One of the things that I see ALL The time when I go thrifting is old silver-plated serving pieces. Of course, when I get them they look pretty horrible...
but If I see something that's nearly black and fairly heavy, I have a hard time not buying it. As a result, I now have a pretty impressive silver collection.
(same piece after some elbow grease)
One day when we have a real dining room, I'm planning to use my collection of silver-plated platters and serving dishes to make a gigantic disco-classical-fabulous arrangement on a wall
Imagine this, but less big, and SHINY. It would reflect light around like a mirror, but without making me stare at myself throughout an entire dinner. Sure, it would require some elbow grease a few times a year to take everything down and clean, but it would look awesome. Which is a justification for many, many things.
I'm thinking I could make a decent sized arrangement for about $100 if I trolled the thrifts for a few more pieces (plus the cost of silver polish).
Another pretty option would be hammered aluminum. Hammered aluminum serving pieces were popular in the 1940s and 1950s, and although less popular, they are still made today Ethan and I started a collection when we got a large platter for a wedding present. I have bought two more pieces since, and I love them.
They are readily available on Ebay and I've seen a few in the thrift stores. If you buy a piece new, it's super shiny, but over time they get a dull patina. I think these would also be beautiful hung on a wall. Or anywhere, really.