This is the story of how I came to own my first set of matching dinnerware. There was no agonizing over brands and styles, or saving dozens of inspiration images on Pinterest and Instagram. Instead, I just copied friends who had me over for dinner.
Granted, these friends are a pair of gourmets who, over a few gatherings, have generously served homemade pasta, steak, paella, and more—all tied together with restaurant-worthy presentation.
Their dinnerware? A gray-black and cream set from Japanese tableware company Noritake’s Colorwave series. The dishes, available in a range of hues spanning the rainbow, are sold on the brand’s own website and through home goods retailers like Wayfair and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
My friends got theirs from Macy’s, which has an exclusive 12-piece set of four dinner plates, four pasta plates/soup bowls, and four rice bowls in blue, slate, or graphite. The list price is $384, but the set is often on sale—perhaps most dramatically on Black Friday, when it was offered for just $79.99 last year (this 79-percent-off deal is now back for Black Friday 2019!).
I mulled over the deal the entire day, and that night, just hours before the extreme discount would expire, I found myself at a party with my Gourmet Friends—and on the Macy’s website on my phone. Emboldened by the kismet, I proceeded to tap in my credit card number, and secured my best Black Friday buy yet.
My husband and I had gotten married—and moved in together—about two months before this bargain win, combining a mostly random collection of plates and dishes, some inherited from former roommates. The matching Noritake set leveled up our new shared cabinet immediately.
The pasta bowls—with their wide, bold lip—boost our attempts at gourmetizing a quick noodle meal, and they’re reliable for serving stir fries, especially the soupier ones.
The large plates have been deployed for steak nights—and the time we decided to take on karaage (Japanese fried chicken).
The rice bowls were especially satisfying to whip out when my parents came over for lunch; we also use them for instant miso soup and jokmoo (pork and rice porridge), my favorite recipe from Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings cookbook.
Taste aside, everything always looks pulled together. The simple black trimming on these pieces is striking enough to frame each creation into a “serious dish,” yet it’s minimal and versatile enough to use day to day.
The dishes also encourage us to relish in mealtime: Whenever we can, convening around food served with intention is a joy worth the extra dishwashing.