On The Search For New Dinnerware

You may be surprised to know, that even with all of the table setting and entertaining ideas I’ve shared over the years, I’ve never really had an “official” dinnerware set to use for everyday meals. I’ve collected a lot of dishes, mainly from thrift stores and estate sales, but they’ve never been in a complete set, or in perfect condition. 

On The Search For New Dinnerware by The Wood Grain Cottage

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Several years ago, I bought a really pretty set, that I’ve showcased in so many table decor ideas, but there’s always been a few things about them that I haven’t loved. Todd and I have been using them exclusively since we got married, but the little things I’d noticed about them before have started to become an issue. Mainly, the fact that they become burning hot any time we use them in the microwave. We have to use an oven mitten, or a tea towel so we don’t burn our hands, or the table. On top of that, they’ve also chipped in a few areas, split in the middle because of heat (!!!) and they show utensil marks. 

Needless to say, we’re on the search for new dinnerware. I’ve found a few different options, but I also have some requirements. 

  • I’d really like something we can dress up or down. Rather than having a specific “entertaining” dinnerware set, I’d like something we can use every day, be it a holiday or not. 
  • Chip resistant! Another big thing, because there’s nothing worse than when you’re placing dishes in the dishwasher to have the edge chip off. It’s so frustrating! 
  • Microwave safe… this goes without saying. We’d both love to grab plates out of the microwave again. 
  • White dinnerware. Food just looks better on white dishes, and also allows me to add in other colorful items for whatever season I’m setting the table for. 
  • Classic design. I really want something that can age well and remain classic. 
  • Low Bowl. We love salads, pastas, stews and one pot meals like risotto. Those are all situations where we’d really like to have a low bowl. If you aren’t familiar with the idea, it’s basically a larger, flatter cereal bowl. 

After browsing around, here are my favorites!

  1. Aspen Dinnerware: It’s so classic and I love that I can add to it as we need more place settings or serving pieces. 
On The Search For New Dinnerware by The Wood Grain Cottage
On The Search For New Dinnerware by The Wood Grain Cottage

2. Cafeware II Dinnerware: It’s a fresh take on traditional dinnerware. Plus, the reviews are terrific!

On The Search For New Dinnerware by The Wood Grain Cottage
On The Search For New Dinnerware by The Wood Grain Cottage

3. Pantry Dinnerware: One of my favorite designs, with the rimmed edge detail.

On The Search For New Dinnerware by The Wood Grain Cottage
On The Search For New Dinnerware by The Wood Grain Cottage

4. Au Naturale Dinnerware: Simplicity at it’s best, but so pretty!

On The Search For New Dinnerware by The Wood Grain Cottage
On The Search For New Dinnerware by The Wood Grain Cottage

After reading basically all the reviews, we ended up deciding on Option 3, the Pantry Dinnerware Collection. I love the classic design, with the rim detail. It has an upscale classical feeling I couldn’t shake, and I love that it will look great on the open shelving we’ll be adding to the kitchen. It was one of the more expensive options, but before pulling the trigger, I did a quick search on eBay and found a 25% off coupon with free shipping. The seller e-mailed me the code and it worked like a charm, making this dinnerware set the same price as some of the other lower priced options. 

We can’t wait for the set to arrive so we can start using them everyday, and I look forward to creating even more table decorating/ entertaining ideas to share!


  1. Good choice. So pretty! PS: We’ve had Aspen for 12+ years and love it. You should consider adding the Aspen flat bowls to your arsenal–we use them for almost every dinner. We eat a lot of pasta and rice/whole grain dinners, and the Aspen flat bowl is PERFECT for that! It also fits in the plate slot of a dishwasher!

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience with the Aspen dinnerware… it was my second choice! It’s so beautiful! I can’t wait to get our new Pantry dinnerware set. We bought some of the flat bowls from the collection too! Those will be well used in our home!

  2. The Cafeware II is what my daughter has and loves it b
    Actually I purchased dinnerware from Pottery Barn which is really beautiful, but wished I saw this first.
    The dinner plate is fabulous because of the lip around it.

    Good luck with your choice.

  3. I have had the WS Pantry (originally called essential white) for 15+ years. Just as perfect as the day we purchased! No staining or chipping. No microwave hot issues. I even turned with a plate in my head and smacked it against my quart counter top & nothing!!! Your gonna love them & I look forward to seeing how you dress them.

  4. I followed the link to look. It had views on open shelving and yes, it looked great that way. One of their photos was a Christmas one and it did look good with a little tree in a red crock. ?♥️ I never would have thought to look on EBay! Glad you found a set for a great price. I hope you have lots of fun dinner parties!!

  5. Beautiful choice! I too searched for a new set of dishes a few years ago based on your last requirement…. low bowls. I don’t know why companies decided gumbo and pasta would be better out of a small/tall bowl. And white. I got the Coupe collection from World Market.
    My two daughters both got married within the last two years and both bought the same set I chose.
    I look forward to seeing your table settings in the upcoming holidays:)

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