We all know that the dishes in our cabinets are less than perfect, but we probably don’t think about replacing them until it’s time to host a dinner party or one of those fancy soirees where you want everything to be just right. But then, what if you’re not a fan of your cutlery? Maybe you’re sick of seeing their faces every morning when you pull out your coffee mug.
Maybe they’ve been passed down from your great-grandmother and need to be replaced with something new and shiny. Well, we’ve got some good news for you: Are there any signs that it’s time to get new dishes? Absolutely! Here are four clear signs that you may be ready for some new plates just like these:
1. Your Dishes Are Chipped
It’s time to get rid of those dishes!
We know, we know—it’s hard. But it has to be done. After all, if you have dishes that are chipped and cracked, it’s time for them to take a break. They have served their purpose and can no longer help you serve beautiful meals on your dinner table.
So what do you do with these old friends? If you want them to stay in your life, you need to take a few minutes and make a discard pile of dishes that aren’t ready to go home yet. This way they can stay around as long as they need while still helping you serve meals with style!
2. Your Dishes Don’t Bring You Joy
We’ve all had that feeling. You’re in the kitchen and you see something perfectly good. You put it on your table and think, “This is so much better than what I have.” But then a week later, you’ve forgotten about it completely and are back to using whatever was at hand when the previous meal was eaten.
That’s why Joanna Buchanan—a designer and entertaining expert who recently launched gorgeous garden party-inspired dishware—is so insistent that you should look forward to grabbing your dishes out of the cupboard when it comes time to set the table. If this is not the case, she says, “All the signs show that you are visually bored with what you have and it’s time for a change.”
Buchanan’s advice? Switch things up, majorly. “I would say you need to go for a significant change at this point and really try a new direction,” she says. “If you’ve had solid plates, go for a pattern, and if you’ve had a pattern maybe try a beautiful coloured solid plate.”
3. Your Dishes Are Too Precious
You don’t need to break the bank to have fun entertaining.
If you’re not reaching for a certain set of dishes when setting the table for company or entertaining for fear of getting broken or not wanting to hand-wash them, then it might be time to look for an alternative. Gone are the days of special dishes being fancy and fragile—there are so many fun and user-friendly options out there now that are beyond worthy of entertaining.
A few pieces of fine china, collected over the years and tucked away in a closet or attic, can go a long way toward making your table design feel more personal.
When you’re ready to get rid of some of your old, traditional dishes and add in some new ones, make sure you choose pieces that reflect your own personality.
For example, if you like to mix patterns—as we do here in our dining room—try going with a more modern pattern on a piece of the older set. Mixing two different patterns gives your table more character than if they were all the same colour or shape.
Of course, it’s also important to note that when it comes to choosing tableware that reflects your style, don’t be afraid to mix new pieces with old ones!
4. Your Collection Is a Mismatch
When you’re moving into a new place, there’s one thing you can’t afford to do: throw out your old dishes.
Coincidentally, it’s also the best way to make sure you don’t have too many mismatched pieces cluttering up your cabinets and distracting from the important task of making sure the food in your fridge doesn’t go bad.
“You might have a few pieces that were hand-me-downs, a few you purchased years ago,” says Sam Dumas, cofounder of tableware brand Leeway Home. “But everyone needs a set of matching dishes in their cabinet.”
If you’ve found yourself nodding your head to any of those four signs, then it may be time to go shopping for new dishes. With the massive variety of dishes on display in your local department store, or at your favourite online retailer, there are plenty of options available to suit every personality. The key is to find what fits you and your family best – so start by thinking about what you need and want from your dinnerware. Do you have a theme for the decorating scheme in your dining room? If so, make sure that you shop for plates that will fit in with your overall design scheme. Once you have an idea about what styles you’re drawn to, then simply start shopping. Ultimately, you’ll have no shortage of appealing options from which to choose – and one of them will undoubtedly be the perfect choice for when it’s time to refresh the tableware in your cabinets. That doesn’t mean you have to part with every dish you own (although if you’re like us, it might feel like it), but there’s something satisfying about having a coordinating set you love on hand. “They don’t have to be expensive or fancy,” says Allen. “But sitting down with a set of dishes makes every meal feel like a special occasion.”