When you prepare your favorite pasta dish, do you expect your marinara sauce and delicate dash of basil to do all the talking?
What about the stoneware beneath?
How you dress your table will set the mood for the entire occasion.
Think about it. Have you ever walked into someone's home and feasted your eyes on a decadent charcuterie board, dripping in honey and stacked with meat?
That says a lot more than a white dish with some crackers and cheese tossed atop.
Hospitality should always be treated as a celebration. And, when you're doing it right, you're actually elevating it to an art form.
Below, we will walk you through everything you need to know to pick the perfect dinnerware set to match your needs and style.
Consider the Durability
Dinnerware sets are made from different materials and have different finishes. The most common materials are stoneware, earthenware, porcelain, and bone china. Let's take a look at each material.
Earthenware tends to include unglazed finishes. Terra cotta is a good example of earthenware. This isn't always ideal for serving ware because the glaze is what keeps the moisture out. Still, it's an affordable option if you're looking for something inexpensive.
Stoneware is lovely because you can still feel close to nature, but with better durability. Stoneware tends to be microwave and dishwasher-safe because it can handle changes in heat better than earthenware.
You might see porcelain referred to as fine china. It looks delicate and, when held up to the light, can often have a translucent appearance. But, don't be fooled by all the porcelain doll cliches.
This material is actually quite durable. Like stoneware, it can hold up to great shifts in temperature, making it dishwasher safe most of the time.
It's interesting that we associate bone china with dainty tea sets. This is actually the strongest of the porcelain ceramics. It's also known to be chip-resistant.
Consider Your Style
With the basic mechanics out of the way, let's move on to what really matters: what your table dressing will say about your personality.
If your style is elegant, yet understated, then you might gravitate toward ceramic handmade dinner sets. With most ceramics, you'll find pieces that are just as strong as your grandmother's old-fashioned Corelle sets, but infinitely more beautiful.
Find an artist who works with clay to mold one-of-a-kind ceramic creations. Search for soft beiges and earthen reds to create a stylish aesthetic presentation.
If you love a mid-century home, then you might opt for bright splashes of color. Look for bold hues of red, orange, and yellow. Don't be afraid to toy with different patterns and designs.
If your home has modern lines and a clean, crisp feel to it, then you might even consider glass for your kitchen dishes and drinkware. Double-walled glass mugs for green tea will pair nicely with whatever you serve to match your flair for modernity.
We don't like to ensconce anyone in the label of shabby chic. You can have a little bit of everything when you add a farmhouse, shabby, or English country kitchen element to your table styling.
Within this aesthetic, you might tend toward a lot of white in your stoneware. This sort of country chic category, however, combines high gloss with matte finishes. If this is your style, then you can have low and high fashion right there on your dinner table.
Consider Your Needs
Your living situation and social life will also dictate your choices. Christmas dinnerware might call for an eight-piece setting that can serve a five-course meal. But, what about the rest of the year?
Do you need dinner plates and salad plates? Or, would you rather select dinner plates and serving bowls for soup, salads, and cereal? This is what's included in a traditional five-piece dinnerware set:
- Salad plate
- Dinner plate
- Dessert plate
Nowadays, people are mixing that up. You can also consider soup bowls, cereal bowls, pasta dishes, and more. How about a serving platter or charger? Or, perhaps you prefer coffee mugs over teacups and saucers.
Take into account who you'll be accommodating and what type of table you'd like to style. Again, this all goes back to the table setting being the centerpiece of a social gathering.
Will a set of four dinner plates and bowls suffice? If you're seeking out an artisan piece, that may be all your budget will allow. But, you'll say all the right things with your one-of-a-kind selections.
Think Outside the Box
In a sea of options, the search for handmade dinner sets boils down to this: don't follow the rules. The convention for matched sets left the building a few generations ago.
Don't be afraid to mix and match your wine glasses. Gather an array of dinner and salad plates and mix them all together the next time you're hosting eight people at your dining room table. Think outside the box.
It's your table; it's your expression; it's your feast. Say whatever you want to say. If you've chosen well, then your friends and family will applaud your artistic deviations from the norm.
The Best Dinnerware Set for You
In the end, the best handmade dinnerware set for you will say something about you. Be understated in muted tones of white. Then, you can insert a pop of color with your floral arrangements or glassware.
Or, be bright, bold, and mid-century with your orange zest and ruby red selections. The point is: be you.
When you're ready to invest in heirloom stoneware sets, we invite you to browse our luxury, one-of-a-kind creations.
Here at Yom Yom Ceramics, every piece creates a fantastical dining experience that honors food and presents it as your work of art.
Don't leave the art to your wall hangings. Tell a story as you gather around the table night after night, joyous occasion after joyous occasion.