Now that fall is in the air and the mornings are crisp, I’ve been loving spending more time indoors in the cottage. We’ve been slowly making over a couple rooms and areas in the cottage, and one piece that I was so excited to style was our large hutch. Over the summer, I’ve been learning a lot about china, and fell in love with transferware after seeing the technique on The Great Pottery Throw Down (a reality show competition I was obsessed with at the start of quarantine). I dreamed of having my own little collection to grow and display, and I was so excited to partner with William Ashley China to give our cottage hutch a makeover in time for the Thanksgiving festivities.
Burleigh Blue Regal Peacock China
For this makeover, I chose the Burleigh Blue Regal Peacock line, which is available at William Ashley in store and online. Each piece from the Burleigh Blue Regal Peacock collection is handmade in England, at their factory in Middleport. What drew me to this line in particular is the classic blue and white design which never goes out of style, but that can also be mixed and matched with other blue and white pieces from my collection, including our vintage Bavarian Blue Onion china. I also adore that the Burleigh pottery pieces still use the traditional transferware method, where the design is transferred by hand from printed tissue onto the piece–which was even featured on the aforementioned reality show in one episode!
William Ashley carries a large selection of the Burleigh Blue Regal Peacock design here, including soup tureens, jugs, tea sets and place settings. The design also comes in Black Regal Peacock, which is perfect for monochromatic fans and very striking in black.
I love that you can switch between the colour ways, or also add to your collection slowly, as this design has been in production since 1913. It also means that in case something breaks, you can easily replace it as well! I really like investing in pieces that are classic and always in style, and the iconic blue and white pattern is perfect for the cottage with the beautiful bird and floral motifs.
How to Redecorate a Hutch
For this hutch makeover, even though I used only one print, being the Burleigh Blue Regal Peacock design, it’s a good idea to have a variety of shapes, sizes and work in layers. Heather from William Ashley was super helpful, and was able to guide me through the process on where to place things on the hutch to draw interest. I even came in with a photo of the furniture piece, and she was able to determine how many pieces were needed to fill out and balance the 4 shelves. See below for the before picture!
One suggestion she had was to place the large soup tureen at the top shelf, which helped to draw your eye up. I thought this suggestion was very unique, as I’d typically place it on the bottom shelf.
Another favourite piece was the gorgeous octagonal serving bowl which adds dimension with its modern shape and works well as a decorative piece filled with lemons, or as a salad or side serving bowl. I plan on using my two octagonal bowls to serve salad and mashed potatoes this Thanksgiving alongside the beautiful Burleigh Blue Regal Peacock dinner plates!
I also tried to create a “tea area” where I set up an adorable 2-tier cake stand, a teapot, large coffee cups with saucers and a sugar and creamer set resting on a rectangular sandwich tray. I could totally envision even using that lower level to serve tea and baked goods during a Thanksgiving family gathering.
Another favourite decorative piece is the Burleigh Blue Regal Peacock Etruscan Jug, which can do double duty as both a way to serve water at dinner, or to display beautiful cut flowers.
Another good tip I learned is to work in layers, and placed dinner plates at the back on stands, with bowls and various servingware in front. This creates visual interest, and I’d love to grow my collection with more unique pieces as well – I mean, how adorable is that little cow creamer?
I loved styling these pieces so much, that I even placed them on my vintage art deco buffet and shelf. It was so fun playing around with the pieces, and goes to show that you can even create a beautiful look with only a few pieces of serving ware.
As the holidays and Thanksgiving approaches, I think a beautiful coffee creamer and sugar bowl, or the large coffee mugs would make an excellent hostess gift – or an excuse to build your own collection! I’m personally a sucker for anything matching, but I styled this second area to prove you can mix and match newer pieces for a vintage look that feels grounded and classic.
William Ashley has been a Toronto institution for over 73 years! I had a chance to visit their new 15,000 square foot flagship store on Bloor Street for this collaboration, and was able to browse some of their incredible lines of tableware and home decor. They carry over 200 brands, including the fashionable Hermès and Versace lines as well.
If you’re looking to redecorate your own hutch, purchase a wedding gift/register, or pick up some vintage-inspired blue and white china, William Ashley had a wonderful selection and knowledgeable staff to give you many ideas for home decor and entertaining. They also have a beautiful cafe outfitted in chic and quirky Jonathan Adler furniture and decor that is open with safety protocols in place. The experience was a total feast for the eyes, and if you love collecting dinnerware or love to entertain, I highly recommend visiting their flagship location to get inspired!
Thank you to William Ashley for working with me and providing product for this post.