I love old dishes, the time mellowed hues and crackled glaze gives them a commonality that makes my miss-matched collection work beautiful as a setting. Vintage plates and bowls can be found everywhere from yard sales and flea markets to antique shops; and they are often inexpensive. Even if broke, which happens from time to time at my house, their beauty can still be enjoyed and appreciated through repurposing.
I used the decorative center of a broken saucer as a design element in a mosaic top I crafted for a mid-century wire stand.
Remember that some of the glazes used in vintage dishes may contain lead so test them before using. I sometimes use the old dishes like chargers, paired with clear dishes so their beauty is still visible while food is kept safely away from possible lead contamination.