A New Pattern in China

The swirly hearts on these dishes are a smile-inducing mix of formal and whimsy.
mikasa.com

Everyday place settings take center stage.

While we are not advocating losing the opportunity to get a fine set of china, popular culture has veered away from this traditional registry choice. Couples are approaching their china registry in a very different way, turning everyday china into the new formal.

"We encourage couples to buy things they'll actually use," says Joanna Kartalis, director of The Registry at Bloomingdale's. "So we try to help couples match their china to their lifestyle and they're savvy--they're not trying to fit themselves into a mold from 20 years ago."

So if you're not so fancy, not to worry. Just think about your china as an extension of your social life. "If you usually have friends over for cocktails and appetizers on Friday nights, we'll help you find plates that will make that fun," Kartalis says. Just think about your china as an extension of your social life. "If you usually have friends over for cocktails and appetizers on Friday nights, we'll help you find plates that will make that fun," Kartalis says. "Or if you enjoy having friends over for brunch, we'll focus our search for plates that work best." 

The goal is not to lock away your 'good china,' only to drag it out at Thanksgiving. The plan, instead, is to enjoy your china as much as possible today and in the future. For plates that stand the test of time, consider going with the plain-white route.

At Bed Bath & Beyond, one popular pattern right now is Fitz and Floyd's Nevaeh Everyday Bone China. "It's fine china, but it's also very durable and versatile," says Audrey Stavish, a registry expert at Bed Bath & Beyond. "Couples are then dressing these plates up and down with fun accessory plates."

Another popular line: The ever-fashionable Colorwave Collection by Noritake. "This china comes in different shapes and colors," Stavish adds. "Couples are having fun mixing and matching." In addition, Vera Wang Wedgwood Naturals Leaf Dinnerware Collection appeals to couples, thanks to the fact that it balances a minimalist feel with chic style.

Brides are also selecting the Belle Boulevard collection from Kate Spade as they picture serving dinners on it during book club parties, Stavish says. "The swirly heart-filled Love Story Collection by Mikasa looks a little more formal but is priced to offer couples a great value. Plus, the platinum hearts feel special."

And take heart (pun intended) if you still want fine china. There will always be a market for formal dinnerware. "What's changed is that couples are dressing their tables--they want their table to look different every time they serve dinner," Kartalis says.

--Lambeth Hochwald

 
 
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