Tabletop Trends: Is Black the New White?

I've been seeing a lot more black tableware lately and while I'm sure that it will never replace basic white, I'm beginning to wonder if a new trend is on the rise. Today's black dishware is a far cry from the 80s fusion cuisine look. Like the teapot in the lovely photo above, it's being used with traditional shapes, as well as in handmade pieces, for a more modern, sophisticated feel.For years I've stuck by my white plates for casual and fancier meals alike. I felt that the simple, unembellished disks were the best choice to let the aesthetics of the food come forward. But lately I've been tempted by the dark side. Matte black dishes are my new white and it's a dramatic, exciting shift!

I really enjoy my large black matte platter and how it emphasizes the graphic shapes and colors of my raw dip appetizer. I scatter brilliant pink and red radishes, crisp circles of green cucumber, a pile of tiny carrots on the black surface and plop a stiff goat cheese dip or homemade hummus off on one side. Ravishing!

The black seems to be warmer, more intimate, than white, and more complex. There's something exotic about black tableware, too, especially the handmade ones. I do have a few preferences when it comes to black dishes, however: they have to matte (the shiny glazes are too glitzy and distracting) and never square (rectangle platers are OK.)

It might be intriguing to consider black for your holiday table this year. The dark surface really pops the colors of winter produce, bringing out the glistening crimson of pomegranates and blood-red beets, the deep green of chards and kales, and the vibrant oranges of squash, mandarines and carrots.

Here are a few matte black dishes I've rounded up, from an inexpensive BB&B set to lovely offerings from Heath Ceramics and La Chamba. Pick up a few pieces and explore your dark side!

• First photo is from the fabulous photographer Anna Williams
Heath Ceramics, $17.00 - 31.50
Calvin Klein Kohl, $22.00 -155.00
La Chambra, $11.50 - 54.95
Calvin Klein Cargo, $12.50 - 150.00
Paradiso Black, 16-piece set $59.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond
• Remodelista has a nice roundup here.

Related: Kitchen Keeping: How Many Sets of Dishes Do You Own?

(Image: Anna Williams)

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