The right dinnerware can be as important to a meal as the ingredients on the plate. Dining plates can set the tone of the experience, whether it’s a weeknight dinner with family or a formal holiday party with friends. Here’s how to choose a dinnerware that will work for your lifestyle.
It’s a good idea to select one set of plates and bowls for everyday use and another for more formal events. Keep the following in mind when choosing a material:
● Porcelain. Porcelain ceramic dinnerware sets are versatile and beautiful. Use them in casual or formal settings. They’re lightweight and don’t chip easily. Porcelain is generally microwave and dishwasher safe.
● Earthenware. Earthenware dinnerware has a casual, somewhat rustic look and feel, often due to a crackled finish. These plates are durable and chip resistant.
● Stoneware Dinnerware Sets. Stoneware is a highly sturdy material available in pretty patterns and colors. Most is dishwasher safe and some is even oven safe, making it easy to reheat leftovers.
● Bamboo. Great for everyday use, dinnerware made from renewable bamboo fiber and starch is an ecologically friendly choice. Bamboo shouldn’t be put in the microwave, but most brands are dishwasher safe.
● Plastic or Melamine Dinnerware. Plate sets made from plastic and other synthetic materials are extremely durable. They come in colorful options and are nearly unbreakable, making them great for cookouts and picnics. They’re also ideal for families with small children.
Each material comes in a variety of colors and designs. Classic solid colors like white or beige are timeless, allowing you to hold onto the same set for many years. Brighten your table setting with linens instead. Or choose a colorful pattern for your formal dinnerware to bring personality to special occasions.
Pieces to Consider
For a complete place setting, choose a full dinnerware set. A typical 16-piece plate and bowl set includes four salad bowls, dinner plates, dessert plates and mugs.
You can also buy individual pieces. Choose separate pasta bowls, serving trays and cutlery. Complete your party table with appetizer plates, gravy boats, butter dishes and cream and sugar bowls. They’ll dress up any table for a special event. For a formal touch, place charger plates at each setting.