Mar 12 2010
With all of the dinnerware choices out there, where's a girl to start? Whether you are just getting married or looking to update the collection you started 20 years ago, selecting dinnerware can be a daunting task! We want to help- here are 5 things to consider before purchasing (or registering for) dinnerware!
1. What's Your Lifestyle?Before you decide what your dinnerware should be made from, it's important to know how and when they will be used. Traditionally, couples have elected to have an "Everyday" set and a "Formal" set, primarily used for special occasions. The Everyday set is generally less expensive and more versatile in terms of maintenance, color and pattern than a Formal set. Overall cost is also a consideration since each set requires place settings, serving pieces, flatware and glassware. Your living situation can also determine if you have multiple dinner sets. If you have minimal storage space or are frequently moving from one location to another, one set of dishes may be all you can handle. Sometimes less really is more!
2. What's Your Material?Now that you have decided how many sets of dinnerware you want and how they will be used, it is time to consider the material they are made from. The more popular options are:
Earthenware- One of the oldest materials used in pottery, the clay mixture is fired and glazed to make it watertight. It's natural color ranges from bisque to red, but can be glazed in any color and pattern. We love the Good Earth Pottery for its great color and pattern options as well as it's ability to mix with other lines.
Stoneware- This is the most popular choice for casual, everyday use. It is durable and not easily broken because the clay bonds so closely to the glaze when fired. Casafina is a very popular and versatile Stoneware line, perfect for everyday use
and a couple more...
- Porcelain- Very hard product, but tends to be brittle. It's popular for formal china sets.
- Bone China- This is the standard for fine china manufactured in England, the clay is infused with bone ash to increase the calcium content.
3. What's Your Setting?A basic place setting includes a dinner plate, salad plate, bowl and mug. These are the main pieces you will use every time you sit down to eat, so you will want to purchase these items first. Once you have the basics in the cabinets you can begin collecting serving pieces and additional place setting pieces. When you start to think about adding pieces, think about the type of food you make.
Check it out. A basic setting with style...
- If you like to bake a lot of casseroles, baked pastas or other "one dish dinners", casserole dishes, bakers and individual bakers that match or coordinate with your dinnerware are great choices.
- If you're the type of cook that loves to entertain and bake delicious goodies, platters, cake stands and serving trays will be important for you to collect!
- Adding to the basic place setting is easy to do and recommended if you like large meals! Pasts bowls, bread plates, and ramekins dress up the table nicely and provides a place for all the sides and dishes.
No matter your cooking style, you can always collect serving pieces one dish at at time- just make sure you have chosen a pattern not likely to be discontinued or go out of style!
4. Define Your StyleAre you traditional, modern or a little bit of both (transitional)? Take a look around your home and kitchen. Judging from your decor, cabinet style and personal preferences you will easily determine your style. Once you have narrowed down what your style is, selecting patterns and colors will be much easier!
5. What's Your Flair?
This is where you will see your options explode! It can be overwhelming, but now that you know your style, make your choices one step at a time and you will be just fine...and end up with the perfect set of dinnerware!
Choose your pattern based on your style! Here are some pattern suggestions that generally apply to each style.
- Traditional patterns tend to be more ornate and may even have small embellishments on each piece
- If you want to go modern select a very simple pattern, or no pattern at all. Modern dinnerware also allows you to experiment with different shaped dishes, such as oval, square or triangle.
- Transitional patterns will fall somewhere in between with a simple pattern and minimal details. Transitional lovers might want to consider having a pattern on some pieces and leaving others plain!
When choosing your colors, consider why you are purchasing new dishes in the first place. Do you want to have to update your dinnerware in a few years because they are out of style, or do you want them to last as long as they possibly can?
- If you don't want to have to update your dinnerware in the near future, stick with neutral colors that do not come and go with the trends. White, ivory or cream are easy, long lasting solutions. If you want, you can purchase some serving pieces in accent colors that will be easy and affordable to replace when you want to update!
- If you are the type of person that likes to update with the trends, then the sky is the limit! Dinnerware can be purchased in all sorts of colors with all sorts of finishes! Choose from matte, glossy or even metallic to make your dinnerware the talk of the table!
-The Girls at Bella Vita