BASIC DINNERWARE & SERVING WARE
One of the basic things that makes any party to look better is dinnerware. I never use paper plates for the ecological reasons, but also for the looks. Get simple white dinnerware and serving dishes that you can easily mix with any color or any theme. White doesn’t have to be boring, but it’s easy to mix even with trendy bold colors or with most prints. It’s cheaper to get the trendy colors and prints in fabrics than in dinnerware. White dinnerware is a must for anyone who wants to host dinner parties at home.
Stores like IKEA, Walmart, Target and Kmart sell simple white inexpensive dinnerware that will cost the same as buying paper plates for a few parties. I also like the Martha Stewart line at Macys (pictured below). They are actually currently running a sale; save 15% on select Martha Stewart products at macys.com by entering a promo code: LOVEMARTHA at checkout (Valid April 17-May 31 2011).
However, if you are serious about setting up a nice table, nothing beats good dinnerware and high quality serving pieces. One of my favorite brands is Villeroy & Boch, they make high quality serveware and you you can collect the series for years to come. They still make and sell the collection my grandmother collected when I was a little girl! That makes your dinnerware timeless and easy to collect. Many of the inexpensive lines come and go, and the large retailers like to switch it up a little so you might not be able to get the matching pieces a few years later. But when you go with brands like Lenox or Villeroy & Boch, you can collect dishes and add pieces little by little. I have been collecting Finnish Arabia dishes for 15 years, and they still make the same collection and even though Arabia is from Finland, I can even get my series from the US.
These are from Villeroy & Boch: