Table linens, tablecloths, luxury bedding, duvet covers, sheets, bath robes towels, dinnerware, flatware, glassware by Gracious Style

Choosing your Dinnerware

Determining Quality

Choosing a Size

Design Tips

Monogramming

Care and Storage

Dinnerware Requirements

Determining Quality

What quality should I look for in dinnerware?
You can determine the quality of porcelain and fine china with a few simple tests. Hold the piece up to the light and you should be able to see the shadow of your hand behind the porcelain. Flick the plate with your fingers and listen for a resonant ring. Examine the color and make sure the glaze is even (tiny air bubbles are normal). The porcelain should be smooth to the touch and lustrous to the eye.

Gracious Style is proud to offer Raynaud Limoges dinnerware, world renowned for their craftsmanship of porcelain china. We guarantee the highest standards of materials, workmanship and design on every piece of dinnerware in our collections.

What material should my dinnerware be made from?
Luxury dinnerware is usually made of either porcelain or bone china. For informal settings many people also choose earthenware or stoneware for its durability and lower price range. Gracious Style offers the finest in porcelain dinnerware because it offers the most extraordinary combination of delicate luxury and everyday durability.

What is china?
China is often used as an all-inclusive term to describe any fine, heirloom quality dinnerware. This is most likely because the main ingredient in making luxurious dinnerware (porcelain and bone china) is china clay. This material is the building block of any high quality dinnerware, simultaneously providing elegant shine with chip-resistant strength. Although it is prudent to handle fine dinnerware with care, bone china and porcelain are actually incredibly strong and durable.

What is porcelain?
The finest and most elegant of dinnerware (or china) is porcelain. Sometimes referred to as "white gold", Gracious Style porcelain collections are a blend of 50% kaolin clay (or china clay), 25% quartz and 25% feldspar. These materials are ground into a paste and then cast, turned, pressed, fired at 1000 degrees, glazed, fired again at 1400 degrees and finished with polishing and/or hand painting. The final product is translucent, beautiful, and strong. The personal craftsmanship needed at every stage of the process ensures that each piece of porcelain is truly a unique piece of art.

What is bonechina?
Bone china is similar to porcelain, but it contains a large amount of bone ash. The resulting material is extremely durable, resilient, and ivory white in color. It remains the standard for porcelain manufactured in England.

What is earthenware?
Earthernware is fired at lower temperatures than porcelain. In its natural state, it is the color of clay – buff, brown, or red – and it is generally more porous and less durable than porcelain or bone china. Earthenware, which includes creamware, majolica, faience, and delft, is the least formal of chinas and generally used for more casual settings.

What is Limoges?
Limoges refers to a region in France where some of the earliest porcelain pieces were produced as far back as 1765. For centuries, the name Limoges has represented the finest quality and craftsmanship in porcelain throughout the world. Antique Limoges pieces are some of the most sought after in the world.

What is Raynaud?
Gracious Style is proud to offer dinnerware by Raynaud, a centuries old, family-owned porcelain manufacturer in France. Expert clay formers, firers and painters oversee every stage of the process to ensure a unique and elegant final product. Known across every continent, Raynaud Limoges porcelain has long been synonymous with quality and elegance.

What is Varga Art stemware?
Varga Art crystal stemware sets the standard for excellence in contemporary glass making. Each individual piece is rendered from an artist's freehand design and then applied to the surface of the crystal. The item is then hand-cut and mouth blown in several layers. Finally, diamond and copper-wheel engraving finishes the incredible detail of the design making each piece a work of art. All Varga crystal is signed.

What is the difference between glass and lead crystal stemware?
Gracious Style offers both glass and lead crystal stemware to complement your dinnerware selections. Glass is produced by mixing sand with other elements. Lead crystal is produced by adding 24% red lead oxide to glass. This element adds weight, incredible brilliance and clarity while maintaining overall durability. Crystal is also softer which allows for more intricate cutwork and design.

Choosing a Size

What is included in a five-piece setting?
A five-piece formal setting consists of a dinner plate, salad plate, bread/butter plate, teacup, and saucer. We are always happy to order any additional pieces (such as dessert plates and soup bowls) you may require. Please
write us for more details.

What are standard dinnerware sizes?
Sizes sometimes vary slightly among different collections, but they are generally as follows:

Dinner Plate 10.5" diameter
Salad Plate 7.5" diameter
Bread/Butter Plate 6.75" diameter
Dessert Plate 8.5" diameter
Presentation Plate 12" diameter

Do I need presentation plates?
Gracious Style offers presentation plates as accent to your regular dinnerware settings. Also known as chargers or buffet plates, they are oversized plates (12" diameter) designed to add color and style to your table setting. These are usually removed before the main course is served.

Can I order additional dinnerware pieces?
Yes. In addition to five-piece settings, Gracious Style is happy to special order any additional pieces you may need, including soup bowls, platters, soup tureens, and gravy boats. Please
write us for more information.

Design Tips

What color and style should my dinnerware be?
When choosing the most appropriate dinnerware it is most important to take into account both your everyday and formal dining/entertaining styles. Also consider the look of your dining room and choose a pattern that is complementary in both color and style. Your choices for dinnerware and stemware range from contemporary solids to romantic florals to traditional monograms.

How do I lay out dinnerware and stemware?
Place the presentation plate directly in front of each guest's chair. Next, set the dinner plate directly on top of the presentation plate. The bread/butter plate should be placed at a 10:00 angle to the dinner plate. The water glass should be at the 1:00 angle from the dinner plate and just above the knives. The wine glass is then placed directly the right and below the water glass, and the champagne flute then further to the right and above the wine glass (thus forming a small triangle).

Monogramming

Can I monogram my dinnerware?
Gracious Style is proud to offer
Tropic porcelain dinnerware that features matching monogramming in several different fonts on all dinnerware pieces. We are also happy to arrange custom monogramming on other pieces of your choice. Please contact us for more details.

How should I monogram my dinnerware?
Single-letter monograms usually feature the first initial of the last name. On three-letter monograms, most individuals choose to have their first, middle, and last or first, last, and middle initials embroidered. For married couples, a popular choice is the initials of the couple's first names on either side of their married last name.

What style of monogramming should I choose for my dinnerware?
Gracious Style's Tropic dinnerware is available in
Ruban and Vegetal fonts. In choosing font style, we recommend that you consider your dining room décor, as well as any monogramming on your table linens.

Can you do custom monogramming?
Yes. In addition to the styles offered with the Tropic collection, we can custom order monogramming in different colors and styles. Prices start at $40 per monogram. Please
contact us for additional details.

Can I have the same dinnerware and stemware monograms?
Yes. Gracious Style is proud to offer the same monogramming options on the Tropic dinnerware and Varga Art stemware collections.

Care and Storage

Is your dinnerware microwave and oven safe?
For your convenience, most Gracious Style porcelain collections are completely microwave and oven safe. The only collections that should not be used in the microwave are those with platinum or gold detailing.

Is your dinnerware dishwasher safe?
Gracious Style porcelain collections are completely dishwasher safe (except platinum and gold-rimmed plates, which should always be washed by hand). Make sure that they are stacked carefully to avoid contact during the wash cycle. Never use steel wool or abrasives on your dinnerware. We do not recommend using the dishwasher for any crystal stemware.

How do I care for my stemware?
Fine stemware should be washed by hand and carefully dried with a lint-free cloth. Never use steel wool or abrasives on your stemware. We do not recommend using the dishwasher for any crystal stemware.

How do I store my dinnerware?
Fine porcelain should be stored in racks or stacked with plate liners between each plate. Cups should be hung by hooks or placed next to each other.

How do I store my stemware?
Stemware should be stored right side up to protect the rims of the glasses from breakage. We recommend placing fine stemware near the backs of your shelves to protect them from accidental handling.

Dinnerware Requirements

How many dinnerware collections do I need?
In making this decision, we suggest considering the size of your family, the type of entertaining you are most likely to do (formal seated dinners or buffet brunches), and the complexity of your menus. Many people choose to have at least one casual collection for everyday use and one formal collection for selected occasions (usually porcelain).

What dinnerware and stemware do I need?

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