Where To Find The Best Ceramics and Crockery - Secondhand Stores!

Want to know where you can buy the best ceramics and crockery? Secondhand stores! Last week I took you on a thrifting adventure where I went rummaging at some of our local secondhand stores. This is where we have found the best plates, bowls, ramekins, pie dishes, jugs, platters, cutlery and lots more for less than $5 a piece. We just love how adding secondhand pieces gives life to our kitchen and table. Plus, there's no better satisfaction than finding a beautiful plate for $2!

When you walk into a secondhand store like Vinnies, they usually have shelves piled high, stacked with hundreds of pieces of ceramics and crockery. The choice can get a little overwhelming so we have learned over time it's essential to take your time, think outside the box and to know what you're looking for. We shared some of our tips on our latest rummaging adventure on Instagram, but thought we would share all of our tips for finding the best ceramics and crockery in secondhand stores here too. We also picked up some plain white plates for a little project after being inspired by what we bought...so stay tuned! 

 

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Plan Ahead

It helps to plan ahead before you hit your local secondhand stores. Write down a list of the ceramics and crockery you need and what you are dreaming of finding. This list is only a guide and you shouldn't live and die by it; often the best pieces are found when you're least expecting them. This list is designed to help you refine what you need vs don't need. We love looking for retro serving platters, sets of plates with coloured and patterned rims, beautiful vintage inspired champagne coupes, ceramic ramekins and jugs, retro pie dishes and baking dishes in earthy colours. 

 

Know What To Look For

We'll admit, as soon as we walk into a secondhand store our heart rate increases as we wonder what treasures we'll find. But, we're not successful every time that's for sure! We've learned that the magic to finding great pieces is about taking a two pronged approach.

  1. Firstly, head to the kitchen section and do a walk by to take in what's there. Refer back to your list as a reminder of what you need and what you're dreaming of finding. Remember, don't live and die by this list. Often the best pieces are found when you're least expecting them.
  2. Start from one end and take the time time to carefully look at each shelf and item, lifting up bowls and plates, and turning each piece over to inspect them thoroughly. Think about the styles, patterns, colours and shapes, and how it will work best in your own kitchen, table and cooking. Work your way down the kitchen section until you finish. If you have time, repeat step 2. You may have missed something, and we don't want that to happen. 
Rolling up your sleeves and taking it slow is the best approach, so don't rush. Some of the best pieces we've found over time found were hidden underneath other pieces. We've been known to fill a basket, leave it at the counter for safe keeping, then head straight back with an empty basket to keep looking. 

 

Choose Your Colours & Style

As we mentioned earlier, secondhand stores are overflowing with ceramics and crockery, and because of this, it can get a little overwhelming - there is always so much to choose from. We've found that committing to a colour scheme and a style can help you source some incredibly beautiful pieces. We always look for retro crockery in patterns and earthy tones such as terracotta, brown, beige, green and white. And we love pink if it's a more dusty, earthy and muted colour. These tones best suit our kitchen, our table and our own personal style. We avoid modern styles, patterns and colours such as purple, red and grey. 

 

Look For Unique Shapes & Patterns 

Every secondhand store has an abundance of white crockery, so it's about rolling up your sleeves and looking in between to find the pieces that stand out. Keep an eye out for unique shapes and patterns. Platters, baking dishes and jugs have a tonne of uses so we've found these are always the number one item on our list. Roll up your sleeves and take the time to find pieces that have unique shapes and patterns. On my recent trip, I was drawn to a plate that reminded me of my trips to Greece. The beautiful Agean blues just sang to me. Then out of nowhere, I found myself looking for other plates with blue rims and before I knew it, I had created a beautiful plate set with seven different plates, all with different blue rims. I am so excited to use this plate set when we cook around our fire pit for our friends when the weather cools down.

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Mix & Match 

To us, there's nothing better than mixing old with new, and one of the best things about sourcing secondhand ceramics and crockery ismixing and matching pieces - just like I did aforementioned with the blue rimmed secondhand plates! We love mixing our secondhand pieces with our newer pieces at home. The mixture of textures, colours, shapes, patterns and styles makes for a really beautiful kitchen and table. Also, sometimes a secondhand piece on it's own might not sing at you, but when paired with something you have at home, it might be just perfect. We recently came across a pair of plates with an Italian style terracotta and navy pattern. We didn't love them straight away, but knew we had another retro serving platter we had found at our local secondhand store that they would look perfect with. Have a look here

 

Ps. If you end up rummaging through your local secondhand stores looking for ceramics and crockery, remember to tag us onInstagram @smorkitchen #smorkitchen. We'd love to see what you find! It would makes us incredibly happy.

 

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