Thursday, August 21, 2014

What The Fork Please

Our kitchen silverware drawer has pieces mixed together from our wedding silverplate and an everyday stainless set I bought at Marshalls years ago. 
It's annoying and I'm finally ready to do something about it!

It seems like I've been searching for a new set of everyday flatware forever.
While I'm not exactly sure what I want, I know I want it to be special.
This pattern is simple and I like the straight lines.  But....

I especially want a new set for our new house.  No more mis-matched silverware!
While I like this pattern, I wonder if I'll tire of it down the road.

I've almost bit the bullet several times, but at the last minute could not commit.
To say I'm particular about our flatware is an understatement!
It has to feel right in the hand.  Not too heavy, not too light.
I wonder if this pattern will feel right in the hand.  

It also has to look good!  
But not too ornate and not too simple.
I wonder if this pattern too simple.
All the examples above are from Pottery Barn and are reasonably priced.
Still, when you add up 12 place settings, it is a commitment.

This pattern from Crate and Barrel is nice, but too much like the everyday stainless I have now--or what's left of it.

 Williams-Sonoma has a nice monogrammable set that is stainless and dishwasher safe.
Do I want a monogram?

Believe it or not, this is the look I want.
It's also from Williams-Sonoma and made in Italy.
I absolutely love the pewter handles and the little hallmark stamp.
But.  It's hand wash only, and expensive.

Another pattern to consider is this hotel silver, monogrammed pattern from Williams-Sonoma.
It says it's dishwasher safe.  Also expensive!

Restoration Hardware has a similar pattern which is dishwasher safe but hand washing is recommended.
Beautiful, but not user friendly.  And quite expensive for a set of 12.
Do you see why it's so hard to commit?

To complicate things, I purchased this gorgeous set of bone handled flatware on sale from RH.
Hand washing is definitely recommended, so I'll just use it for special occasions.
It still doesn't solve my everyday flatware choice.
That's why I'm asking for your opinion.  Which one would you choose from my examples above, and why?
Come on, tell me: "What the fork?"


  1. Lots to choose from. I do not recommend any flatware with a round handle.
    They constantly roll off the edge of the plate if you are carrying a plate of food with the fork or spoon stuck in it.
    We have had more splats on the floor because of this so now I only use them in my lunch bag because if I lose one I don't really care.

  2. My favorite is #4 of the Pottery Barn selections.

    Forks and spoons with slightly rounded handle ends sit well in the hand, as do knives with some contour.

    Those with straight skinny ends? The spoons will stick into the openings in the silverware basket of the dishwasher.

    Why would you buy hand wash flatware if you regularly use a dishwasher? Somebody is sure to stick them in the wash if you are indisposed.

    Surely you don't want 'hotel silver' if you are tired of mismatched pieces, but it would be my personal choice.

  3. The first one you featured is my choice....classic, and yet current in styling. I learned the hard way that some flatware, though it says "dishwasher safe", that the blade of the knife must be a certain grade and composition of metals to truly be that or the dish washing detergent will cause rust spots on the blade only. I have a set that I have to hand wash only the knives. I do also like the Williams and Sonoma hotel silver with the varying patterns on the pieces but then you might tire of that sooner!

  4. What I find really annoying these days, is they no longer seem to make soup spoons with rounded bowls which is what works the best for liquid. They also don't make wonderfully shaped salad forks anymore, what's with that?
    And what the heck happened to butter knives with little fluted blades???
    This is why I no longer use flatware, I just use my fingers!

  5. My choices would be either 1, 4, or 6. I am keeping in mind your fabulous sets of china and how creative you are at mingling them. Dishwasher safe is my motto. We too are having a bridal shower this fall. It probably will be our last so I say, purchase what you like and want for the new abode.

