If you'd like to swap out some of your heavy winter decor for a lighter, airier feel this summer, try blue and white Chinese porcelain. It's practical, versatile and can be found easily at decor shops. Best of all, the cool color combination is an elegant look that doesn't break the bank.

CLASSIC HUES

There's no question that the blue and white color combination is a classic, elegant look that goes with almost every decor. Maybe what's even better is how easy it is to find blue and white porcelain in a variety of shapes and sizes. For instant impact with chic appeal, try adding two large Chinese blue and white vases on your dining table or entry foyer console. If you have a small writing desk or one with cubby holes, what would look cuter than a collection of blue and white porcelain animals?

In the kitchen, try a combination of lidded jars and use those for a stylish set of flour and sugar canisters. Just make sure that the jars you use say "food safe." Try replacing your mismatched coffee mugs with a variety of blue and white ones. The patterns may all be different, but the color combination will create a unified look.

Or create a vignette of porcelain by adding a variety of jars and vases in different shapes, such as long-necked, gourd-shaped or square, and in varying sizes. You can also put a large platter on a stand and flank it with a pair of vases, with some smaller pieces in front.

On the wall above, add a decorative arrangement of blue and white porcelain platters or plates. You can often find a variety of dishware, plates and platters at Asian markets. While you're there, stock up on some extra soup bowls and small dishes for sauces and condiments.

DO-YOUR-OWN DECOR

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If you'd like to add a blue and white accent in your bedroom, take a pair of vases to a local lamp shop and have them drilled and wired to be custom lamps that are both chic and affordable. For wall interest, try a grouping of vases on a shelf. You'll create a design that looks like a million bucks and costs less than $100. Or put a piece of artwork on the shelf with a vase on each side. It adds impact and interest simply by creating a 3-D aspect on a wall.

For something a little unexpected, add a blue and white porcelain garden stool for a sweet spot to set a drink or add a collection of blue and white porcelain to top your fireplace mantel. If you love the patterns and prints on blue and white porcelain, carry it a bit further by adding drapes or throw pillows in Chinese porcelain printed fabrics.