Everyday dinnerware recommendations

magsnjApril 21, 2014

I have a friend who's moving into a new house and doesn't want to bring her mismatched current everyday plates with her. They're old and tired looking. Her kids are old enough that she has no more excuses not to lose the crummy dinnerware. I want to get her a new set for her upcoming bday. I'm thinking 8-12 place settings with a budget of about $200. They have to be dishwasher and microwave safe, durable, attractive and practical (no teeny tiny bowls or teacups). I'd also like them to be very easy to match serving bowls and plates to. No Corelle please.

Does anyone have anything that they love and highly recommend?

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I like the plain white Luminous porcelain line at Pier 1. Simple, tough, and easily replaceable. And $4 or $5 each piece.

This is my day to day china, and it looks great on a formal table as well. Easy to dress up or down with a few colored or patterned serving pieces and table linens.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pier 1's Luminous porcelain

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Mon, Apr 21, 14 at 17:49

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 5:48PM
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I bought crates of plain white china at a restaurant supply store a few years ago. Cheap, tough, goes with everything.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 5:54PM
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For daily meals, we have these from Williams-Sonoma: Pantry Dinnerware

They are oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe. I think they look and feel great. They wear really well too.

This post was edited by ILoveCookie on Mon, Apr 21, 14 at 18:30

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 6:14PM
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Ikea 365+ line. One thing I like is that the dinner plates fit n my DW tines easily cause they're somewhat flat. I don't like those thick saucer-y dishes that don't fit in the DW tines. Also the Ikeas are really sturdy, are microwaveable, and a lotta bang for the buck.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 6:24PM
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I love my Fiesta dishes. Even if multicolored isn't her style, I think the cream and white colors are lovely...

I find the shapes to all be very very practical, especially with kids. I love that the bowls are hard to tip, for example. They can take a beating, too - hard stuff to break. Easy to replace pieces, especially if you like mixing and matching, like I do.

Get the place settings that have the coffee mugs rather than teacups (although I like having both...).

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 6:35PM
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Crate & Barrel Essential Dinnerware. Open stock. I bought mine when it was on sale.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 6:39PM
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Fiestaware!!!! It comes in a wide array of colors, is made in the USA, and costs about $25 for a 4 or 5 piece place setting when on sale at Kohls or Macys. I had intended to get 2 colors when I went shopping, but instead bought 2 place settings of 6 different colors. I absolutely love it-it makes me happy every time I open my cabinets

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 6:40PM
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I am also a mix and match Fiesta person. I love that I can get smaller size dishes to help my quest to eat "rightsize" rather than super size meals.

For my plates I use the 9" buffet plates that Kohl's has- I like the lip on them better than the 9" luncheon plates that other stores carry. I use the small bowls rather than the medium that comes with the setting. Then I have the standard salad plates. I use the Java mugs which are 12 oz rather than the placesetting mugs because I like the big handle rather than the little ring one.

There are plenty of accessories too. I have a tiny pitcher that I use for syrup (heat it up in the microwave!), bread serving plates, serving bowls and platters.

Not sure you can get 8-12 settings for only $200 though. Sometimes they have buy 4 placesettings get one free at Kohl's or Macy's. I think a placesetting can be found often for $25. I buy mine by the piece since I use the different sized pieces to make up my placesetting.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 7:12PM
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That is very nice of you. I know this is twice your budget -- but we LOVE this set. Heavy use for 5 years and I don't think even one has a chip. Dishwasher, microwave and we are not very careful people. They go with everything and we use them for our everyday and as accent pieces for more formal settings sometimes. http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/3159YE5PR9L.jpg


I would advise you to ask her to go with you and have her pick out what she wants. Maybe a $200 gc to Target/BBB/Macys etc. I think dishes and glassware are a very, very personal thing. I wouldn't want a friend to feel compelled to use something every day that I purchased for them but that they didn't like but didn't want to hurt my feelings ... just sayin'

Here is a link that might be useful: dishes

This post was edited by nightowlrn on Mon, Apr 21, 14 at 19:50

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 7:48PM
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These are all great suggestions!! Thank you!! Please, keep 'em coming!! I want to see all of the options :). I'm going to be super careful in picking them, but don't worry nightowlrn, there will be a return receipt.... and she already knows that I'm looking for them for her.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 8:20PM
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I ordered my Fiestaware directly from the manufacturer, Homer Laughlin China Company, for less than the "sale" prices at Kohl's and Macy's.

