Society gives us mixed messages about imperfections. On the one hand, they are what make us unique and interesting. Our flaws and broken bits tell the story of where we've been, remind us of our strength and shape who we are.
At the same time, the marketing for basically every product we've ever been sold revolves around minimizing imperfections and the things that make us different. Newness is prized; “curves and edges,” John Legend's gorgeous crooning aside, depreciate a product's value.
Nowhere is this sad reality more true than the land of vintage dinnerware. If you frequent antique stores and estate sales as I do on my many sourcing expeditions, you'd know that just a silly scrape or stain on a plate or the inside of a teacup can render a piece virtually worthless. Despite being completely functional and structurally intact, chipped plates and crazed teacups often cause people to start looking to toss the family china into the trash.
I don't know about you, but this completely bums me out—and garbage or bust are not the only options! If you've been reading my emails for a while, you know that upcycling is always my preferred alternative. Here are a few of my favorite ideas for keeping pre-loved and less than perfect family heirlooms in the family in practical, meaningful and aesthetic ways.