Buying a set of dishes can be a really easy task, but first you have to get past the large selection of colored and patterned plates, bowls and cups that are seasonally offered. Dishes with roses on them, contemporary or traditional patterns, wild animals, seasonal patterns, etc might all be quite beautiful or fun to look at, buy you are locked into a certain amount of colors you can only use if you purchase them. If you buy dishes that have Thanksgiving or Christmas theme patterns on them, you will only be able to use them for a short window of time, and you then have to also have a place to store them, when not in use. My suggestion to you, if you are buying dishes for your first apartment or house, or are just tired of what you have, is to only buy white ones. I have come up with 12 reasons that might help you to possibly consider them.
(1) White dishes (sometimes called Whiteware) go with any color table-cloth, table runner, place mats or napkins you choose to use.
(2) White dishes go with any wallpaper or paint colors you decide to use in your dining room or kitchen.
(3) White dishes go with any style of decorating that attracts you; from country to traditional, transitional or modern.
(4) Food looks best on white plates. You don’t have a color or pattern on white dishes that competes with that gourmet meal, or fancy dessert you created.
(5) Restaurants and most caterers use only white dishes.
(6) Round white plates can easily be mixed with other shapes or “textures” of white dishes. Think simple white dishes, along with a white platter in a sculptural relief embossed pattern, shaped like a Thanksgiving turkey.
When shopping for different shapes, styles or manufacturers of white plates to go with what you already have, bring a dish from your collection with you to see if what you are thinking about buying matches the color of white you already have. There are gray-whites, cream-whites, pure white and even some whites with a pale tan cast.
(7) White dishes are versatile; they can be dressed up with fine crystal and silver, or dressed down with rustic looking glassware and casual flatware like Bakelite.
(8) White dishes are appropriate for fine dining inside, or outside at poolside for Summer barbecues.
(9) White dishes are season neutral. With the right table-cloth, and cloth or paper napkins you have endless possibilities.
(10) White dishes don’t compete with any flower arrangement or decorations you use as a seasonal tabletop display.
(11) White dishes with no kind of metallic banding should go from dishwasher to microwave with no problems.
(12) White dishes are timeless. Not evocative of any period or datable, they look great right now, and will still look fresh, clean and new in 20 years.
If you are still a bit apprehensive about purchasing white dishes, even with my list of their 12 positive attributes, then go for a white plate with a simple dark blue, green, brown or rust-red banding at its edge. Dishes with simple dark blue or dark bottle green banding will go with many different patterns on paper napkins. Those two colors are often used as a part of a color story for the napkin’s design.
Finally, I’m not saying in this post to only buy / have all white dishes. Supplement your basic white set, if you like, with meat platters, vegetable bowls, etc that are in colors or seasonal themed patterns, but try to have white as part of their pattern. A collection of a few Chinese blue and white serving dishes, or white dishes with brown patterns on them, or Christmas plates, etc would accentuate the core collection of white dishes, and adds a bit of theme / seasonal interest. With just a collection of assorted patterns and colors on serving dishes, you have less product to store when not in use.
Companion Posts ..Hanging a Collection of Plates/Dishes up on the wall 1-19-2013, Forget the Sterling Silver or Silver-Plate, Buy 18/10 Polished Stainless Steel flatware instead 4-20-2013, Mixing and Matching Fabric and Wallpaper Patterns 4-13-2012, Pick (Use) four colors when Decorating a Room 3-7-2011