Finding the perfect Dinnerware for you, and spend less.

Growing up, the occasions where we got to use our hand painted dinnerware could be counted on one hand; Christmas, New Year’s day, Easter and having dinner guests over for eloborate evening meals. Ususally we ate off of rather plain plastes which nobody cried over if one got chipped or broke. Especially grandmother’s eighteenhundred-and-something plate set was extremely fragile.

Nowadays hand painted dinnerware, although still delicately designed, has been perfected to seal and protect the designs below the underglaze. Some manufacturers high kiln-fire their dishes to prevent any sort of abrasion.

Therfore hand painted dinnerware can be used on a day-to-day basis without having to be too worried about ruining the glace or paint. Either way, you still want to stay away from any kind of temperature shock, in other words rinsing a hot plate under ice cold water.

You can easily get lost in the endless possibilities of hand-painted dinnerware. Rather than hitting the stores, I suggest you sit down and think about your dining needs.

Do you prefer square or round plates, do you serve salad on smaller plates or in bowls?
What about bread and butter plates?
What type of serving dishes do you need? Are you planning on mainly using your dishwasher, if yes, what is the maximum diameter you can safely fit into your machine?
Are you looking for matching accessories such as salt and pepper shakers, a gravy boat, napkin rings?
Do you feel like you are going to have this set for a long time?

If the latter is the case, you will want to look for a manufacturer who
can promise replacement items. Also you will then want to choose a timeless design. Just because large polka dots are in fashion this year, doesn’t mean they will be in two years time.

Speaking about colour, I remember the dilemma my mother had with our fancy hand painted dinnerset. It had been a wedding gift and when my parents decided to redecorate the dining room 15 years later,
decisions around carpet and courtain color and pattern had to jive with the elegant dinnerware. Never mind the fact that we used it less than 10% of the time.

Hand painted dinnerware is for people who enjoy something unique and take joy in admiring the fine artistry. Italian hand painted dinnerware is very popular, mostly made from ceramics such as porcelaine or pottery. Understanding that once the paint brush has touched the plate or bowl, there is no correcting that move, in addition to the fact that the final colours (after the firing) aren’t the same the potters actually paint on the dishes, increases the appreciation of this fine art and the experience it takes to create these magnificent master pieces.

Depending on your life style, you may use your hand painted dinnerware, like my mother, only for special occasions or every day. Design styles range from vintage to contemporary, can have just a simple colored rim or intricate floral patterns.

It isn’t uncommon to change it up between hand painted dishes and complementary solid-colour ones. Choosing your dinnerware set is a question of personal taste. You may be well guided to ask for some advice as friends or family, especially older ones, usually have lots of experience and stories about those ‘it seemed to make sense when I bought it’-situations.

So how much money are we looking at? Depending on the brand you choose, the prices vary. Price also depends on dish materials and the artistry involved. Be aware that some dishware may say ‘hand painted’ however truly, only a few details are actually hand painted.

Hand painted dinnerware will always cost more than regular dishes. Hand painted, glazed ceramics can easily cost around $50 a plate. I do suggest to check online as there are many places that offer great sales and depending on the order size will ship for free.

Some popular dinnerware brands include:
Royal Doulton
Villeroy & Boch

Spending some time planning and shopping around will increase your chances of getting what you really want, quality dinnerware and ensure continued joy.