Dress up your china with color

If you dusted off your fancy dinnerware (a.k.a. "the good stuff") to prepare for Thanksgiving and found yourself underwhelmed, resist the urge to buy a whole new set. Mixing a few colorful pieces with your old china can turn a lackluster tabletop into future feasts for the eyes.

White plates may be the popular choice on bridal registries, but today's hosts are looking to inject more color and individuality into their tables, says Sarah Dennis, who writes the Toast & Tables blog (http://toastandtables.blogspot.com/), a daily musing on the well-dressed table. Bold patterns, unexpected shapes, or colorful linens can give an otherwise traditional table setting an instant dose of personality.

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White plates are the traditional choice, but bold hues and patterns will give the table setting personality. Colorful linens add flair, too.

Retailers are taking note of this trend and are selling dinnerware pieces a la carte, Dennis says.

Search flea markets, yard sales, and antiques stores, too, for less expensive pieces to accent what you have and make your table unique.

"It's all about putting your stamp on the table," Dennis says.

So mix it up a bit. Make it fun. Make it distinctive. Make it you.

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