The Gift Of Great Dining

January 09, 2013   //  Posted in: Kitchen   //  By: Emily   //  8 responses
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It’s been a long time that I’ve been using mismatched dinnerware; my collection spans years, and what I like about it most is that I had a constant selection of bowls and plates to choose from. My dinnerware selection often matched my mood (or my outfit, or the shape of my food); I definitely had favorites, for example, one bowl was especially insulated and was good for both soup and ice cream. Some of them were ornate, and had the power of making my boxed mac and cheese dinner look like it was bring served in a fancy restaurant, and others were just cheerful and colorful and fun and my favorite colors and therefore, just enjoyable to eat from.

RIP, mismatched dishes.

They added a lot of color to our kitchen too, and whether we liked its assortedness or not is a debatable topic, (Pete never liked how they sat wobbily, and I liked the contrast less after we stained the cabinets and replaced the countertops). Most of the pieces I had collected from places like Marshall’s, and the clearance section at Anthropologie, and sometimes from yard sales and second-hand stores, but I also received many as gifts, because as a new homeowner almost 4 years ago, I had no dinnerware to my name. Luckily, my dad fancies Fishs Eddy, and my mom found some great pieces at Macy’s that really kick-started what became an overwhelmingly large collection of kitchen stuff. And of course, our kitchen doesn’t always look like a mess, but it’s a recent enough photo that still shows off our rainbow plates.

Rainbow plates (photo taken in the midst of redoing the kitchen backsplash).

I’m talking about said mismatched dinnerware in the past tense because, friends, it’s gone. I guess I’m officially an adult, an adult with matching dinnerware. We received all new stuff for our wedding, that stuff being new sets of Crate & Barrel’s Mercer Dinnerware (and a coordinating platter and serving bowl) from assorted cousins and my aunt. We also got a Keurig (with a reusable k-cup) from Pete’s family! Best luxury ever, we were Keurig virgins.

Voila, a brand new dinnerware collection in spark white. (Crate & Barrel Mercer Collection)

Surprisingly, swapping from a rainbow of colors to an all-white dinner set has been wonderful. I love this set, a set that I picked out myself the last time I was at a Crate & Barrel store, which was in September when my Mom and I visited NYC. I knew at the time that Pete’s biggest peeve was that the plates we had were different shapes, some flatter than others and some with higher walls that made cutting up food difficult. And as I already mentioned, they didn’t stack well on the shelf either, especially the bowls, of which there were often three towering stacks. I also knew he preferred all white, and considering the fresh dark brown stain on our cabinets and the white contrasting walls, I was on board for trying it out, so Mercer, it was decided. The white server and Marimekko plate poised on the back of the shelf are new(ish) additions too; the Weave Serving Platter was a purchase I made myself from CB2 a few months back (flat and handy for serving non-drippy foods), and the Marimekko Siirtolapuutarha plate was a gift from our friends Amy and Mike, purchased through Crate & Barrel (don’t look at me, I didn’t name the thing).

Voila, a brand new dinnerware collection in spark white. (Crate & Barrel Mercer Collection)

All pieces of the Mercer collection are really nice and have been holding up well (we’ve been using them for about one month now); the plates are short-walled and sit flat, offering plenty of surface area, and the top and sides are hammered, giving them a rustic and hand-thrown and imperfect look which definitely aids in helping them look less formal, which is what we wanted, we’re not formal dinnerware people.

Plate from the Mercer collection at Crate & Barrel.

We actually received 3 Mercer sets (12 place settings) but after seeing how high that stacked on the shelves, we downgraded our daily-use set to just 8 settings and packed the others in a box for when we have company. Not so much as evidence, but as a quick tip, I saw someone note on Pinterest that it’s easy to store dinnerware with a paper plate between each good plate as an alternative to wrapping every single plate for safe keeping. Cheap, easy, and fast solution to tuck the plates away nicely so they don’t clang against eachother when you lift the box.

Use paper plates between your good dinnerware when storing it away.

Our little kitchen upgrade didn’t stop there, we also received new glasses, three sets of wonderfully designed barware from my friend’s mom and my old boss, all from CB2. These happily replace a set I owned that had whittled down to about 6 glasses from the original 12, and Pete’s set always felt a bit too heavy for everyday water consumption. What you’re looking at is two sets of the Marta barware, so we collectively have 8 short and 8 tall glasses, and additionally, 8 of the Tube Stacking glasses. Now you know why we needed to downgrade our coffee cup collection too. We got a lot of great stuff for our kitchen, including but not limited to a glass pitcher from Mark & Graham, that big white Lucerne casserole dish, and the yellow and gray Myro platter and bowl (sold out), and a Bodum french press, all from Crate & Barrel. Even the convection oven is sparkly new, a treat from my cousin and a nice upgrade from the older toaster oven Pete had moved in with him (new model by Black & Decker, it’s a pretty sexy one as far as affordable convection ovens are considered).

Our new everything cups, the Marta and Tube Stacking series from CB2.

The look and feel of all of these glasses is remarkable; they are so dainty and lightweight that you feel like you could crush them between your thumb and index finger, yet durable, like beaker glass, and content riding in the dishwasher, or holding anything from wine to soda to water or smoothie. They’re our new everything cups, and everyone should have everything cups, I decided, just now.

One of our new Marta glasses from CB2.

Our kitchen is a special space, and it’s so nice to have it evolving to fit our needs and tastes. And if you’re in the mood to upgrade your dinnerware, both Crate & Barrel and CB2′s options are charming and reasonably priced. Of course, I wasn’t paid to promote them so much, I just have a lot of love to give.

My god, we’re fortunate people, thank you, friends.

Comments
  • Michelle
    2 years ago - Reply

    Nice new stuff! Thanks for giving us the tour. What did you do with the mismatched dishes? Craigslist?

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      Glad you enjoyed it, Michelle. We’re (I’m) undecided on the dishes. Some will go into a garage sale bin, but others I’ve become kind of attached to. I’ll probably keep them on hand for casual use, like if we’re taking a dish to a friend’s house, or need an extra serving piece for our own table. It’s probably wrong to be this emotionally attached to un-fine china.

  • Cait @ Hernando House
    2 years ago - Reply

    Love your new dishes & glasses! Also, I get emotionally attached to un-fine china, too!

    It’s sort of funny that you just moved from mismatched china to matching. Robert and I just swapped from matching dinnerware (this set from Target) to mismatched (these plates & bowls from West Elm and these salad plates from Target).

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      Cait, I love your new set! It’s not totally mismatch-y to me, though, it’s a great looking collaboration of two designs!

    • Cait @ Hernando House
      2 years ago -

      Thanks! You’re right, I guess it’s more “coordinated” than mismatching. Works much better for us than the old square plates, too (the large square ones never fit in our small microwave or dishwasher bery well).

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      I second that, our square plates were a pain in the ass. Especially when forced to stack with round plates.

  • Marylou
    2 years ago - Reply

    I like your dishes…are they heavy? (I have the light version…plain white correlle)….I love the thin walled glasses…can’t remember if I told you I have the Martha Stewart ones from Macy’s a few years ago….but I did break one of my glasses…those single cup coffee makers are nice..Keurig — you can even make pods of your favorite coffee although they have loads to select from so probably not necessary…it’s fun to see your new stuff!…thanks

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      The dishes and bowls are actually very lightweight, it’s a nice change of pace!

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