The only negative I can think of for Fiestaware is that it is heavy and the bowls don't nest nicely.

But I love mine anyway. The colors make me happy every day. I have Scarlet, Cobalt and Turquoise.

We stay in the same rental house at the beach every year and the house has a cabinet full of Fiestaware. It looks great - no chips. You can imagine the abuse it takes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fiesta Factory Direct

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 9:48PM
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Just out of curiosity, why no Corelle? We just got a nice set and love it, did I overlook something that will come back to bite me in the butt?!?

I've seen some here recommend plain white pieces from a kitchen supply store, like the ones for restaurants, in the past. Easy to match, durable, and friendly on the wallet.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 10:25PM
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nanj, that link is great! Thank you! I've already sent her a pic to see if she she likes....

williamsem, there's nothing wrong with corelle.....it's the workhorse of dinnerware.... but I think after having kid proof plates for the last 15 years, she's ready to be a little more daring.... chance a chip or a break..... you know, walk on the wild side....

I've been looking for a reason to go to a kitchen supply store since my kitchen was finished, so I think I'll listen to the advice here and try to find one in my area to see their dinnerware....

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 10:43PM
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If lead-free dinnerware is important to her as it is to most women with children, and budget is an issue, Fiestaware is your only option, and a great, beautiful option at that. Wait for a sale on their web site if possible.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 10:56PM
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I really like our IKEA DINERA dishes for everyday use. They are inexpensive, but the matte finish and muted colours make them feel more "quality". Food looks really great on the beige colour - it's a soft organic look:

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 2:50AM
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I sent her all of the pictures and she seemed to freshly like the fiestaware. The only thing she worried about wad that the bowl may not be so great for cereal....I think it looks deceptively shallow in the pics. The website had them for $32.50 on sale now.....is that good or do you think they'll go lower?

I really love that it's made in the USA...and I had no idea about the lead, so that's really good to know, but it brings up another question......

Is there a preference for silverware based on similar reasons? Or even based on quality, and form.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 7:42AM
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Actually, I had the same worry about the Fiesta bowls when I first bought them. They're an odd (wide and shallow) shape, so it just seemed wrong to me, especially for cereal. Like I said in my first post, it turns out that I really like the shape. I love it for the kids, because there's no chance of it tipping. It holds a perfect amount of cereal, in my opinion. In fact, they do make a more traditional cereal bowl, but I've gotten to where I like this shape more.

I would say the shape has a sort of disadvantage when it comes to soup, though. Because it has such a wide bottom, and because it's such a thick stoneware, it tends to cool soup down. Which is, again, good for the kids, but not as good for grown ups.

They don't nest tightly, which means you can't stack as many in a cupboard, but the way they stack at angles is really visually appealing. It shows off the beauty of the shape and looks great with mixed colors.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 8:15AM
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Fiestaware! Someday, I'll break down and buy a whole set.
For now, I find myself digging through the stack of ugly
"other" plates for my one orange, green or yellow fiestas.
They make anything look happy and yummy.
Great for kids, too.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 9:04AM
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I have old (1930's era) and new Fiestaware in my kitchen. I like that I can mix them up and they still go with each other.

I usually wait for Macy's to have their BOGO sale...and buy one place setting and get one free.

Good luck...you can't go wrong with Fiesta!!! I've had mine for over 20 years, and mix it with the older pieces that were given to me.

I disagree what others have said about the bowls though. They are perfect for soup and ice cream and cereal. I also have the rimmed soup bowls, but use those for pasta instead. The good thing is you can find a piece to use for whatever your need is. We are a family of 4, with 2 children aged 9 and 11. It's been indestructable for us. Even with banging it against my soapstone on occasion while loading the dishwasher.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 9:05AM
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Fiestaware! Someday, I'll break down and buy a whole set.
For now, I find myself digging through the stack of ugly
"other" plates for my one orange, green or yellow fiestas.
They make anything look happy and yummy.
Great for kids, too.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 9:15AM
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Another fiestaware vote! My mom has the vintage stuff and has passed it onto my sister and I, and I also use the set's from Macy's for day to day use. Heavy in a great way, and I am not careful with them.

Bowls do look shallow, but they hold a lot. I have poured bowls of cereal into mine that I could not finish. I even use them as serving bowls when it's just the two of us.

Wish I had a photo, my colors are cobalt, ivory, and peacock.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 11:21AM
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How about one of these sets?

