It's in our genes.

Sparkling Table Setting
The Champagne-colored cotton velvet tablecloth adds a luxurious feel. "If I have even a little budget, I spend it on the linens," says Tara. Source GuideTablecloth and napkins: cust
| Credit: Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Whether your china cabinet is filled with heirloom Blue Willow or a little of this and a little of that from the thrift store, a go-to reserve china is a must-have for Southerners. We love décor that's tasteful, timeless, and tells a story, and china collections almost always check all those boxes. In the South, you'll find it dressed up on formal holidays and dressed down for Sunday lunch. We'd even wager that everything from tea biscuits to tailgate fare has been served up on china throughout the region. But there are lots of reasons to love fine china—from its style to its history, this is why Southerners love china so much:

We like a good story

And hand-me-downs and heirlooms almost always come with one. Every time those plates get trotted out, so will that story.

And we love a great party

(Generally this is where aforementioned good story will be told.) Southerners will take any reason to gather round and celebrate—why not make it feel extra-special by pulling out the china?

Granny style?

Haven't heard of it. We call it classic. (Even the tacky patterns come around every couple decades, after all. Might as well be prepared.)

Pretty china can do a lot for not-so-pretty cooking

You can't buy talent in the kitchen, but you can buy pretty plates.

You can decorate a whole kitchen around one plate (or several)

It's true! This Texas homeowner did, and now has a charming blue kitchen thanks to her collection of blue-and-white dishware.

Matching is not required

Especially with blue and white patterns, mixing china is a snap. Gather up plates of similar color schemes to create a mixed and matched table with serious style.