The 17 Best China Patterns for Your Registry and Beyond

15 Sep.,2022

 

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Since a quality set may last for years, choosing something you love is important. Material, shape, color, pattern, and style are all important considerations to make when choosing the dishes that are right for you. Plus, you’ll want them to compliment your food, kitchen decor , and overall style. Whether you’re in the market for a durable everyday set or looking for an opulent, classic pattern, we’ve rounded up the best in every category. Because sitting down to plates you love makes even the simplest meal something to look forward to.

Without a doubt, plates, cups, and bowls are lifestyle essentials and one of the first things couples may think about for their wedding registry . A player in everything from weeknight dinners to fancy dinner parties , your dinnerware not only sets the tone for your table but also speaks to your lifestyle as well. And while everyday dinnerware and formal china can be slightly different, dining has become more casual and so has our dinnerware. You might want something a little more durable and dishwasher-safe for daily meals and then opt for a more delicate, luxe set for formal events. But with innovations in technology and more affordable options out there, it’s also possible to register for one set that will do double duty.

If you’re craving an eclectic set, this Victorian-era inspired dinnerware is just the thing. Choose from a range of contemporary shades and whimsical silhouettes for a perfectly curated assortment of mix and match pieces.

Love a good monogram ? Then you might want plates that don your moniker. An elegant statement for a traditional table, this set has handprinted rims and gilded lettering. Each piece is handmade in Illinois by the renowned American manufacturer, Pickard.

Made by one of the most storied porcelain houses in Limoges, France, this opulent gold and black china is luxurious, lavish, and ornate. Decked out with an intricate black and gold rim, this porcelain set will definitely make a dramatic statement.

Looking to bring some zen to the table? This modular dinnerware keeps things simple. Handmade in Japan using traditional techniques, these plates stack together perfectly—an ideal set for the minimalist.

Inspired by a dress originally created by Oscar de la Renta for Vogue, this set brings haute couture to the table. With a bold floral motif in a striking coral color rimed in 24 karat gold, this china is fashion forward!

Inspired by architecture, this porcelain dinnerware set pays homage to Indian design. The intricate geometric patterns reflect the arches, finials, and ornamentation of palaces and embellish each piece in textured relief. A subtle, but striking statement for any table.

Neutral doesn’t have to be boring! Each plate in this stoneware set is rimmed with a simple decorative motif. With a scalloped-edge dessert plate in the mix, this pretty dinnerware is replete with elegant details.

If you’re looking for white dinnerware that breaks from the traditional, square plates are a great way to mix it up on the table. This ceramic set has a delicately beaded edge and can be dressed up or down based on the occasion.

Bold, blue, and white radiating patterns create an eye-catching array of patterned plates. Each Limoges porcelain piece is emblazoned with a different design that all comes together in a graphic, artistic statement for the table. It may be a splurge, but it's something you'll treasure forever.

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you’re going to want shatter-proof dinnerware that can withstand the elements. This melamine set features modern silhouettes in a selection of vibrant, summery colors—perfect for a pool-side snack or a picnic dinner!

If you’re looking for something with a vintage vibe, this set is the real deal. Designed by Mid-Century icon Russel Wright, the dinnerware has gently curved lines and comes in an array of retro shades. Choose a single color for the set or mix-and-match for a more eclectic look.

Nearly 1,200 meticulous, hand-painted brushstrokes create the fronds, brackets, and medallions on these intricately patterned plates. Produced continuously by Royal Copenhagen since the 1770s, this iconic blue and white china may be over 200 years old, but it’s the definition of timeless.

Sophisticated blue and gold bands span the edges of these white china plates to create a dapper, preppy look. Include the optional polka dot accent plate for a touch of whimsy.

Inspired by traditional English embroidery, this set has a delicate lace pattern in relief and a fine silver band trimming the edge. Elegant and feminine, this refined bone china could easily pass as an heirloom!

Hand-pressed mandala patterns and layers of rich turquoise glaze come together in a whimsical stoneware set. Crafted in Portugal, the dinnerware has an organic, handmade quality that emanates bohemian charm .

Available in five muted tones, this hardworking dinnerware is durable enough for everyday use, but the modern design will steal the show at your next dinner party. It's wallet-friendly too, so it's a great option if you want to get extra pieces or splurge on serving pieces.

Crafted of fine bone china and embossed with subtle radial lines, this set gives off an understated, modern vibe without diverging too far from tradition. Designed by Jasper Conran for Wedgwood, this one is refined enough for formal dining, but versatile to use every day.

