Whether you want to purchase a full set, or like the mismatched look, these tips to buying cutlery will come in handy. Consider these factors before swiping the credit card!

1. PURPOSE: For everyday use, you may not want to get something too delicate or ornate – save such items for when you need to entertain guests.

2. WEIGHT: While your dining utensils should look good, they should also be comfortable to use; they shouldn't feel unbalanced or too heavy or light. 

3. SIZE: It is imperative that your cutlery and crockery are in proportion – you don't want to use cutlery that looks chunky against very fine crockery.

Modern flatware set from CB2

4. STYLE: 

  • Modern – Sporting contemporary looks and design, these are casual yet chic, and great for everyday use.
  • Classical – Elegant and timeless and never out of style, these are best matched with a formal table setting.
  • Handmade – These may have unique, organic designs and artistic craftsmanship; they make a statement with any table setting.

Wilder Stoneware from Crate & Barrel


Here's how to match your stemware and flatware to create the best effect. A fancy, polished look with ornate dinnerware and cutlery: Use simple but elegant stemware to balance it out.

  • A plain, clean-cut setting:  Use decorated or elaborately designed stemware to accent it, or to afford an arty twist.
  • Gleaming silver and glossy dinnerware: Use brilliant crystal stemware to up the ante.
  • Unglazed or matte stone tableware and cutlery: Use duller, machine-made glass stemware for consistency.

Need table decor ideas? Click here.

This article was first published on Home & Decor November 2013.