We have 4 children plus 1 clumsy mommy in our house which means that we have been living with plastic everything (with a bit of silicone mixed in for good measure) for a very, very long time. We have not been thrilled with that reality, but it was our reality and we made the best of it. We are just now hitting the point where the 4 children are old enough to (mostly) not be a 24 hour a day break hazard, which means we are nearly down to 1 breakable-challenged person (me). Pretty much all of our remaining plastic plates and cups are in horrible shape and just need to go. It is time to be brave and start chucking all of that plastic into the recycling bin and go fully and bravely into breakables- plates, bowls, mugs, glasses. We've been looking at all of our many options and have decided on simple, white and sturdy. Because at least one of us is still and always will be a clutz, we want to keep the cost down as well. After considering color options, we have gone with white for the most part. My 9 year old thinks we should keep everything solidly white, but the final plan will allow for a few individually chosen color options for those who really need it. Here's what we've been looking at.
I love Heath Ceramics. If I had a much higher budget and much lower potential for breakage ratio, these would probably already be in our house, even just sitting on the shelf looking lovely. I love how solidly beautiful they are. The Finley Rim Line (1960's design) and Spring Basic Coupe Line (1940's design) sets are gorgeously simple with lovely color options that you can mix and match as you wish. For both sets, though I'm pretty much set on Moonstone and Opaque White. The variety of sizes and options make this an option well suited to family use. All pieces are freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe which is great.
Kaufman Mercantile has so very, very many amazing things. Besides having some very beautiful Jadeite pressed-glass plates, they have an amazing line of Kentucky Stoneware. Produced by the same company since 1815 these pieces are created on a potter's wheel using natural stoneware clay mined in Kentucky and Indiana. They are simple and beautiful while being durable and versatile. Despite their near-precious status, these plates are mincrowave, freezer, dishwasher and oven safe.
canvas home also produces beautiful dinnerware with the simple lines and lovely colors that I prefer. These have a very quite and lovely, yet stunning feel that just make me happy. My problem here would be way too may beautiful choices. The Tinware line is beautiful and fun- stoneware made to look just like vintage tin pieces. I adore the white with blue and the teal and yellow mugs will make anyone smile. The Abbesses line offers a similar look in porcelain with a hand-painted color edge, Seagate and Shell Bisque are lovely with gorgeous blue glazes. And, of course, I love the white & blues. I especially love that I can have both white and blue together in such beautiful options. When I graduate the real grown up plates, bowls and mugs, this will probably be my first stop. The handmade, hand-glazed pieces are a bit more delicate than we'd need for daily dishes at the moment. Many pieces can go anywhere- from freezer to oven- but quite a few require hand-washing and are not microwave safe. All, however, are beautiful.
crate & barrel has oodles of great dinnerware lines. I used to work about a block from Crate & Barrel in SoHo, so it was were I did pretty much all of my pre-baby dinnerware shopping. And, with me being clumsy me, most of it is no longer with us, shall we say. I think I'm down to 1 glass cereal bowl. There are so many options that I really like, it's almost too much for me to choose from. The colors, styles & price ranges offer something for just about anyone. The selection of simple, pleasing whites is extensive and there are quite a few lovely blues too. You'll find a stoneware, porcelain and even bone china, all are microwave & dishwasher safe, many are oven safe too. My favorites are Marin, Welcome, Toben, Mercer, Essential, Verge & Bennet Whites with Marin, Baltic, Lake and Olson for colors. (Marin, Welcome & Lake shown above)
IKEA was not on my original list, but it quickly pulled itself ahead. While I was working out what we would get, I picked up 2 very pretty pale blue mugs at IKEA. They have made me very happy in every way, so I decided to take a look at what IKEA has to offer elsewhere. I also have 2 very pretty FORSLA bowls, which I love, but I hadn't really looked at IKEA as an option for every day dinnerware. The look, price and durability for daily use that we need right now plus are readily accessible for easy pick up quickly made IKEA a top option. My immediate favorites were the STOKHOLM & IKEA 365+ lines. The mugs we have are IKEA 365+ and are super solid feldspar porcelain plus they are used in the restaurant, so I figured they could stand up to all of us on a daily basis. The price is great, especially because I figured I'd worry less about actually using them. We decided go with the IKEA 365+ white with a few extra POKAL bowls for child-sized cereal servings. The bowls are supe cute, with a cafe au lait bowl look and are very stable for little ones However, when we went to look at everything in person, I decided on the spot to go with the white FÄRGRIK set. They are stoneware instead of feldspar, but they have the flatter coupe style that I prefer. They are super solid and have a great, clean look. The price is ridiculously low at $19.99 for an 18 piece set. Everything is also available open stock, so we were able to quickly pick up the set of 18, 6 additional side plates and 4 POKAL bowls (3 white and 1 pale pink). We didn't really need many mugs, mostly for the ocassional hot chocolate, so we let each child pick their own FÄRGRIK mug in the color of their choice. Another plus these mugs are well sized for little hands. So, while looking, we liked IKEA enough to just stop looking and buy. Everything has been here for about a week and it's been great. Nothing broken yet and it's so much better eating off of pretty white plates.