Here is a link that might be useful: Mikasa -- dinnerware sets

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 11:31AM
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And here's a nice set .....

Here is a link that might be useful: Mikasa Concentric White 40 piece set FREE shipping

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 11:35AM
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robo (z6a)

Wow, I'm so happy to see all the fiesta lovers! :) the bowls are shallow but actually work well for cereal or pasta. I'm attaching a photo showing my bowls with 2 cups of water in them. The white bowl is fairly large and deep but you can see it barely holds more than the fiesta bowl.

The one thing I don't love is the small mugs. If I were starting over, I would collect the place settings with the java mugs instead of the classic ring handle. The classic mugs hold just about one cup (pictured) which is a little small considering how much I like xl coffees. And the ring handle takes some getting used to. But on the other hand it does make me feel like my serving sizes are being a bit better contained than consistently using giant mugs. And my husband said the ring handle doesn't bother him (he has big hands) and pointed out it's more common and easy to collect.

One negative about fiestaware is that it is heavy. And very down to earth feeling. So it certainly can't match the lightness and delicacy of bone china or fine porcelain. I like that chunky feeling personally and don't mind muscling down a stack of plates but it is something to consider.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Tue, Apr 22, 14 at 13:25

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 12:07PM
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Fiesta, stoneware...too heavy for my arthritic hands, and Corelle is so plastic-y.

I've liked a set of Mikasa Ultima+ type 'china'. It's microwave/dishwasher safe and chip resisitant. I have granite countertops and porcelain sinks, but have broken VERY few pieces in a dozen years. Lots of pretty patterns with Mikasa.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 12:29PM
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I'm going to send her the Mikasa photos as well...

Fivefootzero and Robo, I've been thinking white this entire time, but boy are your colors pretty. Fun and happy....ready for a fiesta

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 5:05PM
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I love my Mikasa Antique White. Love having white so i can use it all year long with any decor. And, I can't believe this, but i actually dropped a mug outside on my concrete patio yesterday and it didn't break!!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 5:46PM
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I have Corelle for everyday dishes but maybe one day I will look into some of these suggestions for prettier dishes. Thank you everyone!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 7:45PM
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Phillyfeet, I just looked at the Mikasa Antique White and I love the look! Thank you. I will also look at the Fiesta in the cream or white but I am usually an off-white plate fan.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 7:52PM
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My dinnerware is all white (with a few random pieces of colors that I find at Good Will or when Marshall's used to have seconds). I accent it with colored serving pieces. And a few years ago I bought the mugs with the nice "C" handle in all the shades of yellow (Marigold, Sunflower, and Ivory), my favorite color. It always makes me happy using it.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 8:04PM
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Ugh.... dilemma..... today is the last day of Macy's bogo (turns out to be $28/setting).....but I don't see a set with the Java mug.....I don't think I'd like the little circle handle, so the other option is cup and saucer, which looks good, but I'm not sure it'll hold enough. I could order it anyway and let her decide.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 10:02PM
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robo (z6a)

I take it back about the ring handle. I like them fine. And mr. Robo is correct that they are much easier to find.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 10:26PM
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My experience with less expensive dinnerware with a high shiny glaze finish is, they tend to chip easily, so I would avoid anything like that.

I have Mikasa StoneCraft, in Sand Piper (a discontinued pattern); if mine is representative of the StoneCraft line though I can highly recommend it. It is not too heavy or overly large. I got mine in 2008 and no losses or chips with daily use.

I also have a set of Franciscan "Desert Rose"; actually I have a set of the original American made for display, but also have a set of the later Portuguese and English made for everyday that are holding up nicely. The Chinese made sets that are sold currently are not as nicely made IMO -- I got mine from estate sales and ebay for very reasonable prices. My neighbor also has Franciscan "Red Apple" for everyday use and loves them. There are all sorts of bowls and plates and cups/mugs available.

Have you looked at World Market? I think that they have some nice sets but never having used them, I can't attest to durability.

I have heard nothing but good things about Ikea's dishes, too.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 10:55PM
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Hahaha..... thanks for clearing that up robo! Thanks for the pics too... they were really great! I ordered the saucer cup sets in white.....I figure, she'll get them and then we'll go to Macy's to make sure they're the ones she likes best.... it opens the conversation. LOL. And if she likes the saucer cups and the Java mugs, then I can get her the Java mugs for her housewarming present....

