My grandmother Dottie has always been a huge source of inspiration in my life. On weekend mornings, my brothers and I often would often go to her house where we were always treated with her own special breakfast—cinnamon raisin French toast, apple sausage links and (my favorite!) homemade chocolate milk. The table, I remember, would be covered in a pale yellow gingham tablecloth and set with Fire King milk glass plates, juice glasses etched with grapes and beautiful red Bakelite handled flatware. The vivid colors of my grandmother’s table, and the memories of sharing meals at her house, have sparked a fondness for Bakelite that still inspire me today.
Originally produced in the 1920s, Bakelite was the first heat-resistant plastic made of synthetic materials. And while my grandmother has since given me her set of red Bakelite forks, knives and spoons, which I adore, nowadays my collection tends towards a more neutral palette. I especially love all the browns, yellows,
crimsons, and burnt umber hues. These
variations suit my color palette and are much easier to mix and match. The browns and burnt oranges in particular remind me so much of fall. For a dinner party this time of year, I like to use more than one color Bakelite at a table setting to mimic the tones of freshly fallen leaves. What color palettes from nature
I think that these spoons can also be used for caviar, since you’re not supposed to use metal, even silver, with caviar.
oh this is absolutely beautiful! you may have inspired me to start a china collection – the thought of collecting something has always been very appealing (the hunt, the bargaining, the satisfaction of watching a collection grow) and this may be just the thing. great blog! i just spent the past hour or so going through all of your posts – very good ideas, it’s opening my eyes up to the little things that can add a touch of elegance 🙂
Wow, the precision of your childhood memories are uncanny. It’s so fascinating to hear about your fond experiences growing up. As a mom of four, stories such as this inspire me to continue creating special meals for our family. We always light candles at dinnertime, I notice it calms little ones and exudes warmth for all.
Great Bakelite collection!
Sounds like your grandmother was a natural entertainer! Beautiful post as always.
Lovely posting and fantastic flatware! What a gorgeous fall table inspiration! My own inspiration comes from the colors of herbs, spices and food — milky tea; coffee with cream; fresh bagels; deep oregano; saffron; burnt pumpkin; olives; eggplant; fresh dill; salmon; beets; claret; brandy ….. and of course … dark chocolate! LOL!
Jan at Rosemary Cottage
I grew up with bright vintage colors like that as well from my grandparents – funny that I now veer towards more neutral gray and beige tones considering how significant that early color was to me. I think the early exposure to color just made us realize how important it is?
Wonderful post! I’m inspired by the hues of autumn as well – metallic golds and bronzes remind me of autumn leaves fluttering on trees in the sun – aubergine, oranges, browns and caramel!! – try a rich aubergine with muted metallic golds – add a sumptuous caramel colour with a touch of cream (think of cream coloured vintage plates with a delicate gold border) makes it oh so elegant!!
I have a lot of flatware like that, but it’s the British version. The handles are French Ivory, which is a synthetic ivory from the early 1900’s. I would find a piece here or there at thrift shops in the States, but when I moved to the UK, I found it everywhere for about 50p per piece. Needless to say, I bought tons!
just wanted to send you a quick thanks – thanks to you i am now a collector of china 🙂 seeing your beautiful pieces made me go out and hunt for my own and what a set i found! exciting!!
NICE collection. The colors are gorgegous.
here’s what I don’t like about my bakelite knives, the blades aren’t serrated. Do they ever come that way?
Love the way they look though.
LOVE the flatware….it’s perfection!
I have always been inspired by the blue of the sea & sky, and the green & browns of the earth. They are colors that sooth my soul and help me start each day with a clear head. My mood is dictated by my surroundings, and those colors seem to have the best effect on my state of mind.
The Lettered Cottage
I just found your blog and love it! I hope you find time to make more of those great how to videos! Very stylish, fun and educational.
Blues and greens all the way. Also wanted to say I love your blog. It makes me feel so inspired to put more effort into my tiny city apartment and the small budget that goes with it!
Beautiful collection! I’d love to see a photo of the red.
I am mainly inspired by the colors of the beach, sand, blue sky, blue-green water, green beach grass. When I look around my home, it seems that these are the colors that I was subconsciously drawn to when decorating.
I love Bakelite combined with a little Fiesta Ware thrown in for good measure. Add a pretty vintage table cloth, Zinnia’s in a pretty bottle (I love the old bottle I stole off a cafe table in Paris) on the patio table set with twinkling clear christmas tree lights on the tree near by.
Simple things like this make my day.
I really enjoy reading your blog. I’m stuck in an office job (for which I’m thankful in this economy) so reading your blog makes me want to hit the antique mall on my way home from work. I love your eye for design and wish I could shop with you. Best of luck.
Renee/ St Louis
I love cinnamon raisin french toast and was thinking of making some this weekend. And apple sausage to go with. How gourmet!! I love all your flatware. You must have a lot of room in your apt for all your treasures.
The leaves here in Bucks County in the Fall are so inspiring, I can’t enough. The smell of the neighbors burning them too! off topic: Larry and I are settling in tonight to watch you rock on Top Design. (Larry’s a virgin to the show, but he’s watching just to see you)~ xo
I used to be disdainful of Bakelite, I think because I associated it with bad Art Deco collectibles. Then I found a handsome set of knives and forks with bone-colored handles that seemed intended to mimic ivory. Ah, bliss. Since then no picnic has been the same. They go beautifully with creamware.
Good god! What an extremely creative little possum you are! Am very impressed. I supposed Jaithan is the one taking all the photos for your blog too!?
Is there a bio about your design education, experience, and the path that took you to where you are now as I would love to read it?
Have been told that Jamie Durie, who is the Aussie gardening / landscaping consultant for the Oprah show is on the lookout for creative little koalas like you to join his new TV show (don’t tell Martha!), so…… if you want eye candy for a new boss (smack my hand) and new horizons (Australia being one of them) then look him up! I think his show is up and running in the USA and rating its socks off by the way but fresh talent are still needed.
I just got back from an estate sale (I go to them on Fridays during my lunch break!) and saw some Bakelite handled flatware in yellow. It made me think of you, I have learned so much from your blog and look forward to it every day! Thanks for the inspiration!
You’re smokin ! Funny show this week..
Check out my friend Corey Amaro’s Blog “Tongue in Cheek” an American living in Provence..collecting antiques etc. Add her to your blog list. wonderful photos and stories..
I have a whole set of those wonderful white embossed plates,that you are using for the desert shot,,the cups are huge and wonderful..
Did ya win the show…come on ..tell us…
You should write. You have a beautiful way saying things. I’m a grandma, and I’ve been creating comfortable memories for my grandkids, too! Sometimes, we don’t even know we’re doing it. I’m happy you have such fond memories of your grandma.
I love the flatware!
Now I have another reason to love you,you’re not just, cute, a good cook, an amazing designer,a wonderful shopper but now I find out you LOVE your Grandmother and she is your inspiration, can you get any better??? I have to tell you I went out and bought a linen tablecloth at target after seeing yours posted for your autumn dinner. I am planning to use it for Thanksgiving with my off white dishes and black transferware. You are inspiring me to look for some ivory handled knives. I love your design sense. You are Wonderful! Smiles Kathysue
Hello from Melbourne, Australia!
I have just got my hands on the Top Design Season 2 tapings and discovered you 🙂
Been trawling through your blog since last night at 12am! I’m so pleased to have read THIS entry though because I have a Wedgwood vase in this pattern but never knew the name! Mine must be an older version because it doesn’t have the name style printed under the Wedgwood stamp and the stamp on mine looks rather older than yours.
Thank you for naming it Edme 🙂
I’d also love love love to hear how you clean just bought silverware, how you keep them clean and in particular, would love to read a blog entry how you store EVERYTHING you perpetually collect!!!
Hi There! I just did a post on the start of my collection of Bakelight, or what I thought was Bakelight- could you correct me if I am wrong on that, and it is actually something else. Hope you dont mind I put your picture in there and a link to your site 🙂 Thanks!!
Found your blog on another one. Am fascinated by your move to Millerton. I think that might soon be me. Love the house. Your antique linens fondness perked my interest. I am a purveyor of beautiful, mainly European antique linens and textiles in NYC, as well as a sometimes home stylist. I spent what seems a lifetime designing handbags, luggage and accessories. I was a design director for most of my career which finished with a stint at Coach. After much thought, I decided to follow a particular passion of mine and it turned into a business which is maybe something like your move to Millerton.
Company name and I am Susan Simon and my e-mail address is Jasperrose11@aol.com (named after a favorite cat!). I am generally exhibiting at the Rhinebeck Antique Show in May, which is quite close to you, as well as the NY Pier Show in March and November in NYC. I am in the midst of building a website. Have been in Martha Stewart, Country Home, the old Victoria Magazine-and provide inspiration to a number of well-known home furnishing companies, stylists, and designers.
Love your photos of your new old home. What a gem! Look forward to seeing how it develops.
Best of luck to you, and hope our paths will soon cross.
Oh, I do love salt spoons! I have some in mother of pearl. Your blog is inspiring me to use my collectibles more for every day life. Thanks!
I just saw your quote in Country Living magazine and thought, “Eddie Ross – isn’t that the guy from Top Design?!” So I decided to check out your website out of curiosity, and it’s great! I work in an office during the week, but on the weekends I enjoy buying for my collections and for resale at my small shop at a local flea market. I starting collecting bakelite when I found some beautiful flatware with deep green or maroon handles. I mix and match them on my table for Christmas and they look beautiful. You should check out our flea market, the Golden Nugget Antique Market, the next time you’re in central NJ.
Eddie, I have 6 knives and 6 forks, but I can’t find matching spoons. It doesn’t even matter if they match – I can’t bakelite handled spoons period!! Do you know why the spoons are so hard to find?
wow,Igot excited…I watch your channel on cabel!I enjoy all fashions fo rdecoreting,love pretty china
Only joined this forum today.
Look forward to greet you all!
All the very best!
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I have all the pieces of Edme and use it every day! It mixes so well with other sets of china. I use gold pottery pieces with it. Thank you for such a beautiful blog.