Kitchen and dining areas don’t always need a vast decoration overhaul to feel fresh. Simply ditching drab and worn out crockery for the latest in bright and cheerful plate sets will jazz up your dinner parties.
But which to pick? High street shops are packed with endless collection with all manner of shapes and sizes. From matching milk jugs to amuse-bouche saucers – mismatched plates can also go down a treat on modern dining tables and don’t have to cost much to achieve the same lift.
Our chosen pieces include some full sets and some single plates you can add to your existing collection. But be warned, some of them may make you reconsider your whole kitchen set-up – you won’t want to hide these colourful gems away in a cupboard.
1. Habitat ‘Sintra’ 12-piece dinnerware set: £95, Habitat
The plates in this cheerful green set are made from stoneware, with a reactive glaze that gives them their distinctive emerald hue. The nature of the glaze means that each piece is unique, so no other dinner table will compare. The set, which is made in Portugal, comprises four dinner plates, four side plates and four cereal bowls. And they are all microwave and dishwasher safe.
2. Urban Nature Culture ‘African Labyrinth’ bamboo plate: £3.50 per plate, Selfridges
This collection is both environmentally and purse-friendly, and a steal at £3.50 a piece. Made from bamboo, the hand-painted dinner plates from this Dutch brand are a refreshing move away from traditional fragile crockery. They’re hard-wearing and dishwasher safe.
3. Emma Bridgewater, ‘Tiny Scattered Rose’: £12.95 per plate
The word “kitsch” has long been overused to describe Emma Bridgewater’s iconic pottery designs. But this pretty summer plate collection is fun yet elegant, and will fit just as well on a city apartment shelf as a country farmhouse kitchen dresser. Dishwasher and microwave safe.
4. Denby ‘Halo’: £15 per plate
From mugs to pasta bowls, the extensive Halo range from Denby, godfather of plateware brands, offers a modern take on traditional pottery. We love this 27cm x 19cm oval tray, as it makes a great serving platter for tapas or side companion to soup bowls. Dishwasher-, microwave- and freezer-proof.
5. Next, angular 12-piece dinner set: £55
Stop what you’re doing and imagine a dinner time worlds away from the age-old confines of the round, the oval and the square. These funky angular plates and matching crockery pieces add a new dimension to meals and will age well, all for a bargain price. The set includes four dinner plates, four side plates and four bowls – all dishwasher and microwave safe.
6. M&S ‘Loft Tribeca’ dinner set: £39.50
The spring-summer 2017 Loft range by Marks & Spencer is a chic and stylish collection made with the modern space-poor kitchen in mind. Its Tribeca collection is a sleek and compact design in fresh tones of blue. All plates and bowls are easily stacked – a complete dining set no sense of clutter.
7. George Home 12-piece blue floral dinner set, £18, Asda
This pretty floral collection looks much more expensive than it is and begs to be displayed rather than hidden away in a cupboard. Watercolour-style florals are a timeless choice that won’t date – not that it matters when it’s such a bargain price. The porcelain is guaranteed for one year and is dishwasher- and microwave- safe. The set includes four cereal bowls, four side plates and four dinner plates.
8. Ted Baker Portmeirion ‘Rosie Lee’ assorted salad plate set: £76 for four, Portmeirion
Rosie Lee is the love child of these two iconic British brands, and an attractive fine bone china tableware collection she is too. The print design is recognisably Ted Baker, while the feel of the plates has the assuredly high quality of dinnerware stalwart, Portmeirion. Decorated with floral prints and hand gilded with 22 carat gold, the pieces are perfect for mixing and matching.
9. Portmeirion Dandelion clocks dinner plate set: £48 for four, Amara
Made from classic white porcelain, this dandelion-themed plate epitomises simplicity. Its striking, spring-inspired border will sit well on your table at any time of year, and the monochrome colours will match any decor scheme.
10. Portmeirion Botanic Blooms Sweet Pea dinner plate: £10.99 per plate, Portmeirion
Casual while on-trend for spring-summer, Portmeirion’s Botanic Blooms is a cheaper alternative to designer brands such as Ted Baker. We like the sweet pea design but the collection has an extensive range of colours to suit every table.
Habitat’s bamboo plates are a budget-friendly way to transform a kitchen looking for a colourful lift, but those willing to invest in some Ted Baker designs will love the intricate detail and quality of the Rosie Lee plates.
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