Had anyone told Richard Brendon in college that he'd be the guy to make fine china cool again, "I would have said absolutely not," he declares. Funny how things turn out: The 26-year-old London native started messing around with 19th-century British porcelain while studying product and furniture design at Kingston Uniersity. His latest series, Details from Willow (pictured below), is now available through the Los Angeles-based retailer TableArt (starting at $60; tableartonline.com) and updates the classic Chinoiserie motif. Here, Brendon explains how to set the table without cribbing from our grandmothers.
What Your Need
"You don't want a full setting to make a table. I like to mix and match—it creates a talking point and keeps things from seeming stuffy."
When To Use It
"There's a stigma around pulling out the china. But it's actually incredibly durable and really practical. Some of our range is dishwasher-safe, microwave-safe. If you're going to have a beautiful thing in your home, you should use it often."
And Always Have...
"Teacups and a teapot. I consistently use them when I'm entertaining, whether it be at a dinner party or a client meeting."