Reader Q&A – Advice on Dishes

Reader Question: I have been looking at china patterns for our home. It can be a little overwhelming, so I was hoping to see what advice you may have. How many sets do you recommend? What parts of each place setting are necessary? I’m actually looking to replace our everyday dishes, since several pieces have been broken or chipped, in addition to have a set of china. Currently we own no china. We’ve been married for nearly five years, so I’m obviously not doing a registry and will just purchase as we can afford. Thank you!

Answer: It truly can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! As fun as it can be to have every piece made, it just isn’t that practical. For china I recommend a minimum of eight sets – more if you tend to entertain at the holidays, which is when the china will likely be used. For everyday dishes, 12 sets would be more ideal. Many everyday sets are sold as a set as opposed to individual pieces. The most common set includes a dinner plate, salad/dessert plate, bowl and coffee cup. These would be the most basic pieces you need. I enjoy having a bread plate and saucer for the coffee cup, as well. I’ve never found the need for both a dinner plate and a luncheon plate. For my china, I have the same pieces. Each year for my birthday or Christmas, I’ll accumulate more pieces, like a butter dish, serving bowl, etc. The ones I highly recommend would be a butter dish, two serving bowls, large platter and salt & pepper shakers. I have other pieces that I enjoy but don’t consider necessary, such as fruit bowls, asparagus dish, baking dishes for my everyday set, batter bowl, etc. My best advice is to get the type and amount of dishes that suit your lifestyle!

Dinnerware Essentials

Hi, everyone! I’ve received a few emails asking about china vs. everyday dishes, extra pieces, etc. So, I thought I’d give you MY suggestions. Please remember to do what’s best for your family, your budget and your entertaining preferences.

I strongly encourage china. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t have to be new. I’ve found complete sets at antique stores for $100. (Note: I’m kicking myself for not getting them, BUT I hope it made its way to a home of someone who appreciates it). I just enjoy and appreciate the added “specialness” it brings to an ordinary occasion. As a child, I remember using it and feeling so grown up. As an adult, I love a pretty table. It’s your preference, though. I encourage 12 place settings of the dinnerware you will use at Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. If this is everyday dinnerware, that’s great. If it’s china, that’s great, too. For argument’s sake, let’s go with china. So, in short, 12 placesettings of china. What makes a place setting? At absolute minimum, a dinner plate and a dessert plate (can double as a salad plate). I prefer to also have a bread plate, coffee cup and saucer. It’s not mandatory, but for my personal collection, I have bowls, as well. We actually use these more than I ever expected to, particularly at the holidays. Aside from 12 place settings, I strongly encourage a large serving platter and a serving bowl. I have a lot of serving pieces for my wedding china (Lenox Vintage Jewel). However, for my “fun china” (shown in picture above – Lenox Autumn), I just have 8 place settings. No serving pieces. I found a good buy on ebay and just went with it! For that pattern, I’m comfortable mixing in glass bowls, crystal and white platters, etc. Do what makes the most sense for you.

I don’t find a need in completing a set all at once. For my everyday dinnerware (Pfaltzgraff  Yorktowne), I have collected pieces over the years after receiving our initial plates and bowls as wedding gifts. Pfaltzgraff (like many companies) keep patterns pretty much the same and just add and take away particular pieces each year. So, certain candlesticks I’ve found are from certain years, and the same goes for most of my additional pieces.

As you can tell from the photo above, our casual dinnerware is just that. Casual. This fits our lifestyle for most days.

I hope this post helped you if you had questions on what to get, how many pieces, etc. Thank you for asking the question! As always, thank you for reading. 🙂

Pfaltzgraff Flash Sale – Ends Tonight!!

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Looking to add to your dinnerware collection? Pfaltzgraff is what I personally have for my everyday dishes. I love them. Each collection has a wide array of choices, from spring and fall plates to trivets.

Today until 10 PM EST, you can save 25%!! This is a rare sale, so if you have been looking to buy, now is the time to do so!

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