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Enhance Your Registry with Dinnerware Sets Inspired by Iconic Artwork

  • Photos by Stephen Kent Johnson
  • Styled by Naomi deMañana and Megan Hillman

An unset table is the ultimate blank canvas, inviting creativity not only in the cooking but also with the china that shows it off. In that spirit, here are patterns that evoke styles of artwork, so you can make every meal a masterpiece.

Painterly Pastels

(Above) Make like Monet and his fellow impressionists, and create a dreamy scene with soft washes of color. Glazes with intentional inconsistencies have a handmade feeling—they're perfectly imperfect (like many of the best meals).


The Details: (clockwise) Twig New York "Reve Rose" plates, 6", $34 for 2, Riedel "Happy O" wine tumblers, $69 for 4, Casafina "Ibiza" pasta bowls, in Sea, $27; and cereal bowls, in Sand, $22, Mystic "Venus" salad plate, in pink, $30, Christiane Perrochon "Shimmer" dinner plate, $138, R. Haviland and C. Parlon "Lexington" presentation plates, in Vanilla and Ciel, $140 each, Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's "Painter’s Garden" dinner and salad plates, $143 for a 12-piece dinnerware set, Terrain "Bubble Glass" flute and tumbler, in Pink, $18 and $14, Mud Australia "Pebble" dipping and cereal bowls, in Pink, $38 and $49, CB2 "Beta" flatware, $27 for a 3-piece set, The Honey Blues Pottery "Aurora Series" soup bowl, in Mazarine Blue; salad bowl, in Bermuda Green; and dinner plate, in Lavender; $20 each,

Opulent Accents

Be transported to Europe—over dinner. 
The exquisite details, precise patterns, and nature motifs on this dinnerware are evocative of Renaissance works of art. These pieces are formal enough for the most festive meal, but they'll dress up weekday breakfasts beautifully, too.


The Details: (clockwise) Royal Limoges "Jardin Francais," $375 for a 5-piece setting, Mikasa "Lux Gold" stemless glasses and goblets, $40 for a set of 4, Rosanna "Let's Party" plate, Scallop, $66 for 4, Match small pewter cloche, $280, Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's "Fleur" salad plate, $18, Michael Wainwright "Mezza" canapé plates, $100 for 4, Charlotte Moss "Espalier," $225 for a 5-piece setting, Ginori "Voliere Padda" dinner plate #620167, $195, Gumps, 800-766-7628. Noritake "Princess Bouquet" covered vegetable bowl, $139, Michael Aram brass-beaded dinner napkin, in Eggshell, $25, Michele Varian teak-handled brass cheese knife, $98 for a set of 3, Christofle "Guilloché" charger, $200, Royal Crown Derby "Ely Chelsea Gilded," in White (similar to shown), $198 for a 5-piece setting, Herdmar "Desire" flatware, in Gold Matte, $105 for a 5-piece setting,

Bold Statements

Graphic geometrics reminiscent of 1960s op art are making a comeback. Op is short for "optical," and these pieces are eye-catching indeed. Try mixing patterns in a similar palette, or pairing plates 
that pop with more restrained designs.


The Details: (clockwise) Lenox "Colebrook" Black flatware, $80 for a 5-piece setting, Hermès "American" coffee cup and saucer, $150; dinner plate, $100; and soup plate, $90; Waterford "Lismore Pops," $130 for a 5-piece setting; cobalt accent plate, $50; and "Lismore Diamond" salad plate, $55, Rosenthal "Vibrations" XL mug, in White, $30, Asprey "Hexagon" and "Cube" vide-poches, $200 each, Kelly Wearstler "Dots Black on White," $175 for a 5-piece setting, Kiyasa "Villa Bianca" charger, $70; and dinner plate, $35, Wedgwood "Byzance" accent salad plate, $50; and bread-and-butter accent plates, $150 for a set of 4, Jonathan Adler "Versailles" coasters, $68 for a set of 4,  Vera Wang "Castillon" dinner plate, $33; and salad plate, $22, Areaware beverage chillers, $35 for 4, Nachtmann Prezioso "Nero" tumbler, $75,

Boho Beauty

Set a warm and inviting table with earthy patterns that put one in mind of folk art. This broad category defies precise definition, because it encompasses so many techniques and moods. If your dining and entertaining styles are similarly eclectic, these versatile patterns may be just the fit for you.



The Details: (clockwise) Royal Copenhagen "Blue Fluted Mega" high-handle cup and saucer, $150, Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's "Heirloom Gray" salad plate, $16; and dinner plate, $19, Astier de Villatte "Terre Brute" teapot, $190, Vietri "Modello" rectangular platter, $108, Vietri "Lace" cereal bowl (available in August), $28, Vista Alegre Oscar de la Renta "Coralina" dessert plate, $35, Kate Spade New York "Charlotte Street Grey East," $80 for a 4-piece setting, Pfaltzgraff "Blue Diamond" fruit bowl,  $25 for 4, Wonki Ware "Red Rosebud" accent plate, $25, Crate & Barrel "Scribe" appetizer plate, $10, Michele Varian "Graphic" mugs 01 and 06, $48 each, Knork "KNRK1020" flatware, $54 for a 5-piece setting, Terrafirma "Poppy" soup bowl, in Taj, $48; salad plate, in Fern, $53; and dinner plate, in Diamond Chestnut, $60;