....and if she hates them, back to the drawing board, so please keep suggestions coming. :)

This post was edited by magsnj on Tue, Apr 22, 14 at 23:05

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 11:03PM
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My vote goes with Bellsmom for the Pier 1 Luminous dishes. I get many compliments on them. If one chips, go buy one more, not a whole place setting.

I also vote with crl because I bought a stack of matching white smaller side plates at a restaurant supply place online, great for a bread plate on the side or hors d'oeuvres. Plain white dishes work formally and informally.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 11:43AM
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I also think Fiestaware is very heavy. If you need to carry a stack to the table, you (and kids) will certainly notice the weight. I prefer porcelain -- IKEA is fine and the Mikasa offers good choices too. Like another poster, I don't like heavy rims that are hard to fit in a dishwasher. I'm a fan of plain white but know that's not for everyone. The $200 budget is very doable and a wonderful gift. I would also suggest 12 place settings.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 1:28PM
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I would like to put the word in for Cafeware II from Crate and Barrel. Ours is almost 12 years old and not a chip or a knife-mark. I think it is porcelain. It is white, sturdy and goes with everything!

Here is a link that might be useful: Cafeware II

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 4:00PM
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I used to have other brands until I got the Fiestaware religion! I know she'll enjoy them, even if they are heavy. If she has granite or quartz counters, they will stand up to the occasional bump or accident without chipping. I can't recall even breaking one.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 4:12PM
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I have Fiesta, and love it. I have the scarlet color, and also have the fiesta diner collection with scarlet trim to mix and match. Love it. Hate to jinx myself, but I have not broken a single piece since I got them, and I have 5 grandsons!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 5:51PM
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I have a mix of vintage and new Fiesta that we use for our every day plates and I love them! I use the smaller dinner plates, great for portion control. And I like that they have a little weight to them, plus the colors make me happy!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 7:40PM
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Another vote for Fiestaware. I have used it for 17 years now. We have added pieces over the years. We have 5 kids under 9 years old and we use it everyday, breakfast, lunch and dinner. I could count on one hand the amount of pieces we have broken. We haven't ever chipped any dishes. My 17 year old butter dish just broke, my son knocked it out of the frig and sent it flying across the room. But, it broke so evenly, I put it together and I can't even see the crack. I'm going to try super gluing it, not sure since its a butter dish but its worth a shot.

I have purchased at Macy's, Kohls and a small hardware store by my house that has EVERY conceivable piece they make in EVERY color. We also bought many pieces at Pike's Place in Seattle. There was a cool Fiestaware shop with lots of interesting and discontinued pieces. Just my two cents. :)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 8:03PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We have the white corelle ware and have had it for over 35 years. They still make it, it has every kind of accessory dish or plate you can imagine. It is extremely durable, and yet, if it does crack or haze, you can take it back and they replace it for free. I couldn't be more delighted.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 8:03AM
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for my modern kitchen everyday dishes are white corelle and the white, black and turquoise ikea 365 cups.
i use china for formal dining.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 11:12AM
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So the fiestaware came last night.....and everything everyone said is absolutely correct......both the good and the bad. I love the look of it and that it's made in America and is lead free. It looked really pretty when we put the place seeing on her table. It also was pretty heavy, which may be annoying when you carry stacks to set a table, will stack tall in the cabinets and the bowls (which i actually love the look and feel of) don't fit very well in the dishwasher.

Three plan right now is to keep them and think about it. I'm not sure if a at the end of the day the negative factors should win out. Everyday should be practical and i don't want her and her family to be cursing me every time they have to heft it about or load the dishwasher. How do the people who have it feel about these things?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 7:32AM
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I have a Bosch dishwasher, and the tines are very close. I have no problem loading any of my Fiesta in it. The weight of it doesn't bother me, I set the table for 4 and so do my kids, carrying a stack of plates each time. When there are more, I take half at a time. If you love it enough, it should work. But I might add that before I bought my dishwasher, I took a few pieces to the showroom to make sure they fit. Just my two cents!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 8:21AM
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I have gone through so many different sets/types of dinnerware over the years. I wanted something simple and light-weight, yet elegant. I love this white Corelle pattern. It is pricey for Corelle, but I waited for good sales and coupons. They also sell it at Macy's and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I am able to have a set of 16 in a very compact space. I have had so many compliments as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Corelle Cherish

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 10:12AM
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I'm very happy with my Corningware French White glass dish set. They're bright white, with a nice design, and very heavy. I've had 2 10 piece sets for a few years and although I've broken one bowl after dropping it on the tile floor, there has been no chipping or staining. When I bought mine at Costco it came with dinner plates, pasta bowls, soup/cereal bowls, and mugs.

