If you’ve followed along on this blog for a while, you know that I have an affinity for vintage silver plated pieces. I especially love trays and serving accessories and have compiled a nice little collection. While trays lend themselves to creating beautiful wall decor statements or tabletop vignettes, there are so many other creative ways to decorate with vintage silver.
Here are 10 great ideas for incorporating silver pieces into your decor.
1. Flower Vase– silver-plated Mint Julip Cups are perfect for small floral arrangements to set around your home or use as part of a dining tablescape. I love the look of these monogrammed pieces and would collect an assortment of monograms to work with my more eclectic decor.
2. Spice Rack–This is a really creative idea…using silverplated serving dishes as spice racks, hung on the kitchen wall.
3. Vanity Tray–Nothing elevates the style of personal accessories or toiletries more than a silver tray. I have several in my bedroom holding perfume bottles and jewelry and just love the touch of elegance it adds to the room.
4. Kitchen Backsplash–Did you ever think to hang a silver tray above the stove as a backsplash accent? Me either. I love this idea and the impact it can add to the kitchen.
5. Stylish Magnet Boards–I love that these tray can look pretty while also being functional. Just hang, add magnets and you’ve got a great display area.
6. Chalkboard Tray–When I bought my first silver plated tray I had every intention of creating a chalkboard out of it, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. After seeing this image I really want to take one of my simpler trays turn it into a chalkboard. Not only does a tray like this work for everyday use in a kitchen or office area, but I love how it can really make a party table come to life.
7. Placemat–I’ve been on the hunt for really simple silver trays to use just for this purpose. Using a silver tray as a placemat alternative is such a stylish way to dress up a dining table.
8. Office Work Station–Totally makes sense that the chic and savvy designer Mary McDonald would use vintage silver pieces to hold all her desktop office tools. Silver cups are great for holding pencils, paperclips and all your other desk accessories. And, I love the idea of a silver tray as an in-basket.
9. Utensil/Kitchen Caddy–What a great way to add vintage style to your kitchen. Not only is a silver urn good for holding kitchen utensils but you could also use it to hold wrapped food products like granola bars or tea bags.
10. Plant Holder–Silver Ice buckets or urns are perfect for housing a plant within your decor and makes for a great addition to a tabletop vignette.
Now that you have some ideas on how to decorate with silver, I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned about shopping and caring for silver!
When shopping and caring for silver plate, keep these tips in mind:
All silver plate in England and North America had to be stamp marked until the 1970′s when stickers were allowed to be used in Canada and the U.S. When looking at a silver piece the first thing you want to do is flip it over and look at the markings on the underside. There might be several markings such as the country it was made in, markers name and/or trade mark symbol or product number.
- When scouring flea markets and thrift shops, don’t shy away from the tarnished pieces. This is often where you can find your best deals and with a little elbow grease your piece can look as good as new.
- If there is any tiny lumps or bumps on a tarnished piece of silver plate then pass it by. These little bumps are called pitting and it means that the silver has come loose from the base.
- The best types of cleaners to use on your silver plate are soap cleaners like Twinkle that you use with a sponge to clean them under water. I also love a good silver polish like Goddard’s.
- After cleaning a piece of silver, let it sit out for 24 hours before you put it away to make sure that there is no moisture on it. You can store it either in a tarnish resistant cloth or wrap it in flannel and put it in a plastic bag that you can close. Another trick I use to cut down on the tarnish is to put a piece of white chalk in the storage bag. The chalk absorbs moisture and really cuts down on the tarnish.
I’m planning to shop Scott Antique Market this weekend and will be looking for some unique silver plated pieces to add to my collection (and decor). Several of my silver pieces I’ve lucked upon at Goodwill and other thrift stores, so keep you eyes open when you’re out shopping at these type of stores too!