Shopping for new dinnerware can seem like a daunting task. With all the options out there, it can be difficult to narrow it down to a set that reflects your personal style while also supporting your lifestyle.
Dinnerware provides a canvas for any meal – from morning cereal to Thanksgiving dinner - and is an important aspect of any home. Dishes, plates, bowls, and other pieces have the power to not only enhance your meal but showcase your personal style.
Before you start shopping for new dinnerware, there are many aspects to consider. Start off by thinking about how much extra storage space you have, the size of your household and family, and how often you host dinner parties. This will help narrow down your choices when considering material, style and the quantity of dishes you need.
Keep reading for simple tips on how to choose the right dinnerware set for your style and needs!
Decide on a material
Patterns, colours, and design are fun aspects of home décor, but material should always come first. This will influence the useability and durability of your dinnerware. The most common types of dinnerware material include:
This is perhaps the most common dinnerware material, made of clay, feldspar and quartz. Porcelain dishes have non-porous surfaces and, as a result, are extremely versatile, durable and usually dishwasher, microwave and oven safe.
- Bone China
A favourite due to its elegance and strength, bone china is chip-resistant so you shouldn’t hesitate from using it for everyday meals. While this option is typically more expensive than porcelain, it can be a more lightweight and elegant option for everyday use as well as more sophisticated dinner parties. If you’re shopping for a new dinnerware set that’s sure to impress for years to come, look no further than our very own Bone China Square Dinnerware Set!
While stoneware is very durable, it is often considered less elegant than porcelain or bone china since the material is opaque. However, the unique glaze gives it a smooth look, so it’s all about personal taste. The impermeable finish of stoneware makes it optimal for everyday use (think outdoor barbeques and kids)! If you opt for this material, keep in mind that many options are not oven safe and must be maintained to keep the glaze intact. If you’re on the hunt for simple and chic tableware that can stand the test of time and your dishwasher, check out this 2-Tone Matte Dinnerset!
Ceramic dishes are composed of clay and a mixture of aluminium silicate and sand. This porous material is often glazed for decorative and practical purposes. Enhance your table set-up with this simple yet contemporary option.
Choose materials based on your style and needs
There are no set guidelines to follow when shopping for new dinnerware. If having both a formal and an informal set fits with your lifestyle (and budget), then go for it! If you’re leaning towards a more formal set for family gatherings or sophisticated parties, china, porcelain or stoneware are all great options. As mentioned earlier – these materials are designed to be durable, so don’t shy away from using them daily. There are also many options for casual dinnerware sets such as earthenware and melamine (a more durable, harder plastic) that are outdoor and kid-friendly!
Simple and timeless or fun and colourful?
Choosing the design and style of your dinnerware set is the fun part! Choose between classic white porcelain and bone china sets to accent every meal or fun, bold colours to brighten up family celebrations. No matter your home décor, a classic white set can be a timeless and chic option.
If you’re looking to add a splash of colour but not go overboard, you might want to consider adding some open-stock items to your original set. Choose bowls or serving trays like this teal leaf bowl with cool patterns and designs to add that desired pop of colour.
Dinnerware is about so much more than serving food – it is an expression of your style and can set the mood for any meal or occasion.
Decide on the quantity
While this may seem like a simple decision, many dinnerware shoppers often get torn between buying too much and buying too little. Think carefully about how many dishes you actually need for everyday use and how much cabinet space you have for those extra sets.
This decision will vary depending on your household and how often you wish to entertain. If you’re leaning towards formal dinnerware, keep in mind that these sets can include a dinner plate, salad or dessert plate, bread plate, teacup with a saucer, and soup bowl.
Four to six place settings is typically recommended for a two-person household, and eight to twelve for a four-to-five person household. To make things a little clearer, close your eyes and dream up the ideal dinner party size you can host in your space - then buy enough settings for that.
Take what you need, leave what you don’t. This comes back to your lifestyle and how much space you have available for storage. Before you start shopping, measure your cabinet space and the height of your dishwasher to make sure your dishes are functional for your space both on and off the table.
Sets now, open stock later!
Dinnerware sets typically contain 20 pieces for four people. If you’re starting from scratch and require every dish type, this may be the easiest and most affordable option to get you started. Once you select a set that you like, make sure there is an open-stock option for it – this will allow you to replace broken pieces without having to buy more than you need. This piece-by-piece selection process is a great option for those seeking only a small number of pieces as opposed to a full set. If you cannot seem to find a set you like that contains soup bowls, for example, then turning to open stock options to fill that gap allows you to customize your own set.
How much should you spend?
Now that you’ve determined the material, style and quantity of your tableware set, its time to consider how much you should – and can – spend. Dinnerware can cost anywhere from a few dollars per piece to hundreds of dollars for a set, depending on the material and quality. On average, a good-quality place setting can cost around $50. Keep in mind that many retailers reduce the cost per individual place setting when you buy multiple sets.
Shopping for new dinnerware doesn’t have to feel like such a chore. Consider your priorities when it comes to durability, functionality and style before you make your decision. Although its fun to follow trends and provide pops of colour, a classic set can be both timeless and beautiful.