Hello from Replacements!

With the holidays over, we're looking forward to an exciting new year of dining, decorating, and entertaining. We're sure you are too, which is why this special winter edition of our newsletter includes gorgeous custom table design ideas, website and event updates, and the interesting history behind the well-known "Currier & Ives" pattern produced by the Royal China Company. And of course we couldn't forget about our furry companions - in this edition we're featuring Rocket, an adorable "Schnackapoo" pooch who not only has a full-time job at home, but occasionally finds time to visit us here at Replacements.

Enjoy browsing our winter newsletter, and best wishes for the year ahead! 

First produced in 1950, "Currier & Ives" is the most popular of the more than 1,400 patterns produced by the Royal China Company. This charming Americana-based pattern features a variety of scenes inspired by Currier & Ives prints, and, over the years, was produced in six different colors: blue, green, pink, black, brown, and multi-color. The pattern's popularity can be attributed in part to its method of distribution; it was sold not only in retail stores and through mail-order catalogs, but pieces were also offered as premiums at supermarket chains like A&P.

The Royal China Company got its start in 1934, when three investors founded a new china company in an abandoned factory that once housed the Oliver China Company and the E. H. Sebring Company in Sebring, Ohio. In 1964, the company expanded by purchasing the French-Saxon China Company. The Jeanette Glass Company bought Royal China in 1969, and discontinued the popular "Currier & Ives" pattern shortly thereafter to focus on more modern designs (this proved to be a mistake, and the pattern was re-introduced in the mid-1970s). The Coca-Cola Bottling Company bought Royal China in 1976, and the company was sold several more times throughout the following decade. The company eventually faced insurmountable financial difficulties in 1986, and ceased all operations.

The story of Currier & Ives doesn't truly begin until 1857, when Nathaniel Currier offered James Ives full partnership in his lithograph business. Currier's background as a talented lithographer complemented Ives' keen business sense and bookkeeping skills, and Currier & Ives was soon one of the most successful lithography companies in the country. Its lithographs depicted a variety of American themes, from scenes of disasters and daily life to landmarks and portraits (and almost everything in between). Currier & Ives prints could be found in many Victorian homes during the mid- to late-19th century, but advances in printing technology led to a decreased demand for lithographs during the early 1900s, and the company liquidated in 1907. Today, Currier & Ives scenes are still found on many decorative and household items, including dinnerware produced by Adams, Churchill, Homer Laughlin, Royal, and others.

Each year, the Pantone Color Institute selects a color to reflect (and influence) fashion trends and home design decisions for the coming year. For the first time ever, Pantone selected two Colors of the Year for 2016: Serenity and Rose Quartz.

These beautifully soft blue and pink tones artfully balance warm and cool to convey a sense of peacefulness. According to Pantone, "Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times." Click here to see a great collection of tableware and accessories that reflect these colors, and get inspired to create a brand new palette of fresh and fashionable tablescapes this year!

1. Square Service Plate - Colorwave-Sky by Noritake   2. Cup & Saucer - Lustreware Blue Fin by Wedgwood   3. Iced Tea Glass - MNN8 by Monongahela   4. Flatware - Stardust by Gorham   5. Dinner Plate - Lusterware Pacific Stripe by Wedgwood   6. Appetizer Plate - Eco Songbird by 222 Fifth   7. Salad Plate - Winrock by Sascha Brastoff

Replacements' Lead Designer Julie Robbins created yet another fabulous and fun place-setting for our newsletter! This setting incorporates a variety of chic mid-century modern flourishes to create a perfect winter table.

"The square and spare service plate is the perfect cool shade of blue, and it also reflects the Serenity Pantone color," Julie said. You'll notice that the luster bands on the dinner plate add a frosty feeling echoed on the cup and saucer, while the salad plate is a sparkly, mid-century modern pattern that adds vintage style. "The appetizer plate is a shimmery white-on-white pattern that looks snowy and sweet, while the cup and saucer repeat the luster element and the blue theme. The iced tea glass features snowflake cuts and a chic mid-century modern design, and the stars/snowflakes on the slim-handled flatware are so fun!" Julie added.

We're bringing our retail store to you! If you're unable to visit us in person (which is something we highly recommend if you have the chance), the new "Stylish Tablescapes in Our Store" section of our website is the next-best thing. Our talented design team created these eye-catching tablescapes, which include vintage chic, flow blue, rustic red, and exotic elegance patterns. This page is the perfect place to find inspiration for your next dinner party! Check it out...

Meet "Rocket" - a Schnackapoo (half-Schnauzer, half-Cockapoo) who lives with Russell Pomeroy, and sometimes visits everyone at Replacements too! "We adopted Rocket ten years ago when our children were still young and wanted a dog," said Russell, a developer in Replacements' IS department. "He's full of energy and has been a great addition to our family. He likes other dogs, but not as much as he enjoys the company of people!"

According to Russell, in addition to all of Rocket's normal doggie responsibilities, he's also able to hold down a full-time job. "My wife works from our home as a private tutor, and Rocket has appointed himself as the official greeter," Russell said. "He's very popular with her students, as well as their parents and siblings. Part of the tutoring session involves reading a book passage out loud, and the students often ask to sit on the floor so Rocket can sit next to them while they read."

When asked about the pet policy at Replacements, Russell said, "Although I don't bring Rocket to work very often, it's been great to have that option when necessary. I think the pet-friendly policy makes Replacements a more people-friendly environment as well."

As we look toward the coming year, we're anticipating great on-site design and decorating seminars, luncheons, and other fun events. We'll keep you in-the-know about these events throughout the months ahead, so keep an eye on this space. As a quick reminder, if you can't attend any of our events, highlights from our past seminars are posted on our YouTube channel. Click here to watch...

We'd like to close this newsletter by wishing the very best for you in 2016! As we enter our 35th year in business, we would like to thank you for another great year. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements regarding our anniversary celebrations!