Not so long ago, choosing dinnerware was a rite of passage. Newly engaged couples would head (or be dragged by their in-laws) to their nearest department store, where they'd spend hours picking out a pattern. Then they'd debate how many place settings to get – although as any Sleepless in Seattle fan will tell you, the correct answer is ten*.
These days, it's totally different story. Open your average Millennial's kitchen cupboard and you're likely to see a muddle of plates, cups and bowls – some inherited from mum or gran, others picked up from the local charity shop or flea market. Your chances of finding a full set of dinnerware are pretty minimal, because for years now, matchy matchy has lost its cool. But is that all about to change? Is the dinner set set for a return?
Well, Asda seems to think so.
'Dinner sets have gone from strength to strength this year,' Stephanie Wanczyk, merchandise manager for the Kitchen & Dine category at George Home, told Ideal Home. 'We have seen double digit growth, year on year, and it only seems to be rising since the range launched three weeks ago. Dinner sets are now our biggest growth area within dinnerware.'
Of the latest sets available online and in selected Asda stores, its unicorn and pineapple designs are both performing strongly. As is this cheeky cacti design, which has prickled our fancy.
Classic floral designs are also coming back into fashion. 'Patterned dinner sets now make up 50 per cent of the sales mix, versus 40 per cent for the last three months of 2017,' says Stephanie.
Our pick is this Wild Flowers set – part of George Home's 'Rooted' look for Spring. It comes with dinner plates, side plates and breakfast bowls. But you can add matching pasta bowls and mugs, available separately.
Treat your table: Le Creuset's beautiful new spring range is inspired by the land and sea
Alternatively, if you're into Scandi style, this Geometric pattern may be more your speed.
As you can see from all these sets, they aren't totally matching. Instead, the pattern varies from plate to plate to bowl. So while everything is co-ordinated, the patterns aren't so repetitive as to feel over-the-top or old-fashioned.
Do you think you could embrace the dinner set once more? Or did it never go away in your home?
More 2018 trends: Home decor trends 2018 – we predict the key looks for interiors
*There's a famous scene in Sleepless in Seattle, where Annie (Meg Ryan) and her fiancé Walter (Bill Pullman) pick out their dinner service. They agree that 10 is the perfect number of settings, because 'Eight is too few, twelve is too many'.
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Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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