I once received a set of wine glasses with a note attached reading, "Use them, love them, break them." I think the same could be said for your everyday dinner set. In our Marketplace there are plenty of resources for finding chic tabletop settings that look great, but won't break the bank—even if you break them.
Located in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood, this store stocks a carefully edited selection of tableware from all over the world. Their unique and carefully selected lines of dishes and accessories bring an understated sophistication to the tabletop. Pictured here: Handpainted moroccan plates set, $56, set of four.
From this New York-trained industrial designer comes a simple and elegant line of dinnerware inspired by English traditions. The ceramics, glassware and utensils can be viewed on his website, or purchased exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.
With shelves and shelves filled with colorful ceramics, cake stands and glassware, Fishs Eddy is a great resource for dishes and table accessories that won’t break the bank.. They stock basics and vintage pieces as well as limited edition house lines and designer collaborations, like their recent Charley Harper Collection collection.
Sur La Table
This home wares store carries everything from appliances and kitchen tools to cutlery and servingware. Their dinnerware department is full of familiar lines like Le Creuset, with their bright collection of oven-safe dishes. $60, set of 4.
Pearl River Mart
A staple of New York City, this Chinese Department store stocks a wide variety of inexpensive goods, from clothing and accessories to lighting and floor coverings. They also stock a large selection of ceramic dishes and tea sets—some of which are available online. Pictured here: Assorted Blue on White Design Square Plate Set, $29.50
For simple and affordable dishes that look more like fine china than a budget dinnerware set, check out Martha Stewart’s collection at Macy’s. This Classic Band Grey Collection is elegant enough for nice dinner parties, but you won’t feel bad if things get rowdy and people start breaking dishes. Sale, $31.99, set of 4.
Bowery Kitchen Supplies
Once a staple of New York City’s Bowery restaurant supply scene, Bowery Kitchen Supplies now sets up shop in the Chelsea Market, where you can find basic, utilitarian dishes and other kitchen accessories as discounted prices.
For truly one-of-a-kind pieces, try running an Etsy search for dinnerware. The site is full of stoneware artisans like OneClayBead. Pictured here: A green and turquoise stoneware dish set with a textured lace pattern on the underside of each piece. $80.
Image: Billy Cotton