“What’s in Your Collection?” with Tobi Fairley

We are back with another guest (one who needs no introduction on this blog), my good friend, Tobi Fairley!

Tobi has shared with us some images from her collections on “The Collected Room” before, and today she would like to share with you a new collection she is starting: Oyster Plates!

Kathryn: Why are you passionate about oyster plates? What really spoke to you about them?

Tobi: Well, I first noticed Oyster Plates on trips to New Orleans.  I thought they were just enchanting, and each one seemed so unique! After seeing them in The Big Easy, I began to find them in lots of places, and that’s how I fell in love with them.

Kathryn: Where and how do you use your collection (i.e. for display, only on holidays, for dining, etc)?

As you know, entertaining and hosting parties is one of my favorite things; it’s a joy we share! So I would certainly love to develop a collection that could double as wall decor in my kitchen and that I could also take down to use as serving dishes at parties.

Kathryn: What are your favorite sources for finding these pieces?

Tobi:  I always seem to have lots of luck scouting pieces for my collections on Ebay and Amazon, as well as through online antique dealers. I also try to stay in the good graces of local antique dealers, who will then keep an eye out for anything special that comes their way. Both of these shopping strategies allow me to be a collector and still maintain a very busy work/family schedule.

Kathryn: What is your best piece of advice for someone who may want to start a similar collection?

Tobi: I would say the best thing to do is decide what you want to do with your collection.  In the case of oyster plates, for instance, if you know you want to use these plates as decor, then you might identify where you want to hang them or place them so you know what color/style/quantity to search for.  Alternately, if you want to use them as serving dishes, consider what will look great with your other tableware and tabletop decor. Taking a practical approach to collecting will allow your collections to enhance your life rather than becoming a storage burden.

Here’s a few of my very favorite plates!

Anyone who knows me can tell you I love teal, turquoise, and aqua. Don’t these plates just remind you of a beautiful ocean view? These would be fantastic to add that perfect pop of color to a dining room or kitchen. (sources: guildedageantiques, minton-majolica, atticmag.com)


These Bia Cordon Bleu oyster plates from cooking.com would look lovely with this room design, featured in House Beautiful!  White oyster plates can go with any decor and with any set of dishes and still look great!


As you can see here, this beautiful plate reminds me of my office. Isn’t the color so pretty?

Thanks for asking about my new collection, Kathryn!



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2 Responses to “What’s in Your Collection?” with Tobi Fairley

  1. Franki Parde says:

    Oyster plates must be a “hot commodity!” I just bought two for a friend when I spotted them. Yours are just beautiful…these were, too. franki

  2. Kathryn says:

    Yes, aren’t they fun… to collect…to hang…to display… and of course to use!

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