Dinnerware Basics

Dinnerware Basics

Dinnerware is one of those things that we all use but don’t often think about. It’s just there, doing its job. But when you stop to think about it, there’s a lot more to dinnerware than meets the eye. In this blog post, we will explore the basics of dinnerware: what it is, how it’s made, and what you need to know before you buy it. We will also dispel some common myths about dinnerware so that you can make an informed decision about what kind of set is right for you.

Dinnerware Materials

There are three main types of dinnerware materials: porcelain, stoneware, and earthenware. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks that you should take into account when making your selection.

Porcelain is a type of ceramic that is fired at high temperatures, making it very strong and durable. Porcelain dinnerware is also usually thinner and lighter than other types of dinnerware, making it a good choice if you're looking for something that's easy to handle. However, porcelain can be more expensive than other materials, and it is also more likely to chip or break if dropped.

Stoneware is another type of ceramic that is fired at high temperatures, but it contains a higher percentage of clay, making it heavier and more dense than porcelain. As a result, stoneware is less likely to break or chip than porcelain, but it is also more difficult to handle. Stoneware dinnerware is typically the most affordable option.

Earthenware is the least expensive type of dinnerware material, but it is also the most fragile. Earthenware dinnerware is made from clay that has been fired at lower temperatures, making it more porous and susceptible to chipping and breaking. However, earthenware can be decorated with brightly colored glazes that make it an attractive option for some people.

Dinnerware Shapes and Sizes

There are all sorts of dinnerware shapes and sizes out there. But what do you really need? Here's a quick guide to help you figure it out.

Round plates are the most versatile shape and can be used for everything from appetizers to main courses. They come in a variety of sizes, but the most common are 10-inch and 12-inch plates.

Salad plates are smaller, typically about 7 or 8 inches, and are perfect for side dishes or salads.

Bread and butter plates are even smaller, usually 6 inches, and as the name suggests, they're perfect for bread or rolls and butter.

Dessert plates are small, usually about 5 or 6 inches, and are perfect for sweets or light snacks.

Coupe plates have a shallow bowl shape and can be used for soup, salad, cereal, or dessert. They're also great for appetizers or main courses that include sauce or gravy.

Chargers are large decorative plates that are placed under the dinner plate. They're not meant to be eaten off of but can add a bit of flair to your tabletop presentation.

Dinnerware Patterns

When it comes to choosing dinnerware, there are countless patterns to choose from. Whether you prefer a classic look or something more modern, there is sure to be a pattern that suits your taste. Here are a few of the most popular dinnerware patterns:

1. Floral Patterns - Floral patterns are timeless and elegant. They can be used for both formal and informal occasions.

2. Striped Patterns - Striped patterns are perfect for those who want a simple, yet chic look. They can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion.

3. Solid Colors - Solid colors are ideal for those who want their dinnerware to make a statement. They can be used to create a bold look or to simply add a pop of color to your table setting.

4. Geometric Patterns - Geometric patterns are perfect for adding interest to your dinnerware collection. They can be used for both formal and informal occasions.

5. Plaid Patterns - Plaid patterns are classic and preppy. They can be used for both formal and informal occasions.

Formal vs. Casual Dinnerware

When it comes to dinnerware, there are two main types: formal and casual. Formal dinnerware is typically used for special occasions, such as weddings or anniversaries. It is also generally more expensive than casual dinnerware. Casual dinnerware, on the other hand, is perfect for everyday use. It is often made from less expensive materials, such as stoneware or earthenware.

How to Choose the Right Dinnerware for Your Home

When it comes to choosing the right dinnerware for your home, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, consider the overall style of your home and what kind of look you are going for. Do you want something classic and timeless? Or are you looking for something more modern and contemporary?

Once you have an idea of the general style you are going for, then you can start to narrow down your options. There are a few different materials that dinnerware can be made from, including porcelain, ceramic, stoneware, and glass. Each material has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose one that will fit your needs.

Porcelain is a classic choice that is both elegant and durable. It is however, more brittle than other materials and can chip or break easily. Ceramic is another popular choice that is less fragile than porcelain but still quite strong. Stoneware is the most durable option, but it can be heavy and difficult to handle. Glass is a beautiful option that is also quite strong, but it is more susceptible to shattering if dropped.

Once you’ve decided on a material, then you can start thinking about design elements such as color, pattern, and texture. Again, consider the overall style of your home and choose dinnerware that will complement it nicely. And finally, don’t forget about practicalities such as microwave-safe options and


If you're new to the world of dinnerware, or just need a refresher, this article has hopefully given you all the information you need to get started. Dinnerware can seem like a daunting topic, but once you know the basics it's actually quite simple. Just remember to focus on what you need and what will work for your lifestyle, and you'll be sure to find the perfect set of dinnerware in no time.

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