What to look for in china

There are four main types of ceramics that are used for dishes: earthenware, stoneware, porcelain/china, and bone china. Each has unique properties that make it uniquely suited for different types of use. 

Earthenware 

Earthenware is a glazed and fired ceramic that has a thick, rustic look and feel. Most hand-painted plates are made of this material. It tends to be the least expensive type of ceramic when it comes to dinner plates but is not as strong or durable as the other types. It is also prone to chipping and staining. Some earthenware can withstand the dishwasher and microwave, but it’s best to check with the manufacturer's recommendations first. 

Stoneware

Stoneware is typical of casual, everyday dinnerware. It tends to be more durable than earthenware and is versatile and easy to maintain with the ability to go in the microwave, dishwasher, oven, and freezer (although, again it's a good idea to check with the manufacturer's recommendation). Thicker than finer materials like porcelain or bone china, it’s available in a range of finishes from shiny to satin and matte.

Porcelain or china 

Porcelain and china are both made of fine particle clay that is thin, delicate, and has an almost translucent quality. The material contains kaolin, feldspar, and quartz that is fired at a high temperature, making it extremely durable and allowing for shaped detailing to be incorporated into the design of the plate. Many types of porcelain and china can withstand the dishwasher and microwave, which, along with their fine appearance, make them ideal for formal entertaining, but also a good choice for everyday use. 

Bone china

Bone china is the most durable and chip-resistant of all ceramics. It has the same composition as porcelain, but with the addition of bone ash which allows it to be thinner, lighter in weight, more delicate, and with greater translucency than porcelain. It also tends to be warmer in tone than porcelain, which is typically a brighter white. 

FAQ

  • How many dishes do I need?

    Place settings generally come in either four or five-piece settings. Four-piece settings are more common for casual sets and include a dinner plate, salad or dessert plate, soup bowl, and mug whereas the five-piece setting is more typical of formal sets and includes a dinner plate, salad, or dessert plate, bread plate, and a cup and saucer. Not so keen on having a stack of bread plates? Some sets are available to be purchased as "open stock", which allows you to buy individual pieces you know you’ll use. 


    For everyday dinnerware, six to eight place settings are a good number to get you started as a couple. It means you’ll have extra plates in rotation while others are in the dishwasher and if you’re entertaining, there will be enough settings for a few guests. For formal china, we recommend registering for eight to 12 settings, which is enough for dinner parties and holiday gatherings. 

  • Do I need to have china that's dishwasher and microwave-safe

    It all depends on how you're using the dishes and what your day-to-day life looks like. If you entertain a lot, you'll most likely want a set that's easy and fast to care for. If you tend to skew more formal and love delicate bone china with metallic accents, the extra care may be worth it.





Earthenware 

Earthenware is a glazed and fired ceramic that has a thick, rustic look and feel. Most hand-painted plates are made of this material. It tends to be the least expensive type of ceramic when it comes to dinner plates but is not as strong or durable as the other types. It is also prone to chipping and staining. Some earthenware can withstand the dishwasher and microwave, but it’s best to check with the manufacturer's recommendations first. 

Stoneware

Stoneware is typical of casual, everyday dinnerware. It tends to be more durable than earthenware and is versatile and easy to maintain with the ability to go in the microwave, dishwasher, oven, and freezer (although, again it's a good idea to check with the manufacturer's recommendation). Thicker than finer materials like porcelain or bone china, it’s available in a range of finishes from shiny to satin and matte.

Porcelain or china 

Porcelain and china are both made of fine particle clay that is thin, delicate, and has an almost translucent quality. The material contains kaolin, feldspar, and quartz that is fired at a high temperature, making it extremely durable and allowing for shaped detailing to be incorporated into the design of the plate. Many types of porcelain and china can withstand the dishwasher and microwave, which, along with their fine appearance, make them ideal for formal entertaining, but also a good choice for everyday use. 

Bone china

Bone china is the most durable and chip-resistant of all ceramics. It has the same composition as porcelain, but with the addition of bone ash which allows it to be thinner, lighter in weight, more delicate, and with greater translucency than porcelain. It also tends to be warmer in tone than porcelain, which is typically a brighter white. 

Why trust Brides? 

Brides contributor Elizabeth MacLennan has been scouring marketplaces around the world— and web— hunting down that just right object for over 15 years as a prop stylist. Read: she’s seen just about everything when it comes to goods for the table! With a discerning eye and astute mind, she considers quality, function, and design when she’s vetting products. That means— these sets of china meet all the requirements. Plus, they’ll look gorgeous on a table!