Dinnerware serves as the foundation for all of your meals, influencing the tone and style of your dining area and, consequently, your whole evening. But building your place settings can be an overwhelming and expensive effort. Confused about where to start? Take a look at our list of dinnerware essentials to begin assembling your perfect place setting.
Charger plates serve as the foundation for any formal setting. These large, decorative plates stay on the table between courses and hold your other plates and bowls. Besides anchoring the look and style of a table setting, charger plates catch spills and food crumbs, preventing stains on your tablecloth. Charger plates are usually 13 to 14 inches in diameter.
Dinner plates are the plates you will use most frequently. Usually around 10 or 11 inches in diameter, these large plates are designed for your main course at both formal and informal dinners.
The salad plate comes in two general size ranges, 7 to 7.5 inches or 8 to 8.5 inches in diameter. The plate is designed to hold an individual serving of salad, and is designed to be served before the main dish at informal meals, and after the main dish at formal meals.
These plates are typically sized somewhere between 7 to 9 inches in diameter. Designed for presenting your favorite desserts at formal or informal meals, these plates are usually very decorative and are commonly seen at wedding receptions or luncheons.
Designed to serve tea, these delicate cups are short and wide, and usually have flared edges. The shape of the cup is designed to expand the surface area of the boiling hot tea, so your drink cools more quickly. The saucer is designed to catch accidental drips and splashes, preventing stains on your linens. The saucer also protects your tabletop from the damaging heat of hot drinks, and holds wet spoons after you mix in sweeteners.
Mugs are used for serving either coffee or hot chocolate. These pieces are typically thicker and taller than teacups and have a cylindrical shape. Mugs are very sturdy, and usually have an easy-to-hold handle, making them perfect for informal occasions.