When designing or setting up a dinner table, your dinnerware generally serves as the main attraction. Sure, you can decorate your table with candles, colorful napkins, and flowers, but dinnerware will almost always be the main element that guests really focus on. Moreover, if the quality of your dinnerware does not match the overall design of your dinner table, you may commit a major faux pas with your friends and family!
However, good dinnerware is not just for elegant dinner parties or special events. Investing in high-quality dinnerware can also help make sure that every meal you enjoy with friends or family is one-of-a-kind. Additionally, dinnerware made with lasting materials can ensure that you won’t have to replace your dining set for years to come!
Nonetheless, you’ve probably still got a few questions when it comes to shopping for dinnerware. For example, what are some things you should consider before buying a new dinnerware set? What are the best dinnerware materials? Finally, how can you use different dinnerware styles to modernize your table set? We will answer all of these questions and more in today’s dinnerware guide, but first, let’s look at exactly what is meant by the term “dinnerware.”
What Is Dinnerware?
Dinnerware can include a wide array of items used for serving, eating, and even accompanying food. For this reason, dinnerware goes by many different names. Some people call it tableware or crockery, while others will simply refer to their dinner set or plate set. In any case, these names all generally refer to the items that we use to set a table, serve food, and eat.
Thus, the most common dinnerware examples include plates, glassware, dining utensils, and many other solid items used on a dinner table. That said, there are generally two primary types of dinnerware: practical and decorative. Practical dinnerware includes anything that you would actually use to serve and eat food, from a serving dish to a spoon.
Alternatively, decorative dinnerware is anything that is not actually used for the process of dining or serving, but is simply present to enhance the visual appeal of your table. Examples of decorative dinnerware might include napkin holders, candelabras, and some kinds of decorative centerpieces. In any case, the Western use of dinnerware most often refers to dining sets used for eating, typically made from traditional porcelain or china.
What To Consider When Buying Dinnerware
Fortunately, shopping for dinnerware is not overly complicated, even though there are thousands of different products and dinner sets to choose from! That said, there are a few important factors that you will need to consider before selecting your dinnerware:
- Manufacturer - When choosing the best dinnerware for sale online or in person, you will need to do your research on the manufacturer. A quick search will often lead you to reviews of a manufacturer’s products and information about their production processes. If you’re in need of a high-quality dinnerware manufacturer with products for sale online, you can’t go wrong with Stone Lain.
- Price - The cost of dinnerware will likely play an important role in your final decision. Generally, you will need to pay more for quality, but this doesn’t mean that you should avoid bargains. There are plenty of good deals out there — even for premium dinnerware.
- Design - Naturally, you will want to pick plate and dinner set designs that match your sense of style and the decor of your home (or wherever you will be dining). In any case, this ultimately comes down to your personal tastes. If you’re buying dinnerware as a gift, you will definitely want to consider the wants and sensibilities of the recipient before making a purchase!
- Material - Finally, the material is one of the most important factors to consider when buying dinnerware. Not only will underlying material affect the visual appeal of your dinnerware, but it will also affect its price and longevity. Some of the most common materials include porcelain, bone china, earthenware, stoneware, and glassware.
The Best Dinnerware Material
It is difficult to conclude that there is one “best” dinnerware material, as different types of dinnerware serve different needs. For example, if you are looking for everyday dinnerware, you might want to choose a material that is relatively low-cost, but still strong against chipping and regular wear-and-tear. Alternatively, if you’re looking for the best dinnerware material for cocktail parties and fancy dinners, you will likely want to go with something a little more refined and elegant, albeit equally sturdy.
Earthenware is a type of ceramic that is generally considered low-quality. As a result, it is one of the best options for budget shoppers or those who just want casual, everyday dinnerware. However, due to its brittle texture, earthenware dinnerware is not made to last, so it probably won’t serve as a good long-term investment.
Stoneware is a big step up from earthenware in terms of quality, durability, visual appeal, and price. If you choose stoneware, you are getting the rustic quality of a stone-like material that is far less likely to chip. Although stoneware is generally not considered as “high-end” as some other materials. Nonetheless, it strikes a good balance between price and quality.
Porcelain is a standard material for dinnerware because it is even more durable than stoneware, but it has a fine, delicate appearance. Consequently, porcelain dinnerware is also a little more expensive than stoneware. Nonetheless, it is sure to impress guests at just about any dinner party!
In terms of price, glassware and porcelain are often quite similar. However, the price will largely depend on the production processes and even the type of glassware. For example, crystal glassware is much more expensive and requires far more time to craft. In any case, glassware of any kind can be easily chipped and scratched. Thus, while it may look beautiful, it requires extra care and maintenance for long-term use.
If you’re willing to spend a little bit more, bone china is the best and most durable dinnerware material. Bone china is a kind of porcelain made with bone ash, feldspar, and kaolin. It has a more translucent appearance than regular porcelain, which makes many people believe that it is more fragile. However, the opposite is true. In fact, bone china is frequently regarded as the most durable dinnerware material on the market.
Modern Dinnerware Styles
In years past, bone china, glassware, and porcelain were considered the height of elegance and refinement at the dinner table. To one degree or another, this still holds true. However, contemporary sensibilities have evolved in a direction that favors simpler, more modern tableware.
Many modern dinnerware collections and modern dinner sets feature stoneware as a primary component. Oftentimes, stoneware has the benefit of combining a rustic aesthetic with more modern minimalism. Alternatively, some contemporary dinnerware is a melting pot of different colors and materials. This allows you to add even more of your personal creativity to the equation!
Regardless of the material or design you choose, the best way to modernize your dinnerware style is to replace old dinnerware and keep your best dinnerware in peak condition. This may require you to make an investment upfront, but if you practice care and proper maintenance with your dinnerware, you can enjoy a modern dinner table for decades!
Are you interested in acquiring a beautiful dinnerware set? If so, be sure to check out our offerings at Stone Lain today!