I'm not sure if my particular design is available anymore but I found some on Replacements.com.

Here is a link that might be useful: Replacements.com

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 3:59AM
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The bowls are kind of a pain in the dishwasher, but you get used to them. I use one side of my lower rack for plates and one for bowls, turned the other direction. It's really only a problem when we really let dishes back up (5 in my family).

The only time the weight of the dishes bothers me is when I start getting obsessive about having my multicolored dinner plates stacked in a certain order and feel the need to rearrange the stack (red green yellow red green yellow red green yellow). But I have a feeling that most people aren't quite as OCD as I am about that...

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 8:15AM
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robo (z6a)

None of those things bother me, but I am pretty muscular. I regularly take my stack of 8 down no prob. The bowls fit in the dishwasher better than my big white bowls as they are less curved, and do fit on the top rack if needed. The substantial feel and sturdiness means they feel "quality" to me, unlike cheaper stoneware which can be heavy but can feel clumsy. I believe part of the enduring popularity is the rounded edges, which feel nice in the hand, and the classic deco ring detailing.

BUT...I'm into fiesta for the color. If I were picking just white dinnerware, not sure if it would be my first choice or not? There's a lot of nice white dinnerware out there! If I ran a very classy/formal household I think I'd go for everyday china with a fluted rim.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 2:57PM
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I like the colors and fun of Fiestaware, but they are heavier than I wanted a large set of and I needed at least 16 pl settings. I also couldn't decide on one color or how to mix them without buying way too much.

I got the Hotel Collection white bone china from Macy's. I love that it is lightweight, durable, goes through the micro and DW without any concerns (2 precious sets said micro safe but were not), and it can mix with any serveware, accent dishes, linens - even Fiestaware! The current sale price puts them pretty close to Fiestaware in price -- depends on which pieces you like.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 3:23PM
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Another vote for Fiestaware here. They are just so...happy. And very timeless, all-American, and all the other great things said here.

The drawbacks for me personally are weight/size (on the heavy side, and cannot stack as many in cabinets as I'd like) as well as silverware marks. I primarily use the cream color (which is not really cream, IMO, but more of a light yellow) and after almost 4 years I am seeing lots of little marks on them. My friend has white, and hers are far worse. It doesn't really bother me and I think this happens to most everyday ceramic plates...but it's something to be aware of. Probably much less noticeable on the medium and darker colors.

I do not care for the shallow bowls or coffee cups that are included in the place setting boxes, so I buy open stock. I like the big, deep bowls (I think maybe they are labeled 'chili bowls'?) and the mugs with the larger handle.

Happy shopping!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 3:59PM
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I've been reading this thread and I am interested to know if anyone has pictures, that they'd share, of:

- their Fiestaware in their glass front cabinets
- their table set with Fiestaware either in one color or a mix.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 7:09PM
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robo (z6a)

Here's mine in my glass front cabs - but I'm still collecting and want two oranges (poppy and tangerine) and another blue (turquoise) at least. Plus I might sell a green (someone gave me lemongrass when I already had the very similar chartreuse).

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 7:43PM
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We have Fiesta, and will inherit some vintage Fiesta from DW's grandmother. I didn't think I would like the bowls, but after using them, I love them.

If you don't like the small mugs with the ring (I like 'em, DW hates them), Kohl's sells a GIANT coffee mug. Like it's ridiculous how much it holds. But DW loves them

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 12:16AM
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I've learned by experience that white bone china holds up great for daily use -- no chips or metal marks so it gets my vote. You can dress it up or down. Many patterns go in the dishwasher and microwave. BB&B has excellent reviews on their Table Tops "Cascade" Bone china --$79.99 for 16 pieces, a place setting for 4. With coupons you should be able to get 3 sets for $200. Another bonus is that they're not heavy. It's easy to mix & match with pieces from other manufacturers.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 12:52AM
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I'm an "all of the above" kind of person. I have a bunch of different patterns. Solid white is essential but I also have various other bone china patterns that I mix and match as well as some stoneware that I picked up for super cheap. If you want a pattern that's kind of a step up but still white look at Wedgwood, Nantucket Basket. It's not cheap but it's lovely and goes well with everything.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 8:12AM
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