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Top 5: Tea towels {that just might be too good to even use}

Fat Mum Slim /

Top 5: Tea towels that might just be too good to use

Did you ever visit a house as a kid that had two lounge rooms? You know the fancy one and then the one that the people actually use to lounge in? Perhaps your house had them?

Two lounge rooms seemed like a luxury to me. Still do.

That fancy lounge room is the equivalent of the fancy tea towel to me. It’s the one that you hang up on the oven door, but you never actually use. Perhaps a friend comes over and helps out washing up… and she grabs for the good one… eek! How do you tell someone it’s your display tea towel {i.e. not for actual use?}. It’s just like that fancy lounge room, what do you do if your guests actually want to lounge there? Eek.

I don’t own a fancy tea towel yet, but I think it’s time I took the leap. Here’s five that are worth jumping the wagon for.

1. To Dry For | 2. Able & Game | 3. Third Drawer Down | 4. The SuperCool | 5. Castle & Things

  • Erin

    You’re hilarious! I love that you talk about all of these funny little thing in life that seem so important.
    My great aunt had shell shaped soap you couldn’t use. I would wet my hands and just rub the bottom of it on one palm.
    I have pillows on the bed. God help my hubby if he tries to put his head on one!

  • Yes! I admit, I do have one ‘decorative’ tea towel. It’s from a zoo and I’ve never actually used it as a tea towel. Though I keep eyeing THIS one and wondering if I could maybe frame it and put it above my sink?

  • My sister has two lounge rooms…the one for “good” that never gets used and the normal one. Included in her “good” lounge room is her “good” dining room! One Christmas when my eldest daughter was about 18months old we were spending it at her house and when it came to eating Christmas dinner we were all allowed to sit at the “good” table in the “good” room to eat with the exception of my daughter, she was supposed to sit in the kitchen in her high chair by herself…I am guessing you all know where my husband (now my ex) and me had Christmas dinner!!! She realised what a mistake she had made and from then on any family gatherings at her house were held in the kitchen. To this day I don’t believe her “good” room gets used at all, everyone who visits gravitates to the kitchen/dining room.

  • I always thought the ‘good’ lounge was a total waste of space and if I had one I’d turn it into my office/chick cave! And I totally agree, while I drool over beautiful tea towels, I can’t bring myself to buy one because it’d feel weird not to use it but wrong to mess it up. LOVE Rachel Castle’s one though (the best of a great bunch above) might need to start a collection.

  • Sophie Nech

    Lol… We have the fancy lounge and dining rooms! I hate them! Total waste of space if you ask me! I’d rather livable spaces.. But I’m loving the fancy tea towels 🙂 Think I may have to invest in one or two for my fancy guests to wipe up their fancy dishes with once they’ve eaten in my fancy rooms!

  • Growing up we had one of those lounge rooms where no one could sit on the couch. I bought some cloth napkins for the first time. I”m struggling with the fact they are so cute I don’t know if I want anyone to get them dirty now. I think if they get a stain on them that won’t come out I’ll eek. I’m going to have to work on getting over this so I actually use them.

    • I bought some cloth napkins once as well. They’re white and crisp and beautiful. My husband decided to clean the BBQ with one of them. I wanted to cry. It’s now a weird shade of oily brown. Sob.

  • Brooke

    I love my Tasmanian made and illustrated tea towels by Dish Pig. We had some shocking bush fires here locally and to raise money she create a memorial towel to all the towns effected. My mother in law was effected, but better off than most and as a gift her one of the towels. All monies raised from their sale also went to the bush fire charity appeal. An awesome brand and who knew you could do so much good with a towel 🙂

  • Lex Priestley

    I love this post and can totally relate to it. However…here’s me on a tea towel! Just for fun we had these printed for all the family, our kids, nieces and nephews, their grandmas and grandpas. They all got their very own tea towels with a picture of me and my hubby on them. And you know what? I kept one and can’t bring myself to use it yet, lol. Here’s the link:

  • Dongella

    I totally get the teatowel obsession. I create hand embroidered applique teatowels which I sell at markets and give away to friends and family as presents. My friends never want to use them for drying up because they are too ‘good and pretty’ to use. There are a bunch of husbands out there cursing me because of the ‘decorative – look but don’t touch’ teatowels hanging in their kitchens!! Our last house had 2 lounge rooms we turned the ‘good’ one into a play/dance room for the kids. Way more use and so much fun than the don’t touch/sit on the furniture room it used to be. Didn’t bother putting one in the new house 🙂

  • Had to share my favourite tea towel with you. It’s this one… but I’d take any Rob Ryan one. I’m tempted to just frame them. I couldn’t put one on the oven door, someone would use it to mop up a piddle puddle. :-/

    • Beautiful! My sister gifted me Rob Ryan plates for Christmas one year, and they’re still the best present I’ve ever been given.


  • Jo

    Hi chantelle. I bought a tea towel that has an old tram stop scroll from Melbourne on it , framed it and it it looks great. There are some truly great tea towels out there, just too good to use for the intended purpose

    • Mimi

      I have done the same, with the same teatowel – great minds!

  • mandy

    My only fancy tea towel is a Rob Ryan one and it does not even get to be near the oven it is displayed on the wall! Way too cool to use.

  • Petal

    When i was a teenager a friend of mine had these beautiful fluffy towels in the bathroom hanging on the towel rack, but her Mum told us they were for display purposes only and hidden in the cupboard were the less expensive, less fluffy and less pretty towels that we could actually use! I must admit there were a few times there I might have wiped my face on the display ones a few times after brushing my teeth 🙂

  • Bazil_Lea

    I am of a shabby disposition, that is everything should have beauty and function, My good tea towel is a destination scroll as well, Canberra based from the Handmade store it hangs on the oven but is often used as an oven mitt. I did however go out and buy twenty tea towels in the same colours as the cushions on our kitchen daybed so that I would have years of matching ones. One day I hope to own one of the Brookish Austin inspired ones on Etsy – actually might treat myself now.

  • Kirsty S

    *lol* I got my friend a tea towel as part of her Christmas present last year. I keep meaning to ask her whether it will get used or displayed. It’s this one:

  • Tren

    Interesting. I don’t like any of those five tea towels. Now I’m curious and I’m going to have to go looking to find my fave 5 dish towels 🙂 My roommates in college bought some “show towels” for the kitchen and I thought it was ridiculous that they would freak out if anyone used them. I always use the dish towel hanging on the dishwasher or oven door.

  • Amanda Lapthorne

    I have the fancy tea set (or sets rather). Since I have been 19 I have been collecting Royal Doulton vintage tea set – my favourites are the violets and pansy sets.

  • Hahaha I was given lovely Pink Ribbon tea towels by my Daughter for Christmas and at a recent family gathering I was sitting outside when I saw someone grab one off the oven door ( where it is displayed) and go to use it. Apparently I FLEW across the patio and through the kitchen door screeching like a banshee and frightened the girl so much she dropped the tea towel before she had a chance to use it anyway! LOL Nobody had any idea what the problem was until I said ( calmly and politely) “Please don’t use that tea towel, it’s special” They all thought I was nuts and someone even said “You know it’s washable!” Idiot! As if it would ever be the same after washing!!

  • leanne

    i’m actually considering framing one of my castle tea towels….