Like a perfect pair of jeans, white dishes can be dressed up or down and go with everything.
It’s entertaining season! And whether you’re planning a formal holiday dinner or casual open house, you’re going to need dinnerware. And experts agree: Choose white.
Interior designers, cookbook authors, food stylists and home-design bloggers choose white dishes because of their timelessness and versatility.
“White is the perfect option because it always looks fresh, and it’s so easy to add to or update, or keep it fancy or make it everyday, because you can go every direction and it’s never off-putting to anyone,” says Michel Smith Boyd, an interior designer in Atlanta. “You can add personality with bread plates, glasses, a charger. If you have a basic set of white, it will take you so far.”
Just as there are many shades of white, there are also many different types of white dinnerware, so we asked tastemakers for their advice and recommendations.
“I’m obsessed,” says Boyd about the stackable porcelain Crate & Barrel Logan Bowls ($45 for eight at crateandbarrel.com). “These bowls stack, with an almost-three-inch rim. They’re kind of contemporary.”
To set a trendy table this season, Boyd says to think about white dinnerware mixed with two other elements: muted neutral pottery and wooden serving spoons. Or, if you lean modern, black cloth napkins and accent dishes in a primary color.
Nik Sharma, a food columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and author of the cookbook “Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food,” loves color in his food, not in his dinnerware. “Sometimes ingredients like balsamic vinegar are so dark, and then when you put them on a dark plate, you can’t see them,” he says.
He likes a warmer white for entertaining, and often uses the stoneware West Elm Textured Dinnerware (starting at $32 for four pieces at westelm.com). Each type of dish is sold in sets of four and textures (lines, dots, honeycomb) can be mixed and matched.
For Myquillyn Smith, author of “Cozy Minimalist Home: More Style, Less Stuff,” white is the obvious choice for dishware.
“I want a simplified collection of dishes that stack easily, look great together and take a beating from our family,” she says, recommending Project 62’s Avesta Stoneware Dinnerware Set ($20 for four 12 pieces at target.com).
At the higher end, Apilco’s Tuileries Porcelain Dinnerware ($384 for 20 pieces at williams-sonoma.com) will “last a lifetime,” says Katie Jacobs, author of “So Much to Celebrate: Entertaining the Ones You Love the Whole Year.” “They’ll never scratch. They’re restaurant-grade,” she says.
For holidays, she’d pair them with a paper tablecloth, a big bowl of Christmas ornaments and a handmade place card — “an additional touch that makes your guest feel special.”