• Homewares + Furniture  • How to Choose Dinnerware for your Home that won’t Clash
salt and pepper designer dinnerware brands speckled plates and bowls in tan glazed

How to Choose Dinnerware for your Home that won’t Clash

If you’ve not put much thought into the look and feel of your dinnerware – and how it relates to the rest of your home – now is the time. This stuff is important!

I know what you’re thinking: Chris is taking the concept of cohesion too far. Sure, the idea that all the rooms in your home should have a consistent theme might make sense. But the idea that little moments like dinnerware should also tie in seamlessly could seem like overkill.

It’s not though. I promise you it’s not. In fact, in my two most recent interior design jobs I asked clients if I could specify products right down to the plates, bowls, mugs and glasses. And it wasn’t just because they were moving into new apartments and building the look from scratch.

The reason I wanted to get them goodies from my fave dinnerware brands is because little moments like this matter. I know it seems like I’m being pedantic. And lord knows I’m obsessed with design. But when you’re in a coastal-themed apartment, for example, the last thing I want my clients doing is pulling out a plate decorated in a French provincial pattern.

designer tableware on floral table setting with beige linen napkin

Carefully Considered Dinnerware Creates Harmony

I follow these rules in my own home too, don’t worry. When I moved into my new place I got mugs, bowls and plates from Freedom. They’re in a muddy green and beige colour combo because my home was very in-keeping with that vibe.

My belief is that when you’re at home, and your home has a particular style, it shouldn’t be jarring to the eye come dinner time; pulling out a tribal plate in a Scandi townhouse. I also imagine that when I leave my clients to live in their homes, that they do have friends over to look at the design. And I do imagine them serving drinks, or having a dinner party. And I imagine they’re eating off plates and using knives and forks that feel right, not outta whack.

That’s called design harmony, people. When things just feel right but you’re not sure why. And trust and believe, things like the colour and finish of your dinnerware plays a part in it.

I also ask clients if they want me to source towels too, and it’s for much the same reason. The devil really is in the detail.

west elm designer dinnerware with black and white tribal pattern

You Don’t even have to Spend Much

I might invest big client bucks in things like sofas, rugs or bed frames. But when it comes to dinnerware, you don’t even have to spend much money.

I don’t want you to think you have to go high-end here. Don’t be going out to buy the Versace dinner plate at David Jones for $1299. I’m not even kidding. That’s how much a 33cm Versace plate costs.

There are heaps of dinnerware brands out there. Freedom is a great go-to for mix and match pieces, and I like the idea of mixing rather than a whole set in the one shade. But I’ll leave that part up to you when it comes to your own space.

Salt N Pepper is also a good one for interesting table and dinnerware. But there are loads of other dinnerware brands too, some of which I’ve showcased in this post for you to look at.

The bottom line is this: even if you’re not working with a designer, take a look at your current dinnerware. Consider if it represents the scheme you have going on at home, and then adjust accordingly.

You might have some pieces that shine (keep those) and just require adding a few statement pieces into the mix.

enti studio blue and tuquoise glazed plates and bowls designer tableware

How to Match Dinnerware to your Home

So the approach here is not to think too literally. If you’re in a coastal home, please don’t go out and buy plates with blue fish patterns on them. It’s more about a feeling; trying to have the dinnerware speak softly to what’s going on around the rest of your home.

If it was a coastal home (as my last clients was), look to glazed ceramics in muted blues, greens and creams. Keep cutlery silver. You want to choose pieces here that feel organic and fluid in shape. You want it to remind you of the way the ocean feels.

If it was a global style home, or a bohemian one, or even industrial, you could introduce pieces that feel raw, more handmade. Strong black and white patterns with a tribal feel would also play well here. And cutlery could be black too.

If it was a luxe look, you know you can do gold cutlery right away. There might even be plates in black with gold trim. Again, it’s about evoking a feeling. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to look luxe either.

A Hamptons or provincial home would benefit from simplicity in colour and shape (round white plates with a slight lip) and then introducing interest in smaller moments like napkin rings and table linen.

enti sutdio designer tableware brand blue and green organic tableware

It’s Actually an Enjoyable Exercise

The images in this post from local dinnerware brands really inspire me. And when you look at them and study them, you do start to get an idea of the sort of home they’d work well in.

Even better, you can examine the images and know what homes they wouldn’t work in. And so then you get to turn your eye to your own space to see what you could bring in.

Have fun with this process, and let me know if you have any questions (or go-to dinnerware brands) in the comments below.

chris carroll post sig

Image one via Salt N Pepper. Two via West Elm. Three via Pillow Talk. Four and Five via Studio Enti.

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He's also spent time on TV, on Channel 10's Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7's Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

  • Sonya


    Thanks for proving my point Chris!
    We have moved home 5 times in 8 years (built 3 of those homes) and I’m still lugging around the french provincial dinnerware I bought in 2002!!
    Our previous build had an industrial nod and our current look is relaxed coastal. Hubby tells me ‘they’re only plates’ but your post has inspired me to go Greek and smash a few so I can shop on!
    So, please do tell, where did you source your pretty green and blue dinnerware?! I’m hoping it will grace my table at our next party! And we can start the clock to see how long it takes hubby to notice!!

    1 February, 2020
  • Carol


    Love your style. The dishes At top of your blog – are they available .

    9 April, 2020

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