Chances are, if you were married between 1920 and 1960, you have at least five or six vintage cups and saucers tucked away in your china cupboard. In those days, every blushing bride was showered with countless gifts of single teacups from the likes of Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Spode or Lenox. Even if you hail from a more recent generation, you've probably still had a couple of sets handed down. And chances are, over the years, some of those teacups have broken, leaving you with a few lonely saucers you can't bear to part with. But take heart - our ideas make it easy to recast those whimsical dishes as pretty standby accessories for virtually every room in the house.
What to look for:
Proper teacups were made shallower and wider than coffee cups in order to allow the brew to cool. Look for pieces without chips, cracks, grazes or stains, and stack china with soft cloth between pieces.
Think outside the kitchen and put a vintage saucer to work in the powder room as a no-mess soap dish. Display your prettiest scented soaps - round, flat shapes work best - on a colour-coordinated or similarly themed dish.
Reinvent orphaned saucers as eclectic individual butter plates at a casually elegant spring fete. Choose saucers that are within the same colour family for a cohesive look, and match with white crockery or glass.