When designers John and Linda Meyers plan a party, they don't start with the food. They start with the serving pieces. A bronze elk-shaped platter, for instance, was essential for a holiday party in their Portland, Maine, apartment. After some discussion, the couple used the platter to serve Linda's chocolate-espresso balls coated in powdered sugar. "It looked as if giant snowballs had landed on that poor elk," John says.
John and Linda are just the sort of people who have an elk-shaped platter on hand: The two are insatiable collectors of well-designed '60s and '70s tableware. When they moved from New York City to Maine about seven years ago, they began scouring flea markets and yard and estate sales every weekend, and they rarely came away empty-handed. Largely inspired by Terence Conran's incredible The Kitchen Book (published in 1977), their collections came to include a mountain of flame-orange Le Creuset piled high over shelves of cookbooks, stacks of red and blue Dansk pots and a set of moss-colored, Camelot-pattern Denby china from England that they inherited from a friend who passed away.
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Eventually, the Meyers' collection started to overrun their small apartment. So the couple launched an online store, The Wary Meyers Shop, to off-load their surplus tableware, books, art and lamps. "We see so much amazing stuff, but we can't own it all," Linda says. "We want someone else to own it. It's heartbreaking not to buy it, because it's so wonderful."