Casual Dinnerware Sets – A Buying Guide

Casual Dinnerware Sets 6You don’t have to ‘take out the fine china’ every time there is a gathering. The thing is, fine china is expensive; something that would make you reluctant to use during a barbecue party. However, there are instances when your hodgepodge of bowls and plates just won’t do; nor would paper plates. Paper and plastic may be inexpensive, but they are hardly worth showing off your cooking.

Enter casual dinnerware sets. These sets are made for everyday use and they won’t embarrass you when it comes to entertaining a large group of people. Their designs vary; some are hand-painted while some are intricately embossed. The usual sets includes dinner plates, dessert plates, bowls, nappy bowls, cups, napkins and even salt and pepper shakers.

Most high-end casual dinnerware sets are made from stoneware. While it is true that there are sets made of porcelain, such are usually deemed as formal dinnerware, especially those which are considered ‘fine’ china. Stoneware dinnerware sets are durable, so you can use them for a long time. They are also dishwasher safe and its durability makes it suitable for everyday use. It is safe for children’s use.

Another material is earthenware. The material, which is composed of clay, quartz, feldspar and kaolin, is commonly used for pottery making. Pottery makers have been using earthenware for a long time. A fine example is terracotta, which is used for flower plots and kitchen backsplashes. This material is fire-glazed to avoid damage but still, it is not as durable as stoneware.

Yet another factor when it comes to choosing dinnerware sets is the style. There are thousands of options out there, with designs and patterns ranging from Japanese-inspired, to Mediterranean styles, rustic styles and rural themes such as floral patterns and images of birds, trees and butterflies. In choosing your set, consider the style of your dining table. You know how it goes; rustic goes with rustic. For antique dining tables, classic and embossed patterns are the best. Note that you may also opt for several sets to suit various occasions. You may want accent pieces for your sets such as the wayward set or octagonal piece.

Cost is usually the main factor at play in the selection of casual dinnerware sets. Porcelain, which is more of a formal dinnerware material, is likely to be more expensive than others. You can hardly find a porcelain dinner set marketed as a “casual” set. Earthenware can be cheap but it is not long-lasting. A popular alternative is stoneware, which, while not as upscale or as durable as fine porcelain, is solid enough. When fire-glazed, it is even more durable. It is scratch and chip-resistant as well, ensuring that you may use it for a good many dinner parties. Value for money, stoneware is the best option.

Popular suppliers and manufacturers of casual dinnerware sets include Johnson Brothers, Gibson, Mikasa, Corelle, Fiesta and Pfaltzgraff. Some celebrity chefs have their own brands such as Gordon Ramsey, Paula Deen, Rachel Ray and Emeril Lagasse.