19 August 2009

if only...

"One must adapt to, even re-create,
an art de vivre for our times.
By that I mean that one prepares dinner
and serves it by oneself,
but on beautiful objects"

muriel grateau

if only I had

a glorious "built in" for all good things. I certainly have the goods for it. Overflowing is Aunt Bettie's cupboard, along with the Kitchen cabinets and corner built in.

I have a pattern I never tire of- Marie Antoinette by Raynaud. I also bought another old white and gold pattern very similar to this one by Haviland to mix in. Remus-The cat- loves the little dessert plates.

One of the prettiest pieces of Marie Antoinette is the rimmed soup.

Wouldn't it be Good to have a built in FULL of white china?

The glorious concealed closet in this Living Room is the inspired design of MURIEL GRATEAU, fashion designer and owner of a boutique of the same name in Paris.

The shop stocks linens, glass, porcelains and her extraordinary jewelry.

Her house is perfection.

I would settle for the closet.

Grateau photograph from HG '97, by Alexandre Bailhache


  1. Oh how lovely, when we lived in the city, I transformed one closet into a china closet and it had deep shelves for casseroles and compotes...and one shelf was dedicated to crystal.
    It felt as if I had my very own little shop.
    What a lovely...."if only!"

  2. I love that its evidently in the living room. Why does fine china need to hide in a kitchen or pantry?

  3. YES, the problem is I have that much china but without the closet and in a tiny city apartment! i have it hidden everywhere. Storage space is maxed out - i use my dishwasher as storage for a set of china, under my bed, in boxes in the closet. It's an illness! One day I'll have a butler's pantry but till then...i'll take what I can get!

  4. Those are magnificent china closets but what about the high ceilings and gorgeous windows!

  5. Ah, yes, another addiction revealed. Living the furtherest away from that I have every lived, I happened upon a homewares store and spent all of my college graduation money on a set of blue and red pottery. It made me happy. Every paycheck added another piece to love. That's when it started, doctor.

    Over time, through gifts, inheritance or by couldn't help myself, the collection has grown. It still makes me happy. I believe (cockeyed as it may sound) that vessels that held/hold food made with love is sacred and holds memories. And I agree with balsamfir that it deserves places of honor.

  6. Hmmm. I'm thinking china as a personality test...aka "what does your china say about you...". Luckily (?) my husband to be fought me on every one of a dozen or so 1st choices. I'm still happy with the "winner" some 23 years later. Even though I have a bit in a hutch I had set in a wall niche (long story)...I have a lot boxed (earthquake country). Love the dishwasher idea!

  7. Yes, Muriel Grateau's Versailles home is perfection; she is so refined. The Haviland is timeless. When we moved into our current home, the former owners had a closet off the dining room converted into their china cabinet and never took any meals in the kitchen. Their son told us they used a little table cart to wheel dishes to the kitchen after meals. The closet is so deep that I wanted to make it into a mini computer room/office, but it's still just storage . I've now reconsidered because all my tall armoires where I do keep crystal and china take up too much wall space and I don't have room for paintings. I love pve's idea of a little shop! Sounds like there's quite a group of china junkies out there.

  8. Trouvais, Honored to have you amongst us.I am intrigued by the- what does your china say about you? I would love to know. If I had chosen it as a perhaps blushing bride- I know it would have been a dif. one- Which did you and the groom choose? I selected this pattern when I was about 35 and just for me. The food always looks beautiful on it and in it. I especially love the rimmed soups for a little cereal. G.

  9. PVE- how I do love to continue on with the games of childhood! This blog helps with the fantasy and yes a closet like this would be a perfect shop. G

  10. Isn't china an interesting thing-especially the comments here. Something to explore? I have 1 add'l set of my mothers - scattered flowers-a full tilt service.2 auxiliary patterns and 4 more sets from my grandmother- she did up her tables everyday.This I truly think is a little collection as opposed to Home.My brother's partner puts my pittance to shame.OH MYMYMY Don't get me started on demitasse sets! Love love love all the comments from everyone and thank you for riding along on this little gypsy caravan. Gaye

  11. Hello LA...you inspired me...I posted re my first china (not that different than yours). I think I finally just wore my husband down (that usually has proven to be effective over the years). But I have to say...can't remember my first few tries but they were probably redolent with roses. I had a southern babysitter who used to say "in order to be simply elegant one must be elegantly simple".



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