Published on March 29, 2019

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Confession: I’m 28 years old and I’ve never shopped vintage. It’s true. While my friends were showing off the rad pieces they scored at the flea market, I was busy filling my online cart with the latest drops from Good Thing or CB2. I can count the number of times I’ve been inside a thrift shop. On one hand.

My personal style has always been aligned with modern minimalism, typically limited to muted colors and sleek furnishings, generally void of any prints. The closest I’ve come to owning something vintage was a distressed washed-wood dresser with brass pulls I snagged from Anthropologie. I’ve never truly wavered from my core preferences. Until now.

I recently caught myself perusing an online antique shop, scheming up an entirely imaginary outdoor garden party. I began thinking about ornate teacups reimagined as vessels for fresh flowers, tiered cake stands lined with sweets, and old-school champagne coupes that could’ve been lifted straight from a Gatsby party.

My curiosity got the best of me, and I went on a deep dive. I was immediately drawn to antique plates and the incredible colors and wallpaper-like graphic designs each one bore (these Hermès butter plates!). Long story, short, I became a vintage convert. Read on to see the pieces that swayed me.

If you prefer to side with simplicity

A modest floral engraving and thin gold trim are enough to make these delicate side plates stand out.

If you want the best of both worlds

Don’t limit yourself to one pattern. Seletti’s wildly imaginative porcelain dish features a hybrid motif that makes mixing and matching with playfully printed linens a whole lot easier.

If your table could use the drama

Eye-catching colors aside, this cheeky fine-bone china plate will be the ultimate conversation-starter at your next dinner party.

If you’re not afraid of a little busyness

Featuring a reprint of a 1920s scheme—from the archives of the Parisian designer J. Claude Frères—these plates are almost as sweet as the desserts you’ll be serving them with.  

If you’re lacking variety

This assorted set comes with 22-karat gold embellishing and has enough color to draw attention away from an otherwise monochrome tablescape.

If you want to keep it old-school

Scalloped edges, hand-painted roses, and hints of gold give this 19th-century dinner plate set serious cred.

If you’re really extra

Clad with the face of Italian opera singer Lina Cavalieri, this whimsical plate will be your dining room’s piece de resistance.

If you need a distraction

Life hack: If you’re a terrible cook, serve meals on these mauve and cobalt porcelain plates and your guests will probably not even notice the food.

If you can’t shake the “modern minimalist” look

Framed with a turquoise bow-tie detail, this plate (from the ’60s) is all about straightforward design that can make an impact.