All dinnerware, regardless of whether they are for everyday dining, casual entertaining or for special occasions, has a strong influence on how you present your dishes. Ultimately, the dinnerware to a certain degree also affects how your family or guests appreciate the meals that you have prepared for them. Pottery Barn offers a fine selection of dinnerware sets, appetizer plates, dessert plates, bowls and special dinnerware for holiday and occasional formal meals at the dining room table as well as outdoors.
With such a diverse choice of styles, materials, designs and sets, choosing the right dinnerware for your household may initially seem challenging. However, the task becomes significantly easier once you have made up your mind on the material that you want, the pattern of the design and the number of pieces that you feel is enough for everyday dining and for special occasions. With that said, having separate dinnerware sets for daily use and for entertaining gives you the chance to serve your family well and create a special tabletop when the occasion calls for it.
Clay is the primary material for our dinnerware items, namely, stoneware, porcelain and bone china due to its durability and beauty. The main difference between these materials is their length of exposure to heat and the amount of heat in the firing stage process of their manufacture, which hardens the clay base. Stoneware uses a refined clay and gets a long firing treatment at a high temperature. This makes it more durable and less porous. A high fire glaze is also added to our stoneware dinnerware, giving you a choice of vibrant and varied colors.
Porcelain and bone china are the cream of the crop. With longer firing times and at even higher temperatures, these two materials are highly durable and have non-porous, almost glass-like surfaces. Bone china undergoes firing treatment twice, which gives it a more translucent surface than porcelain and is the toughest of the clay-based dinnerware material. Melamine is our non-clay alternative dinnerware, and this material is primarily resin that is tough and ideal for casual everyday dining, but also beautiful enough to mimic clay based dinnerware. Our melamine dinnerware is virtually shatterproof, making it ideal for outdoor barbecues, families with small children and picnics on the lawn.
Once you have settled on a dinnerware material, your next step is to select the pattern that you want in your dinnerware. Plain dinnerware sets work well in highlighting the presentation of the dishes you’ve prepared, letting the colors and textures of the foods take center stage. Patterns, on the other hand, are an all-time favorite for classic and elegant table settings, especially for formal occasions. Other components of your table setting should likewise complement your dinnerware choices, including your serveware, flatware and glassware.
When selecting the individual pieces of your dinnerware, choosing a complete set is a convenient option, unless you prefer to mix and match your dinnerware for a more artistic presentation. Our dinnerware sets range from 4-piece dinner plate sets to an entire dinnerware collection with up to 16 or more individual pieces. Among the items that are in a dinnerware set include dinner plates, salad plates, soup bowls and mugs. Complete your dinnerware set with the addition of other items such as appetizer and dessert plates that become especially handy during special gatherings. You also have the option of adding thematic dinnerware sets to your collection such as those for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanakkah and Christmas.
After you have settled your heart on a particular dinnerware set or item, look up their care and maintenance requirements. Check if the dinnerware is microwave- and oven-safe. Just about all of our dinnerware is dishwasher-safe for your convenience, and hand washing with a mild detergent and non-abrasive cleaning sponge is always a great option as well. Make sure your dinnerware is thoroughly dry after washing before storing them. Keep dinnerware that you use sparingly in specialized storage systems such as a china protective containers.