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by Jessica Gezon
Whether you're getting ready to set up house for the first time or you've been serving meals for years, you know that casual dinnerware is a household staple. If you've been using the same dishes for years, you might be due for an update: styles change, pieces get broken, the casual dinnerware you inherited from your mother-in-law has lost its luster. Casual dinnerware is perfect for everything from lunches to informal dinner parties. Learn how to choose casual dinnerware and get ready to entertain.
Pick a color scheme: Casual dinnerware is the perfect way to express your style at the table. Tableware comes in every color imaginable, and since it's easily updatable, there's no reason not to experiment with a bright color or fun pattern. Showcase your love of polka dots with dishes in a coordinating solid color or mix and match a bunch of bright colors to brighten any table.
Consider what you already have: If you already have casual dinnerware, you can supplement your collection with coordinating pieces. Knowing your specific pattern makes it easy to fill out your set, but knowing what you like will work just as well. Take a look at what you already have and imagine what will work best with your existing collection -- then start shopping!
Know what you'll use it for: Casual dinnerware is extremely versatile; you can use it not only in your home but also on picnics and other outdoor activities. If you have little kids, then plastic dinnerware might be a good choice. Choose casual dinnerware crafted of acrylic if you plan to take it camping; or step it up a notch with porcelain-look tableware for daily use.
Decide how much you need: How many people do you serve on a regular basis? There's no reason to buy excessive amounts of casual dinnerware, but you do want to have enough to host as large a group as you want. Consider buying extra casual dinnerware in a contrasting color; you'll have enough for extra people and be able to mix and match the two colors when serving a smaller group. If you'll be using casual dinnerware for family only, you can get each family member dishes in a unique color; kids love having special dishes of their very own.
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