Cutlery sets the mood at your dinner table. (File photo)

When dinner is served: Choosing the right tableware for your home ambience

Namrata Kohli | New Delhi

“The heart of my home and my fondest memories have always been at my dining table. When my family and friends gather each evening, the room truly comes alive – with laughter, conversation, and lots of love,” says Anandita Kothari who started the luxury tableware brand founder Plate and Peonie. She says that her tabletop has always brought people together – through beautiful ambiances, nostalgic conversations, lots of laughter, and lasting memories. For every occasion, there is always a new plate of experiences.

The once humble table has exploded with aesthetic dinnerware, hand-crafted crockery, bold napkin rings, couture-worthy linen et al to elevate your culinary experiences. According to Research and Markets, the tableware market in India is estimated to grow by USD 383.44 million during 2022-2027, accelerating at a CAGR of 5.28% during the forecast period. On the other hand, the global Tableware market size was valued at USD 43.9 million in 2023 and is forecast to a readjusted size of USD 49.5 million by 2030 with a CAGR of 1.7% during the review period as per the report by Industry Research.

But when you’re shopping for dinnerware, whether casual or formal, one can get confused with the sheer variety of design materials in the market. The first step in deciding on your dinnerware is to choose the material in which you want to buy. A variety of options are available for this-age cooks and helps. You can select from the list of porcelain, ceramic, stoneware, bamboo, glass, metal. Porcelain and ceramic dinnerware are popular choices for everyday use due to their durability, versatility, and affordability. They are microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe and come in a variety of styles and designs. Stoneware is another durable option for everyday dinnerware. It’s thicker and heavier than porcelain or ceramic, making it less prone to chipping or breaking and is microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe. Also popular now is the Bamboo dinnerware, which is eco-friendly, lightweight, and biodegradable. It’s a good option for those looking for sustainable dinnerware choices. Bamboo dinnerware is not microwave-safe but can be cleaned in the dishwasher.

Ultimately, consider your lifestyle, preferences, and any specific needs you may have when choosing the best dinnerware material for everyday use. It’s also a good idea to check the care instructions and ensure that the dinnerware material aligns with your lifestyle and habits.

In addition to enhancing your meals, beautiful dinnerware also expresses your particular style and sets the tone for your home dining experiences.

“We love hosting dinner parties for our friends, colleagues, our business partners, and clients. The dinnerware we display is based on what food we are serving. Decide based on the cuisine in which you are going to host. Different cuisines require different sets of cutleries. For example, Indian-style meals require thali-style cutlery with multiple small bowls for sides. This can vary for others like Italian or continental. So, have this in mind while buying for your dinner,” says Manisha Puri, a 38-year-old corporate professional working in Gurugram. She adds that – “Dinnerware comes in multiple sets and number options. There are sets of 8, 12, 16, 36, and so on. So, based on the number of people you are going to host soon, you can choose it. It is also not a mistake if you go for the higher number. You can avoid embarrassment when the guests turn up in huge numbers.”

Another criterion to choose and the important filter is the budget. There is no use in investing in expensive and luxury sets if you will be keeping them in your cabinets hidden and not wanting to use them. You can opt for low-budget sets with exquisite designs and colours and impress your guests every time with a new set, rather than holding on to that one costly dinnerware. There is a crockery set available at every price point. Says spokesperson from Clay Craft, “Among our collections, the premium Gold Collection, particularly the Ebony range, stands out as a favorite among customers. Renowned for its exquisite design and quality artisanship, the Ebony collection is not only ideal for personal use but also makes for a perfect gift choice. As for pricing, our range is designed to accommodate various budgets, starting from Rs. 299 and going up to Rs. 24,999. This ensures that customers can find products that suit their needs and preferences without compromising on quality or style. On average, a basic tea set may start from around Rs 2,859/-, while a dinner set could range from Rs 4,799/-, depending on the intricacy of design, number of pieces, and quality of materials used.”

Points to Ponder

Opt for patterns and designs that give out a pleasant ambiance. See if you would love to eat that piece of dinnerware. You can also buy special sets for kids with cute little prints which would attract them.

Some plates may be uneven on the rims, and bowls can be slippery. Be sure to check these before buying. See how the cups fit in your hands. Also, check the heaviness of the cutlery. While hosting buffet dinners, it will be uncomfortable and painful to hold these heavy plates and walk around.

From colonial whites to a riot of colours in crockery, there is a palpable change one can see on the table. Over the last few years, the industry has observed a significant evolution in the tastes and preferences of Indian consumers regarding dinnerware and crockery. “Consumers used to favor traditional white porcelain, reflecting a sense of sophistication and conformity,” says Deepak Agarwal, Director, Clay Craft, India’s largest ceramic tableware manufacturer, “However, the preferences of the consumers have changed with India’s evolving cultural landscape. Today, Indian consumers seek crockery that celebrates diversity and vibrancy. There’s a clear transition from plain white to pastel colors, intricate patterns, and unique designs that reflect the rich tapestry of Indian culture. This change signifies a desire for self-expression and individuality on the dining table.”

