1. Buying Guide Tableware

Is putting together a collection of kitchen equipment for your tiny kitchen daunting for you? Are you feeling a little overwhelmed with the task of downsizing? Acting as your personal shopper, I put together this simple & clear guide to help you choose pieces that are right for your home, your style, and your budget.

choose the plates…plates

Good: Gibson Home 16 Piece Zen Buffetware Dinnerware Set, White“>Gibson Home Zen has a very pleasing shape, the plate is 10.75 inches (smaller is better for dinner plates in tiny houses) and at $22.86 for four sets – that’s $5.71 for a place setting – a great value!  (Prices are subject to change.)

Better: Mikasa Loria 16-Piece Bone China Dinnerware Set, Service for 4“>Mikasa Loria is a durable minimalist design that will allow the food to be the star of the show. The 8 1/4 inch salad plate is a perfect size for daily use, and at $65.99 for four sets – that’s $16.49 for a place setting – a simple place setting with the luxurious feel of real china.

Best: Classic Fiestaware“>Classic Fiesta-ware has the look of hand thrown pottery (without the artisan price) and there are LOTS of fantastic colors to choose from. My sister-in-law chose these in a variety of colors and her table always looks gorgeous. These are sold per place-setting allowing you to purchase only the number you need and allowing you to mix and match for lots of lovely colors at the table. The price seems to vary a bit per color, but the gorgeous cobalt blue comes in at $28 for the place setting and the color choices are spectacular. There are a variety of Fiesta Jumbo Cup, 18 oz, Slate“>mug shapes available as well. These can also be found in antique shops as Fiesta has been making beautiful kitchenware since 1936. Talk about an American classic!

$$ BUDGET FRIENDLY TIP: Visit thrift & antique stores and mix and match some interesting china patterns. You may save some money and end up with a more interesting table.

add the flatware…

flatware

Good: For a knife, fork, soup spoon, and teaspoon (without the salad fork that wouldn’t be used as much) at $6.14 for one place setting, this Longay Set“>Longay set is a good value. Plus – there are some interesting color choices here. I think the black, blue, or multicolor would look smashing with the white Zen plates above.

Better: the Pfaltzgraff Garland Frost “>Pfaltzgraff Garland Frost pattern is a nice compliment to the Mikasa plates, and is a great value at $3.78 a place setting, but you’re locked in to a set of 8.

Best: the Cambridge Silversmith Rendezvous“>Cambridge Silversmiths Rendezvous pattern with a hammered texture would look great with Fiestaware. The price isn’t too bad at $7.50 per place setting.

$$ BUDGET FRIENDLY TIP: We found a booth in an antique market that sold silver-plate flatware by the piece, and there were only $2 each. We had so much fun digging through the bins and finding the patterns we liked best! Now we use this lovely miss-matched silver-plate flatware all the time and enjoy it. Forget notions of “formal” and “casual” – that’s just savy marketing. Chose your favorites.

now add the glasses…blues

Add this gorgeous Italian Bormioli Rocco swirl glassware for a stylish but inexpensive combination. It’s $23.80 for four glasses, which is $6 a glass… but well worth the splurge. The complete collection is $17.85 per person, further proof that things don’t have to be expensive to be stylish. BONUS TIP: Pair with this fun tangerine place mat.circle of friends

Add these Circleware glasses for a curvy combination. These are $11.03 for four glasses, which is $2.75 a glass. This understated collection is $23.02 per person and BONUS TIP pair very nicely with these whimsical place mats“>these whimsical table linens.spring green combo

Add these Nau Zone hand blown gorgeous spring green tumblers in green to the Fiestaware in Lemongrass for a fresh light-hearted combination. These glasses are pricey at $11.23 each, but make these your all-purpose glass that you use for water, wine, or brandy – no need for a cabinet full of glass! Combined with the Fiestaware, and the Cambridge flatware mentioned above, this collection is roughly $47 per person. Purchase one place setting per person in your home, and embrace the simplicity of doing dishes after each meal to complete the dining ritual. BONUS TIP: The Fiestaware curvy 18 oz mug in lemongrass might also be a nice addition.

$$ BUDGET FRIENDLY TIP: We tend to buy glassware at thrift stores. My Austrian has a knack for finding beautiful blown glasses – the wonkier the better – and we usually pay less than a dollar per glass. None of them match, but each one is beautiful in it’s own way. If we happen to break one, we know it’s not a big loss. If you have the time, visit your local thrift stores. While you’re at it – take a few boxes of things from your home to donate.

Voila!

Who knew it could be that simple?!

Ready for Super-Simple Cutlery?