Building a Fine Tableware Collection - Accenting Your Table with Elegant Touches
A gathering of family, close friends or business associates calls for only the best dinnerware to be brought out of storage and cleaned to perfection to make each guest feel special. A beautiful table setting is not only pleasing to look at in itself but it can also help to showcase the food itself and make the meal a more enjoyable experience overall. Presentation is one of the most important factors in any food preparation and building a beautiful tableware collection will ease the burden of worry over whether your food will look as wonderful as it tastes.
Large tableware items such as serving platters, bowl and dessert stands are typical "staples" that many homeowners will focus on. Coordinating these items is a great way to build a collection but remember that varying the colors and design will give your tableware collection more flexibility in different settings. An eclectic mix can add more visual interest to a holiday, birthday or any special occasion table than a matching set of dishes. Don't be afraid of bold colors either, a deep blue serving bowl can be a beautiful accent for both a bowl of mashed potatoes or fresh fruit salad in the summer.
Personalizing a setting with individual dishes for each member of your dinner party can be a wonderful addition to any collection - or smaller dishes that may be used more than once on one table. Butter is a popular accompaniment to many foods so having more than one butter dish available on either side of the table will prevent guests food from getting cold while waiting for the butter to make its way around the table. Salt and pepper shakers are a great option but for a large group try using individual salt cellars (these can be used for other spices as well despite the name) at each setting. This will allow guests to season as much as they please and eliminate a lot of requests to "pass the salt".
Using different colors for particular items is a terrific way to let your guests know where to look on the table. If your table is crowded with food, use the same color for beverage related items (goblets, water glasses, pitchers, etc.) and another color for seasonings/condiments (salt and pepper shakers, syrup dishes, gravy bowls). Remember that colors can be mixed and matched on your table without fighting each. A similar pattern can be used to tie your tableware collection together, if desired.
Building a tableware collection is not only a great hobby that can be cultivated over the years but it can be passed on through a family for generations. Prevent damage to your collection by carefully storing all pieces on level surfaces when not in use or carefully wrapped and packaged in boxed during transportation. Glassware is strong but can break when dropped or transferred from extreme temperatures so exercise caution and check with the manufacturer regarding dishwasher and microwave use.
Fine tableware can be found through a variety of sources including retail stores, antique markets or even online. Although collecting antiques can be rewarding, these items can be cracked or damaged from extended use.