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Garden Bloom Service for Eight and last two are Botanic Garden, by Portmeiron service for one

Every week I make a trip to my favorite Thrift Shop, The Assistance League of Honolulu. This is a benefit for the Junior League, who do all sorts of good charity works in the community.

If you want to check this out, they are located on Young Street between Keeaumoku Street and Kalakaua in Honolulu, Hawaii. They are open from 9-3 Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, and Sat.

So today when I walked in, there was this beautiful set of dishes. Service for eight including the flatware. Never been used. A complete set of dinner and salad plates plus a matching pitcher and salt shakers. Best part: $30 total.

My most favorite dinner plate pattern is Botanic Garden by Portmeiron. I have service for one. The dinner plates are $50 each, and the salad plates nearly as much.

At one point in my life I had a complete set. After moving from Hawaii to Palm Springs, California to Las Vegas Nevada, to Rosarito Beach, Mexico and back to Hawaii, somehow my dishes got lost along the way.

Botanic Garden salad plate

The great thing about Botanic Garden is that there are so many pieces with this pattern. You can get matching bowls and trays and placemats and glasses. Even Amazon carries this line.

I can add a few pieces here and there and they all blend together. The other day, I saw a set of fruit bowls at Ross. There were two tiny bowls at the special discounted price of $66.

I rather like the look of mismatched dishes, as long as they go together. Actually that ‘look’ is in. You can use floral plates and solid bowls, picking up a major color from the pattern. Fiesta ware comes in quite an array of beautiful colors and they have lots of sizes of bowls from soup to fruit.

I was in Walmart the other day and was amazed at this aisle of dishes. There were every size, shape and color imaginable. And most pieces were $2.99 or less.

I guess what attracted me to the dishes I got at the Thrift Store was the similarity to the Botanic Garden ones. Sort of a ‘poor man’ version. I will still look for pieces by Botanic Garden and mix them together.

It isn’t only dishes that are OK to mismatch and blend. The same is now true of bed linens. It used to be that everything had to match. There was even an item called Bed in a Bag that had sheets, pillow cases, bedspread etc. all matching.

Then Ralph Lauren came along. (Actually his name is Ralph Lipshitz, but that just doesn’t sound right). He had the brilliant idea of coordinating colors and patterns for his bedding. Stripes and solids, florals and checks, and many shades of one color for a masculine look. Such as brown, tan, and beige. Or navy, powder and royal blue.

So now the look is a bright solid color quilt or coverlet with patterned pillow shams and various colored throw pillows. The sheets are also mixed. To achieve this look, buy two sets of the same sheets in different colors. Such as red and cream. Then switch around the top, bottom and pillow cases so nothing matches.

I actually did this totally by accident in my own bedroom. I just happened to have a hodgepodge of linens and started fooling around mixing and matching.

What started this off was my trip to Walmart’s patchwork quilt section in their bed linen department. I found some great pillow shams for $7 each that picked up all the colors of my bedroom.

Believe it or not, this is shown in great detail on the cover and inside this month’s Better Homes and Gardens magazine.