How to Choose New Tableware for Your DIY Kitchen Renovation

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With A New Kitchen, Comes New Tableware

I like to think of choosing new tableware for your DIY kitchen renovation as a ‘‘reward’ for all your hard work, having gone through the more laborious and sometimes challenging aspects of a kitchen renovation.  Just as landscaping can really elevate the results of a great home renovation, finding dinnerware which you love, which fits in with your lifestyle and which matches the decor of your new kitchen renovation can really showcase your hard work.  

Approach it as an intentional and fun process, rather than an afterthought!  Picture your family gathering around the dinner table – enjoying a hearty meal and warm conversations.  Beautiful, quality tableware is a worthwhile investment to make as it will last you for years to come.  

Here are some considerations you may wish to take into account when choosing new tableware for your DIY kitchen renovation:

1) How Many Sets and Place Settings to Buy

One or two tableware sets?  This will largely depend on your kitchen cupboard space!  It’s not uncommon to buy one key set of tableware to serve as your ‘work horse’, servicing both everyday and formal dining.  The general recommendation is:  

  • 4 – 6 place settings for a two-person household; and
  • 8 – 12 place settings for a four or five person household.

If you entertain often, buy enough pieces to host a big dinner party.  If you entertain only occasionally, you may wish to go with a smaller main set and pick up a handful of additional plates for guests.

2) Pick a Set that Best Suits Your Lifestyle

Consider your eating habits and lifestyle through the lens of:

  • What food do I usually serve?
  • Do we generally eat at the table?
  • Will our family grow in the future?
  • Do we prefer heavy dinnerware or lighter pieces?  Is lifting a stack of plates going to be cumbersome to retrieve from a cupboard?
  • Is a reasonable dishwasher footprint important to you?
  • Are rim-shaped plates (with well that collects the juices), or coupe-shaped plates (no rims) more suited?


Avoid buying pieces that you will not likely use, and stick with what is appropriate for your lifestyle. This may mean buying open stock pieces, rather than dinnerware box sets. Whilst dinnerware box sets are usually more affordable (as retailers often reduce the price when selling in bulk), you may end up with a bunch of cereal bowls when you don’t eat cereal! My experience has taught me that it’s far better to spend more buying what you need, than to have unused pieces sitting in your cupboards taking up valuable real estate.

3) Pick a Set that Best Suits Your Household Aesthetics

The most versatile tableware sets work for everyday use, but is also nice enough for entertaining.  A classic, plain coloured tableware set is less likely to become dated overtime.  However, you may wish to punctuate your tableware set with serving pieces and platters with more ornate designs, patterns and colours which match your new DIY kitchen style and aesthetics.  Here are our favourite tips and tricks for mixing and matching your tableware. The 2:1 ratio is also a place to start: accent two ornate partners with one plan design, or contrast two simple designs with an elaborate pattern.  

Hot tip: don’t forget to measure the inside of your cupboards and microwaves to make sure the dinner plates will fit! 

4) Pick a Quality Tableware Set

Your tableware should last you for years to come, so spending on quality is important.  One of life’s little luxuries for me is having plates that make you smile every time you pull them out! Spending on quality usually means assessing the proportion, balance and craftsmanship of the tableware.

  • Avoid uneven rims (causing plates to stack unevenly), drippy glaze on the surface of the plate, pin barks (little holes), scratches, crazying (series of cracks that develop on the surface of glazed ceramics), and crooked decals.  
  • Plates should sit flat on the table and the rims should not be warped.
  • Handles should be wide enough for comfortable grips, and the cups should rest secure and even on saucers.
  • The colours of each piece should be consistent. 
  • Bone china or porcelain tend to be the most durable forms of dinnerware.  Stoneware and earthenware usually comes in prettier glazes, but they are more prone to chipping.
4-piece-dinner-plate-set-reve-ciel with slices of cake
Akinod cutlery set in olive wood on table setting

Hopefully these considerations will guide you in the right direction when choosing tableware that complements your new DIY kitchen decor.  

Enjoy cooking up a storm in your new kitchen! We hope you and your family will spend many moments gathering around the dinner table, chatting, sharing and doing life together.

With Happy Food Vibes,

Ali signature with profile photo

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