Beautiful table goods, from rustic to delicate to whimsical, imported from Asian or inspired by the region.
Japan, China and Korea have a long history of creating beautiful table goods, from rustic stoneware to delicate ceramics, sleek lacquered items to whimsical serveware and utensils.
This tableware is appearing more and more in décor stores on this side of the world as part of several trends: minimalism, globalism, eclecticism.
Miya Company, based in New York City, imports a wide range of Japanese tableware and gifts. The store, a third-generation family business started in the 1930s, was initially a flower shop, and then began offering tableware.
Company spokesperson Heidi Moon says its motto today is “friends don’t let friends use boring dishes,” and that whatever they sell has to be “beautiful, simple and fun.”
In the ceramics section, there are Kokeshi Plates ($18 each) with prints resembling the traditional dolls. The Blue & White Rain Bowl Set ($25), ideal for cereal, rice or soup, is stamped with a simple raindrop pattern, and come in sets of two bowls with wooden chopsticks.
The striking black and white Komon Collection ($6–$15) draws inspiration from traditional Japanese patterns like hemp leaves, snowflakes, arrow feathers and thatching.
Cats are well represented in Asian tableware as symbols of good luck. In the utensils department, there are fanciful Cat Paw Tongs ($13–$22.50), while Decole Japan’s Calico Cat Mug with Spoon ($25, all at miyacompany.com) has its own little kitten spoon.
Run by the Lin family since 1997, Mrs. Lin’s Kitchen in Pleasanton, California, sells table and kitchen goods as well as home accessories.
A collection of serveware is designed in the style of 16th century Japanese Oribe ceramics, known for their bold designs and copper green glaze. The Sunlit Forest Oribe Ware Japanese Dipping Bowl ($8) evokes sunlight streaming through a woodland canopy at midday.
Beautiful Wakasa Chopsticks ($25–$35) are made of hand-lacquered wood that’s inlaid with shell or pearl in a design meant to evoke the clear, rippling waters of Japan’s Wakasa Bay.
Forget those boring buffet platters; consider a detailed, miniature lacquerware Sushi Boat ($45, all at mrslinskitchen.com) on which to perch the savories or sweets. Red and gold trim accents these glossy black pieces that would bring a touch of drama to the table.
CB2’s Pitch 5-Piece Place Setting ($38 at cb2.com) is a matte-black, rustic, clay stoneware dish set that includes a cup and saucer, bowl and two round plates with raised edges in the traditional Japanese style.
And School of the Art Institute of Chicago student Louis Kishfy designed the serene SAIC Yunomi Teacups ($4–$7 at cb2.com) which marry a gritty, tactile stoneware base with a silken glazed cloak in white, cobalt or sky blue.