The Art of Curated Tableware: Tips to Elevate Your Dining Experience

Every household should aim for a fine dining experience. Sharing a meal with friends and family is a special moment and should be treated as such. From the food to the presentation, paying attention to each element of the experience can help us enjoy these precious moments even more.

Whether you’re preparing a spontaneous get-together or a lavish Christmas feast, curating a collection of tablewares can transform a simple meal into an elegant affair. Here’s what you need to know to select a gorgeous collection of plates, servingware, cutlery and everything else that goes into a refined tablescape.

Go for a Cohesive Design

As soon as visitors arrive and take a seat at the dining table, they will begin to look at everything laid out on the table and how it fits together. So you want to create a cohesive tablescape that includes elements that complement each other and the setting.

When it comes to tablewares, there are many designs available, which can be confusing. It’s best to select high-quality dinnerware that will go well with the design of your home. If you pick a style or a colour that doesn’t match the theme of the event or the setting, it will stick out like a sore thumb. For instance, if you have a minimalist contemporary home, it’s best to avoid the regal vintage dinnerware designs made by Royal Crown Derby.

On the other hand, if you like to decorate in a traditional style and love collecting antiques, collectable tableware pieces will look perfect at home. Just make sure to check that they are genuine, as these pieces can be pricey and you want to know you’ve invested in the real thing.

Pay Attention to Materials

Different tablewares can have different features depending on the materials they’re made of. For instance, porcelain and bone china have a delicate elegance that’s appropriate for a variety of occasions. They are also durable and easy to maintain.

The weight and colour of porcelain vary greatly; basic whiteware can be blue-grey or brilliant white. It’s best to bring a white napkin or a piece of paper into the store to compare the colours while looking for white porcelain dinnerware. Bluish porcelain might appear strange when paired with pure-white linens or serving pieces

On the other hand, stoneware and earthenware have that rustic charm you would want for a space that has a farmhouse, Boho or eclectic feel. However, these pieces might not be microwave friendly and you usually can’t put them in your dishwasher.

If you’re having a meal in an outdoor space, consider using dinnerware made of resistant materials that aren’t as prone to breakage, like bamboo or melamine.

Size It Right

Ensure that each tableware item is large enough to fit your eating habits and serving style. Also, consider whether the pieces can comfortably fit into your cabinets, dishwasher and microwave. Just measure the inside of these elements and compare them to the dimensions listed on the products.

Also, check how the size of your plates, glasses and bowls compares to the size of your cutlery. The tablescape can look disproportional if your plates are larger than your forks and knives, or the other way around.

Don’t Overlook Cutlery

So far, it seems like we only paid attention to selecting plates and bowls. But a bad set of cutlery can often ruin even the most lavish dining experience. If you’ve ever struggled to cut a juicy chicken breast with a dull knife and an uncomfortable fork, you know what I mean.

The most resilient and long-lasting material, stainless steel, is ideal for regular use in cutlery, especially 18/10 grade stainless steel, which is stronger than 18/0 grade. Since sterling silver matures well and can become a family heirloom, it can also be a wise investment. A less expensive option is silver plating, but make sure the layer is thick enough to tolerate frequent use.

Also, consider the weight and shape. Adults can find heavier, flat cutlery more appropriate, whereas youngsters might find rounder and lighter sets simpler to use. The fork should be easy to use and not overly sharp, and the knife should be smooth to cut with. The spoon should have a smooth and polished bowl that’s big enough to fit the right amount of food but not too big to fit conveniently into your mouth.

Placemats and Coasters

Placemats and coasters are often overlooked, but they play a crucial role in both protecting your table and enhancing the visual appeal of your dining setup. Choose placemats that complement the overall theme and colour of your tableware.

Whether you opt for classic woven placements for a rustic feel or sleek, modern designs for a contemporary look, ensure they are durable and easy to clean. Similarly, coasters should be both functional and stylish, adding an extra layer of sophistication to your table setting while safeguarding surfaces from unsightly water rings.

A Word on Glassware

Different types of glasses are designed to enhance the flavours and aromas of specific beverages, so it’s worth investing in a versatile collection that includes wine glasses, champagne flutes, tumblers, and highball glasses.

Crystal glassware, renowned for its clarity and brilliance, adds a touch of elegance to any table setting, while durable options like tempered glass are practical for everyday use. Consider the size and shape of the glasses on your tableware and serving dishes to ensure a cohesive and visually appealing presentation.

Complete Dinner Set vs. Gradually Building One

When it comes to assembling your tableware collection, you have two options: purchasing a complete dinner set or gradually building your collection one piece at a time. A complete dinner set typically includes a coordinated selection of plates, bowls, and serving dishes, offering convenience and consistency in both design and functionality.

However, building your collection piece by piece allows for more flexibility, allowing you to curate a unique assortment of tableware that reflects your style and preferences. Whichever approach you choose, prioritise quality and coherence to create a cohesive and inviting dining experience for yourself and your guests.


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