Stoneware and earthenware are becoming a rage on dinner tables. Often less expensive than other types of dinnerware, earthenware is ceramic that has been glazed and fired. It has a thick, heavy, and rustic look and feel, but is not as durable and strong as other types of dinnerware and is prone to chipping. Dishware with hand-painted designs are typically earthenware.

Says Pallavi Rao, a 29 year old banker based in Chennai- “My go-to material is earthenware as it is porous, which means it could stain or absorb liquid, so you do need to avoid leaving it submerged in water. Most glazed earthenware is dishwasher safe and can be used in the microwave, but it is wise to check with the manufacturer first. I also love to use another type of fired ceramic dinnerware, stoneware which is a little more durable than earthenware because the clay is fired at a higher temperature and usually has vitreous (glass) material added to it for strength. The body of stoneware is thicker and more opaque than finer materials like porcelain and China and can be finished with a variety of glaze textures such as shiny, satin, or matte.”

Bone china, as with porcelain, can be used daily or reserved for a more formal dining occasion. Porcelain often has an upscale look, lending itself to more formal dining occasions, but it also can be used every day to make any meal a little more elegant. Brands to look for include Lenox, Noritake, and Villeroy & Boch. To make bone china, Bone ash (which is made from animal bones) is combined with porcelain clay and fired at a slightly lower temperature than porcelain to produce a material that is very lightweight, delicate in feel, and translucent with a milky appearance. Brands to look for include Royal Doulton, Wedgewood, and Mikasa.

Metal remains the hot favourite. The Copper and Steel tumblers are vinyl coated; these are mechanically coated with our designs. But one needs to maintain them well. Says Krsnaa Mehta, Founder- India Circus, “Hard washes are to be avoided and they aren’t microwave and dishwasher safe. Do a sound Test to check if it’s authentic metal. If you give copper a gentle thump or gingerly knock it against something, listen closely: It will have a muted, softer sound. Wash the copper with Pitambari or Table salt and it shines, that’s the easiest way to identify good quality copper.”

For those who prefer a rustic feel, copper dinnerware can be stylish. Take the case of brand IKKIS that translates to ’21’ in Hindi, launched with a series of 21 objects designed for 21st century living. Think the humble lota (vessel) and iconic chai (tea) glass that find new life as jars and champagne flutes, while the patila (pot) transforms into a stackable three-piece set. Says Gunjan Gupta- “Copper bowls or plates are often used to serve hot foods, especially soups or gravies. However, it’s essential to ensure that copper is lined with another metal to prevent any reactions with acidic foods. We line our copperware range with terracotta so it can be used across different food categories — both alkaline and acidic. Drawing inspiration from Ayurveda, we understand the importance of selecting the right materials for serving warmer foods, ensuring that our products maintain the integrity of the dishes they hold. However, beyond mere functionality, our motto revolves around the concept of soulful eating. Our Lota Tiffins are made out of pure brass with glass enamel inside, so one can use them for both warm and cold foods, thus eliminating toxicity risks. Similarly, our pure copper range has been lined with terracotta coating, making it suitable for alkaline and acidic food types.”

Art of the Table

The best way to arrange any table would be to layer! Table Runners are such a timeless cloth that one must have, it not only saves your table from spills but also adds a kiss of elegance to it. Candles and glasses for the happy moments and positivity. Adding flowers adds a rich look to it. Flowers at the centre, and if you’re a nature lover one can add leaves too.

“Don’t be afraid to play with different colours, patterns, and textures from your placemat to your charger plates, dinner plates to your coasters! Always try to focus also on the smaller details like your napkin ring and cutler to bring a bit of glamour, but also make sure the center of your table stands out with beautiful candle holders and vases,” says a spokesperson from Plate & Peonie luxury tableware Indian brand.

According to designer Krsnaa Mehta- “As seasons change, our tables must adapt to it too. With every season in India bringing new festivals and celebrations, India Circus manages to be a part of these celebrations.”


Whether you’re setting a simple weekday dinner or hosting an elaborate celebration, dinnerware plays an essential role in creating a delightful dining experience. Sample some of the luxury dinnerware sets across different brands below:

Brand/Material Crockery Set Price Range
Good Earth/Fine Bone China Set Of 7- Rosabagh Tea Set 30,000
Plate and Peonie/ Ceramic Tropical Tablescape collection- Bamboo Elephant Salad / Dessert Plate or Bamboo Leopard Salad / Dessert Plate
Radicchio Hand Painted Green Dinner Plate
Bamboo Palm Tree Mug
Hoop Charger Placemats – Set of 4
Straw Frond Table Runner
Indian Art Villa /Brass 7 Pieces Dinner Set/Thali Set of 1 Plate, 1 Glass, 1 Fork, 1 Spoon, 2 Bowls & 1 Small Bowls, Color- Gold, Dinnerware, Tableware Or Crockery, Set of 6 21,400
Clay Craft/ Bone China Karina 310 Gl Solid Dinnerware Set, 40-Pieces, Multicolor 20,154
India Circus/Ceramic tableware accented with 22-carat gold Verdant Chef d’oeuvre Dinner Set – 20 Pieces in 13,139
Chumbak/Steel Chumbak steel glass set of 5 4,500

Source: Market Research

Source: Business Standard

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