For el­e­gance and ver­sa­til­ity, you can’t beat white dishes

The Sacramento Bee - - Home & Garden - BY LIND­SEY M. ROBERTS

It’s en­ter­tain­ing sea­son, and maybe you’re host­ing Thanks­giv­ing for the first time. Or maybe you’re get­ting mar­ried and merg­ing house­holds. Whether plan­ning a din­ner or plan­ning for the fu­ture, you’re go­ing to need din­ner­ware. And ex­perts agree: Choose white.

In­te­rior de­sign­ers, cook­book au­thors, food stylists and home de­sign blog­gers choose white dishes be­cause of their time­less­ness and ver­sa­til­ity. “White is the per­fect op­tion be­cause it al­ways looks fresh, and it’s so easy to add to or up­date, or keep it fancy or make it ev­ery­day, be­cause you can go ev­ery di­rec­tion and it’s never off-putting to any­one,” says Michel Smith Boyd, an in­te­rior de­signer in At­lanta and one of this year’s style spot­ters for High Point Mar­ket, a home fur­nish­ings and de­sign event. “You can add per­son­al­ity with bread plates, glasses, a charger. If you have a ba­sic set of white, it will take you so far.”

Just as there are many shades of white, there are also many dif­fer­ent types of white din­ner­ware, so we asked tastemak­ers for their ad­vice and rec­om­men­da­tions.

“I’m ob­sessed,” says Boyd about Crate & Bar­rel’s stack­able porce­lain Lo­gan bowls ($44.95 for eight, crate­and­bar­rel .com). “What I look for more than any­thing for daily use is some­thing sturdy that will mix with what I al­ready own. These bowls stack, with an al­most-3-inch rim . ... They’re kind of con­tem­po­rary.”

Pieces of the Lo­gan col­lec­tion are sold in­di­vid­u­ally or in sets of eight (eight din­ner plates, for ex­am­ple), and eight fourpiece place set­tings would run $179.80. To set a trendy ta­ble this sea­son, Boyd says to think about

white din­ner­ware mixed with two other el­e­ments: Muted neu­tral pot­tery and wooden serv­ing spoons or, if you lean mod­ern, black cloth nap­kins and ac­cent dishes in a pri­mary color.

Nik Sharma, food blog­ger, food colum­nist for the San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle and author of the cook­book “Sea­son: Big Fla­vors, Beau­ti­ful Food,” loves color in his food, not in his din­ner­ware.

“I like color, es­pe­cially in veg­eta­bles and sal­ads. Some­times in­gre­di­ents like bal­samic vine­gar are so dark, and then when you put them on a dark plate, you can’t see them. I like to see them,” he says. He likes a warmer white for en­ter­tain­ing, and uses the stoneware tex­tured din­ner­ware set from West Elm of­ten ($129 for four place set­tings of din­ner plates, salad plates, bowls and mugs, west­ Each type of dish from the set is also sold in sets of four; dip bowls are also avail­able.

To Myquil­lyn Smith, ad­vo­cate for “cozy min­i­mal­ism,” white is the ob­vi­ous choice for dish­ware. It can be dressed down for ev­ery­day use and dressed up for din­ner par­ties, just like a great pair of jeans.

“I want a sim­pli­fied col­lec­tion of dishes that stack eas­ily, look great to­gether and take a beat­ing from our fam­ily,” she says, rec­om­mend­ing the Avesta stoneware from Project 62 ($19.99 for four three-piece place set­tings of din­ner plates, salad plates and bowls, tar­

As the North Carolina blog­ger writes in her new book, “Cozy Min­i­mal­ist Home: More Style, Less Stuff,” “the home ex­ists to serve the peo­ple and not the other way around.”


Apilco’s Tui­leries dishes will “last a life­time,” says Katie Ja­cobs, an en­ter­tain­ing ex­pert from Nashville and author of “So Much to Cel­e­brate: En­ter­tain­ing the Ones You Love the Whole Year.”

“They’ll never scratch. They’re restau­rant­grade.” ($383.80 for four place set­tings of din­ner plates, salad plates, soup plates, cups and saucers, wil­

For hol­i­days, she’d pair them with a pa­per table­cloth, a big bowl of Christ­mas or­na­ments and a hand­made place card, “an ad­di­tional touch that makes your guest feel spe­cial.” Some pieces are also sold in­di­vid­u­ally and in sets of four.

New­ly­weds El­yse Maguire and her hus­band had a short list when they regis­tered for china: It must be dish­washer-safe, slightly edgy and fancy enough for din­ner par­ties. They agreed on Spin Ce­ram­ics’ re­in­forced white bone china in the Free Loop pat­tern ($135 for a din­ner plate, salad plate, soup bowl, cup and saucer, spin­ce­ram­

“They are very sim­ple but have an or­ganic, asym­met­ri­cal de­sign,” says the Par­sons School of De­sign grad­u­ate and tex­tile de­signer who founded a knitwear com­pany on Cape Cod.

“They make an el­e­gant place set­ting for din­ner par­ties but they’re still prac­ti­cal enough to use ev­ery day.”

Crate & Bar­rel

Crate & Bar­rel’s stack­able porce­lain Lo­gan bowls.

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