Thomas’s latest collection of Reed & Barton dinnerware, Maison Couleur, has arrived at Copper Beech. The collection has a wonderful vintage feel, with beautiful and useful pieces including dinner and salad plates, classic footed bowls, tidbits plates, and elegant covered serving pieces. The collection is available in four patterns that can be mixed.
House Beautiful, April 2018, Produced by Benjamin Reynaert, photo by Francesco Lagnese
The inspiration for this collection was an antique tile-pattern catalog that Thomas bought from an antiquarian bookseller, as well as Thomas and Dan’s travels in France; this dinnerware exudes the charm of the early 20th century European design. The colors—cream, warm indigo, French blue, Bordeaux, and white—and patterns are reminiscent of the tile work in the old cafés and covered passages of Paris.
“I was drawn to this wonderful little book with its compilation of such classic to more elaborate tile patterns, especially because it comes directly from the time when tile was being used in this certain way in homes and cafes,” says O’Brien. “There is a universal appeal and charm, and something very European, about the designs the minute you see them. I thought that would be a very interesting thing to bring to dishes, that I hadn’t quite seen before.”
The little loose-leaf book of tile patterns was originally used to sell tile floors to café and shop owners in France; Thomas loved the way the rich and warm colors of the patterns looked in miniature, and printed on the white pages alongside their early industrial model numbers. These details were incorporated into the Maison Couleur dinnerware collection. The patterned pieces combine color with cream on a white base, like in the pages of the printed catalog; the outlines on the borders were copied directly from it as well, as was numbering of the patterns.
The collection includes the diamond grid pattern Diamant No 10 in indigo, French blue, or Bordeaux; Ardeche No 35, a pattern of elegant polychrome quatrefoils; the cream-and-black on white Martine No 16; and the recently introduced simple white L’hotel No 29.
These designs are perfectly suited for Copper Beech, reflecting Thomas and Dan’s laid back yet elegant entertaining style; the collection is casual but also timeless and refined, and designed with modern lifestyles in mind. The beautifully proportioned pieces, each are a new shape for Reed & Barton, include the favorite footed all-purpose bowl. It’s perfect, acknowledging traditional French design while being so useful in the home, perfect for weeknight seasonal soups or, for the traditionalist or Francophile, quiet at-home breakfasts of café au lait and tartines.