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Why I ♥ Anthropologie

By Nancy McKeon

I CAN’T HELP it. Anthropologie’s tableware designs make me want to clear out my dish closet. Over the years, my dishes and serving pieces have come from antiques stores, and I still love the old stuff. But I love a little jolt on the table.

But by a “little jolt” I mean just that, little. It’s why I buy, and recommend buying, dessert sets—you can get four or even eight dishes and use them for a separate course, so they don’t have match or even coordinate with, your other dishes. More important, you won’t have a whole bunch of dinner and salad plates and soup bowls, etc., that you rarely use.

Okay, that’s my rationalization. Here are my favorites among the current offerings—dessert plates and more, of course—by Anthropologie, which taps design talent from around the world to fill their stores and website.

Quail Ceramics in the UK makes pitchers and vases and butter dishes and salt & pepper shakers in the shape of foxes, mice, even a ram or two. But I think this hand-crafted 9-inch-tall Goose Pitcher is the one I’d most like to invite to my table. Just for the conversation. Back-ordered until around November 15, it’s $158 from garden-store sister shop Terrain, at the Anthropologie site.


I happen to believe that the world divides into two camps: green people and blue people. Happily, Anthropologie’s Abi stoneware dessert plates are available in both colors, see above and below. A set of four is $72. For the completists among us, there are also Abi dinner plates (four for $112), soup bowls (also four for $112), mugs (four for $56), cereal bowls (four for $72), and, in the blue motif only, adorable floral-decal teaspoons (four for $36).

Anthropologie’s Abi pattern also features, in blue only, adorable floral-decal teaspoons (four for $36).


From House of Hackney, for Anthropologie, these moody flora and fauna patterns from Hackney’s Trematonia collection. The dessert plates are stoneware and $18 each: in dark yellow (with the gamboling goat), dark turquoise (long-tailed pheasant), brown motif (animal-print ground), and peach (daylily and a lion—why not?).


No, you cannot have enough vases, particularly for the dinner table. These especially sparkly glass Crinkle Bauble Vases, from Anthropologie’s garden-store sister, Terrain, come in a set of two, dainty and daintier (the larger is 5¾ inches high, the smaller one 3¼ inches high). I’m thinking two sets of two should do it, at the listed price of $28 per two-vase set. They’re back-ordered until around November 9, but they’re also specially priced (30% taken off in your cart). They come in the green/turquoise shown, also sets of white and pink.


English artist Lou Rota gives her unique interpretation to the Twelve Days of Christmas with this set of stoneware dessert plates. Rota’s cast of characters does have three French hens and four calling birds, but it also includes “nine ladybugs dancing,” “eleven penguins piping,” and “twelve drum fish drumming.” The set of 12 is $240. Given their different shapes, the plates range from 8¾ to 9¾ inches across. If the playful theme truly resonates with you, know that there is a set of a dozen matching cotton napkins, $78, and a 15-inch-long oval platter, $68. 


For a bit of winter fun, try these Holiday in the City stoneware dessert plates. They’re $18 each, and you can choose from New York, Chicago, Paris, Rome, and London. You can extend the theme, if you wish, with stoneware city mugs ($16 each) and mouth-blown juice glasses ($12 each). The New York pattern also offers a 16-inch-long oval stoneware platter ($48).


More than many retailers, Anthropologie enables the playful. They make these scallop-edged Adley glazed glass dessert plates available in kelly green, medium pink, sky blue, and lilac—choose one color or buy a set containing one of each color. Assorted or single-color, the plates are four for $56. A set of 13-inch-diameter chargers is also available, again all in one color or one of each ($88).


Now, this would be a fun addition to the dinner table! Terrain’s Flower Pot Bread Making Kit ($38) includes four terracotta baking pots plus the dry ingredients to make the Terrain cafe’s Flower Pot Bread and Lavender Butter (you need to supply plain butter and parchment paper). It’s not such a bad idea to adapt, either, using your own 4½-inch pots and ingredients (the recipe is at farmsteady.com/terrain).


4 thoughts on “Why I ♥ Anthropologie

  1. Nancy G says:

    Whenever I can actually spend time roaming Anthropology, I make sure to check out the sale section. There’s always something for the kitchen or table in there. Particularly cute plates and cups.

  2. Barbara Kreger says:

    I agree – their kitchen accessories are so much fun. Glad you reminded us of them.

  3. NANCY P POLLARD says:

    So happy to see someone else share my secret vice.

    1. Nancy McKeon says:

      Well, I don’t even think of it as a vice! And, to tell the truth, after I had safely published my little story, I ordered two sets of those adorable Crinkle Bauble vases. I went with the green/turquoise, though the white beckoned as well. (Hmmm, maybe a person CAN have too many vases . . . )

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