    I make jewelry out of broken china and the blue and white pieces are always a HUGE hit.

  71. Connie Landry

    Your collection is impressive. I got 6 of the same plates from TJMaxx and they are so adorable. My love affair with white and blue is fairly new. I hope I won’t get tired of it. Haha!


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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