  6. Well, since you asked I actually have the style like the last one of Pottery barns you have pictured, simple and substantial, I love it. But, if I had a choice of all the one's you have pictured it would be the monogram style or the Hotel silver. I always go for the simple clean lines. I also really liked the first one. Price and feel would be the deciding factor between these three for me. Good luck!

  7. I love the Restoration Hardware set with the crest, but besides the expense, I am currently hand washing a silver plate pattern we bought in London in 1985 and I'm tired of that process. I agree, selecting a pattern you will love for a very, very long time is a challenge. You have such great style, I'll be curious to see what you find. Maybe I can copy! :-)

  8. We just celebrated our 39th anniversary, and I still love our everyday stainless flatware. It's a Queen Anne pattern with lovely in the hand rat tail knives. Goes in the dishwasher without a whimper. Still looks great. It's simpler in style than yours. I agree about the rounded tool thing. I also don't like "grooves" that catch yuck in them. How much fun to plan a new life.

  9. Must feel right in the hand AND noway are you going to feel like hand washing when the novelty of new utensils wears off.

  10. Delores: I too love silverware and have been using my antique silver for years, but hubby has always hated the taste??? So I purchased the set you show from PB that are in the white bowl. I loved it for about 6 months but noticed every time someone put it on their plate, it would fall to to the ground. It is a common flaw with it, so heavy, which I like but poorly balanced, large forks and knives won't stay on plate. Weird but I still love the look. Good luck! Keep us posted.

  11. Of the selections, I would pick the hotel silver unmonogrammed. That being said I find it hard to believe the part about it being dishwasher safe.

    I have kirk stieff "jefferson" stainless which I have had for years. Another recent purchase was "consul" by Couzon which I really love. Stieff also has one called Royal Shell, but I have always liked a Georgian style.

    Love the RH purchase! I also like antique pearl handled butter knives. I am currently on the hunt for antique cream soup spoons as most sets don't have them.

  12. I can't answer your question, but I CAN tell you that round handled tableware is horrible!! We have 12 settings of a very NICE stainless, and I hunt out an old mismatched fork to use because the nice stuff is so miserable in my hand :^(
    Fortunately we have "comfortable" silver plate, so we use it pretty regularly ;^)

  13. I have to feel the pieces. The must feel right. I have been intriqued with pewter for years but most recommend hand washing and for every day; can't do that. Also, I don't like the shiny bowls, blades, thines (is that spelled right? lol) of the forks with the dull handles so I haven't found the perfect one yet either. I do like the first one because I think it will go with lots of your china. I really love the RH bone handled ones you bought. Are you happy with them cuz I'm thinking of buying them too

  14. I love each of the Pottery Barn patterns, except for the one shown in the 3rd photo. My favorite is the distressed pewter set. It's elegant with a touch of sophistication. Please be sure to let us know which one you choose! Good luck!

  15. Hi, I purchased a set of forged stainless that recommended hand washing and always put it in the dishwasher. It's been at least three years and it still looks fine. If it did get spots Barkeeper's Friend works.

  16. I guess a lot of us think alike, but I love # 4. Can't wait to see what you get.

  17. Delores
    Myself and both of my children have the Arte Italia ones with the Pewter handles. They are dishwasher safe and look just like the WSH ones that are not. I never used my silver and I have never regretted getting these for a them!! When did you get that RH set? I am in love with that!!!

  18. not the round handles--they roll in your hand--like trying to eat with a pencil.

  19. I like the set from Pottery Barn that you think "might be too simple." I've had my eye on them for quite awhile and I'm as picky as you are about flatware. Out of everything that I've looked at, this is still the design that I come back to.

  20. I have had #1 for a couple of years ~ I'm very happy with it.

  21. I don't seem to be going with the majority here, but I like the second PB set that you thought you might tire of... Hope you find what you love! Good luck with the move and the new house. That sounds like so much fun to me!

  22. LOVE the new bone handled ones you just bought from RH and I love the pewter ones with the hallmark stamp on it that would be my choice...just don't like the idea of hand washing!

