All that Glitters is not Gold (it’s Silver!)

I’ve been collecting vintage and antique silver for a quite a few years now. It all began when my mother-in-law gave us quite a bit of hers (including a full Tiffany tea set!) After that, I started to notice it in antique stores and flea markets – I guess before that I never did. I mean, obviously, silver had been in those places all along, but I just never gravitated to it. I must’ve thought it was too dressy or old fashioned. I don’t know. What I do know, is now I love it! I love the beauty, of course, but what I really love is the sense of history it carries. Families used these bowls, ate off of these plates, served themselves from these spoons and platters, and poured tea from these pots. I love the formality. I love that there was a special utensil for literally everything! I can’t imagine how these women not only kept everything polished, but had room to store it all! Having said that, I don’t collect everything. I have some utensils and a few tea sets, but what I really love are the bowls and any and all kinds of platters. I use them to display items on tables or buffets, or to serve food at parties. I love that they are usable and practical, as well as being beautiful.


I love the sparkle it adds to a room. And I especially love silver in casual spaces. The juxtaposition of an antique tea set in a room with wrinkled white linen, seagrass rugs, and chippy paint…. well, that is perfection to me! It makes all the difference. If I saw them in a very formal or stuffy room, I wouldn’t like it as much. I like when it’s the only shine or sparkle in the room. The contrast is more effective that way. Kinda like wearing some rhinestones with denim, you know?



This display has such texture and character from the worn silver and the old baskets


Pottery Barn getting in on the act here! This is their version of ironstone and hotel silver on display.




And though I don’t display my silver trays on a wall, I think this is a great idea! Simply stunning!
Some people like to shine it regularly, and I have other friends who only like it tarnished. I’m kind of in the middle. I like the shine it adds to the space, so I tend to shine them up but I do like them when it’s been a couple of months so they aren’t so shiny. Also, I find if I leave the edges and don’t polish there, the patina stays there and keeps them from being overall too bright.
Used as a planter, this champagne bucket looks so cute on a dining room table.


Here Joni Webb of Cote de Texas uses a dome on her dining room table – love this!


Pretty here on the kitchen counter. Love it with all the white!


A dome is the next thing I want – they are just so expensive. I haven’t bit the bullet, but I will!


Love these antique silver trophy cups filled with plants – adorable!



Bowls used to display artichokes here, but it could be anything!


Okay, how cute are these? Mint julep “trophies” used to plant herbs!


Antique pedestal bowl (love this!) used to hold soaps


And of course, you can always use the silver item as it was originally intended! In this case, to hold champagne!!
Have a shiny, happy day!!

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  1. Haha Deserae, that's funny! I'm sooo not my mother-in-law's favorite! It's just that my sisters-in-law are not into that kind of stuff so I lucked out!

    Thanks so much for the kind words:)

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend as well!


  2. Wonderful inspiration photos!!! I too just adore silver and like you kind of like it somewhat polished but not completely tarnished….somewhere in the middle. You are very lucky to have received so many pieces from your mother in law….you must be her favorite!!!!!
    Have a great weekend!!!