I found some terrific blue-and-white china pieces recently. First up, this beauty. It was $14 at one of my local charity stores. Not a rock-bottom price, but pretty darn good for it size--14 inches tall and10 inches in diameter.
It looks quite at home on our modern living-room coffee table, nestled next to an antique Japanese writing desk:
The bigger bargain, however, was four pieces of blue-and-white for a mere $20 at a garage sale in my neighborhood. I nabbed this jar (foreground) and a full-size umbrella stand (background):
The umbrella stand is 18 inches high. Usually, a piece like this would go on the ground. Maybe even be used for umbrellas, eh? But our living room is large, and the limestone-topped coffee table in its center is huge. Two full-size couches flank this table. The proportions in the room call out for large pieces to keep things in scale:
At the same garage sale, I also picked up this vase, with its sunny bands of yellow:
And this vase, an titch taller than Mr. Sunny Yellow Bands, at 14 inches:
They now flank a composition on the sofa table that includes a couple of "Double Happiness" ginger jars I bought years ago from Pier One and a large cloisonne enamel bowl The Hubby and I bought at auction at a local hotel:
When you have a clear-cut theme in your decor, like blue-and-white and Asian, it's a snap to add in more pieces. You know exactly what's going to look good with what's already there:
The trick is, don't overload your surfaces, or it starts to look grandmother-y.
And know when to stop shopping.