When you find a style you like, buy stacks of dinner plates in generous quantities: 20 is better than 12 and 10 is better than 6. Forget fads, especially when it comes to plates. That means nothing square, oval or boat shaped.
Plain white round always works but there are some great stone, ecru and grey options worth investigating, too. If you crave pattern, keep it subtle. Never let the colour or design detract from the food.
Whatever you buy doesn’t have to be expensive. A practical, elegant plant can cost a few dollars. Forget snobbery and go for style and enjoyment.
Invest in Vardagan in a colour that will outlast fashion, dinner plates, $2.99 each. Or opt for are which we use at both our town and country houses, dinner plates, $4.99 each or 18-piece setting, $49.99. Then there’s Dinera in oatmeal or charcoal (forget the pink, lime or black), dinner plate, $1.75 or 18-piece setting, $29.99. Or choose something simple, and subtle such as Fagrik, 18-piece setting, $29.99. ikea.com
Buy something to update your table instantly such as Jett in snazzy black or caramel, 12-piece setting, $59.99. Or check Sorrento, 12-piece setting, $49.95, www.freedom.com.au
Charlotte, will remind you that some standards are worth upholding. The pretty stoneware, crafted in Portugal is a new artisanal design with looks that will last. Dinner plates, $12 each. www.potterybarn.com.au
Buy something you’ll enjoy daily for years to come such as classic French bistro plates in high-fired porcelain, with ultra-smart red rims, that you can pop in the microwave, which look a lot more expensive than they are, $10 a pop. www.williams-sonoma.com.au
Beautiful scalloped white crockery, earthenware with textured transfers and linear motfis, cognac-coloured spiral plates? Fashion-lead, wallet-friendly tableware to update your basic collection from $2.95 a piece. Yes, raid the chain as soon as you can. www.zarahome.com