There are some things that stand above trends. Take dinnerware, which is usually collected and passed on to future generations. It elevates any meal – even pizza – and carries with it years of nostalgia.
If a quality pattern or design goes out of style, you can trust that it’s only temporary. Russel Wright’s 1937 Bauer Pottery, for example, is being reproduced to keep up with the ongoing interest in early-modern and midcentury modern American design.
If the Bauer designs are “midcentury,” how will this decade be remembered in china? Today’s dinnerware has so much variety: gold and platinum edging, colorful patterns, squares and octagon shapes, vintage-reproduction designs. Even high art is coming to dinner, as with a release from Bernadaud that celebrates sketches by painter Marc Chagall that inspired 12 stained-glass windows in a Jerusalem medical center.
We talked to interior designers, buyers and store owners about the china patterns that speak to them right now – and will still be talking later.
“The bottom line is to go with what you like,” says designer Kelley Proxmire, who has collected china since 1979. Because true style is transcendent.
Here’s what our group of experts wanted to talk about:
If you fear that something so bold will date fast, Proxmire advises, “You can get something really colorful and then lay it down later with something really neutral.”
8. “I love the Hermès plates,” Proxmire says of the Bleus d’Ailleurs pattern. “I bought it in blue and white for myself for cocktail hour,” she says (dinner plate $155, usa.hermes.com). Proxmire says this pattern is a “collector’s item of the future.”
9. If you can’t decide on just one pattern, then mix and match. “It’s okay to mix one plate from one manufacturer and put it with a dinner plate from another manufacturer,” says Englert, who has 13 china patterns at home. “That’s the French way, anyway.” The formal Aegean Dinner Plate in porcelain and platinum would go especially well with patterns that have gold in them ($240, www.l-objet.com).
10. “Incorporating art is a cutting-edge way to add patterns to your table setting,” writes Emily Hull-Martin, Bloomingdale’s fashion director for home, in an e-mail. French porcelain manufacturer Bernadaud interprets designs that Russian artist Marc Chagall sketched in 1959 for stained-glass windows ($570 for a set of six porcelain dinner plates, www.bloomingdales.com).