In this post: Do you collect teacups? If you’re looking for tea cup display ideas, here are some unusual ways to display vintage tea cups and saucers in your home.⇒
Do you remember your first crush?
Mine was a boy in kindergarten whom I vaguely remember, but my first home decor crush I recall quite clearly. It was early in our marriage when I developed a thing for teacups! It may have had something to do with our travels to the Cotswolds but as likely as not, it was also something I could collect that was easily affordable.
Long before we had the money to buy furniture for our home, I began collecting teacups in my travels overseas or on weekend forays to local antique markets. They could be carried back on an airplane if necessary and gave me purpose when scouring the vintage shops nearby.
But displaying them became a bit of a challenge, since much of this collecting took place before we had furniture.
Displaying Teacups in Your Home
The obvious choice for showcasing tea cups you’ve collected is in a china cabinet or hutch near your dining room table. But if your china cabinet is too large or if you haven’t got one at all, you might try styling them in a small secretary desk. I love collecting mix and match pieces in similar colors but completely different patterns. I enjoy the way they look when grouped together but I take some liberties in organizing the presentation. Some are double stacked, while others show the saucer standing and facing out. Still others are nested in a casual heap and some show the tea cup tilted to expose the bottom flourish. The key is to have fun when grouping them in this way.
If like me, you haven’t finished furnishing but you’d like to display your collection, another great option is to gather the items in a large basket. Line the bottom with a pretty linen tablecloth and layer in your teacups and saucers too. Pay attention to the color distribution and use patterns that complement each other. I tend to favor English florals or delicate French china patterns, so the colors are soft and feminine. You can tuck in fresh flowers or even use faux, and place your arrangement on a table or counter.
Perhaps the most unique way I’ve displayed my teacups is attached to a vintage crystal chandelier that once belonged to my grandmother. I tell the whole story of its provenance in ONE OF MY FIRST POSTS, but the short version is that I had my teacups and other trinkets wired to the chandelier.
It’s a wonderful conversation piece that always sparks lively banter and it has been with us since long before we had the large hutch that houses most of my china now. These days it hangs in our butler’s pantry and is absolutely perfect for the space.
A display idea I love is using three dimensional wall hangings in addition to art and placing teacups on shelves and sconces is a creative way to feature them. In OUR FRENCH COUNTRY LIBRARY I have two gilded sconces with a mirror between them and I keep pretty cups on the tiny sconce shelves. I use tea cups with gold trim to work with the gilt sconces and they make a lovely perch for my most precious teacups.
I also like to use my teacups for what they were actually meant for. A relaxing soak in the tub is an excellent time for a cup of tea. You can see more of my earlier MASTER BATH ADD-ON or take a peek at our newest bath renovation in this MASTER BATHROOM REVEAL. In both cases you’ll notice a teacup by the tub (and I really use it!) This one also happens to be my very favorite cup.
Sometimes I display not only teacups, but also books about taking tea. The ritual is a delightful one and these books are often as pretty as the porcelain itself. Two of my favorites are The London Ritz Book of Afternoon Tea and Tea and Sympathy.
On a plate stand at the foot of the sofa I’ve added teacups in varied china patterns. The gentle florals work well with my color palette and the mix with varied cake plates adds another touch of interest. The top two are actually soup bowls, but they maintain the same spirit. The plate stand can be positioned in so many different places, from decorating a sideboard to embellishing a small table, although I do favor keeping it on the floor.
And finally, if your collection is not as developed as you like, or you simply can’t get enough, find artwork that celebrates the imagery of teacups. Here I mix the paintings with a sugar bowl and creamer set on a chippy shelf in my kitchen.
There is just something about teacups that I find so charming. They suggest a real gentility that is so appealing and often they are simply quite beautiful.
Just as a crush should be!
Displaying Teacups Resource List
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