  23. Have you looked at "danieli" by cost plus world market? It has the similar look as the pretty pewter by WS but much cheaper. You will want something dishwasher safe for your everyday flatware. arte Italia and Valpietro also make pewter flatware that is dishwasher safe. I have had my eye on those patterns! Good luck with choosing!


    1. Love Angelina's suggestion! Also, sign up for emails at Horchow (they carry Valpietro) as they sometimes run 25% off everything.

      If you have your heart set on pewter, consider the Miele dishwasher with the top rack for flatware. The problem is not the finish, but pewter handles can unseat with heat. Besides, you'll love how quiet Miele's are!

  24. Delores, they are all wonderful choices. We've considered the pewter flatware, but the handwash restriction has kept us from going with that. Love, love, love the look and feel. I like the simplicity of the Pottery Barn set, #4. Love the horn set from RH. I wonder if they still offer this pattern?
    good luck with a decision.

  25. Love, love, love the Hotel Silver!

  26. Delores, I like the one from william sonoma's pewter handles. It is time less.

  27. I adore the bone set!!! But would not want to baby my flatware. Second choice is the hotel silver! Just gorgeous!!! I need new flatware too... great post!

  28. Why not use your silver every day? Why not make every day a "special occasion? I'm a cancer survivor and when I came home from surgery, before chemo or radiation, I took the silver out of the chest, opened up the Fleurs de Rocaille extrait, and began using all my saved vintage French linen sheets. None of us know how much longer we have, and certainly, what we consider "treasures", our children will sell at an estate sale!

  29. Can I take your old stuff off your hands? I'm learning lots here. I'd eliminate all hand wash options, you'd resent them before too long. 4th Pottery Barn my favorite enjoy your style and writing so much, thank you.

  30. Whatever you really like is fine, I think. My only word of advice is DO NOT buy hand wash only as your every day flatware!!!!!! BIG mistake. Fine for special occasion (as you mentioned) but not realistic for everyday. My personal favorite is the pewter but I also nixed it as every day because of the care needed. Look for a stainless that has the look of the pewter (or as close as possible) since that seems to be the one that makes your heart beat faster!

    Good Luck!

  31. You know at our age and with all the kids young adults I have decided to use my sterling flatware. Why not? What am I saving it for? Up until now it has only seen the light of holidays and special dinners. It makes me happy every time I bite!!

  32. Thinking of you and your beautiful homes and hope they are fine

  33. I like the 4th example, simple, rounded handles so no sharp corners are gouging into your hand.
    My recommendation is that you look at some of the mainstream flatware companies, the patterns are more likely to be around a couple years down the road when you decide you want extra teaspoons or whatever.
    Any particular reason why you can't use your wedding silver for everyday?
    Good luck!

  34. Delores---I see Kathy above commented too. I hope you and your family are all well after the earthquake. As well I hope your new house in San Francisco and the house in Asti (and the home in Sacramento is it?)---all survived the earthquake intact.
    Thinking of you. Nadja in Va

  35. I love #4! It is simple but elegant! Wish I had the money.....I would buy it too!
    Just make sure you really love it! I bought Paul Revere by Oneida years ago and still love it today!
    Can't wait for you to let us know which one you bought!
    Blessings My Friend,

  36. Delores, please let us know how you are! We are all concerned for you, your family and your beautiful homes.

  37. There are really only two choices. Go with something you truly love even if it is an investment. If you love it you will not tire of it easily and if it's quality it will last for a long time hence saving you from spending more money to replace it in the future. The second choice is to buy something that you like but that is super cheap (i'm talking Target, World Market, Wal-mart cheap) so that when you get tired of it and want to replace it you can because you know you haven't invested much into it.

  38. About the Napa earthquake. We are all fine and no damage to our Sonoma home. I actually slept through the quake!

  39. I like the first one - Riley - on sale now - for under $600 you'd get service for twelve plus serving pieces.


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