When you reminisce on past family gatherings, what do you recall? The joyous laughter and invigorating conversation around the dining table? The mouthwatering menu and reason for the occasion? With years of hosting under our belts, we can tell you that setting an unforgettable tone at an event starts with the little tabletop details to make guests linger a little longer around the table, of course! Because, that's where the real magic happens.
When plain ol’ dishes just won’t cut it, it’s time to invest in unique and stylish dinnerware that will work on every table. Investing in a dish set that looks amazing on its own and seamlessly blends with other favorite serving platters is the key to hosting a beautiful event with minimal effort. Wood dishes allow you to set a table you love, no matter the occasion. Learn about the rustic designs in our Fundamentals Collection, discover the surprising benefits of serving with wood dishes, and find inspiration for unforgettable table settings.
Why We Love Wood Dishes
There is always a time and place for a fully formal set table with layers and layers of fine China, but wood dishes bring warmth and style to any table setting. We love using wood dishes during any season as an easy foundational piece, from setting up a summertime picnic to adding textured accents to a holiday table in the winter. The natural wood grains and rich colors add an effortlessly organic look to any tablescape while keeping it elevated.
We enjoy mixing and matching wood dishes with any of our other collections to add dimension and style to a tablescape. Of course, they look beautiful on their own, but when paired with a bright color or complete set, our Fundamentals dinnerware Collection brings a natural texture and can help other collections pop.
Wood dishes are also easy to clean, ensuring a quick clean-up every time. With minimal effort, you can keep your favorite wood dishes safe and in good condition and enjoy setting the table with your favorite set for years to come.
7 Benefits of Using Wood Dishes
Wood adds a sophisticated yet laidback look to any gathering, whether you’re throwing a baby shower or reinventing the charcuterie board for a movie night. The durable material and natural texture make wood serveware the perfect option for both indoor and outdoor gatherings. Wood dishes offer more than timeless style and unique décor — they can change the way you set the table for good:
- Wood is a strong and resilient material, giving you a long lifespan for each dish.
- Wood dishes are non-conductors, so they’ll never get too hot while serving warm food.
- Wood dinnerware doubles as versatile décor around the home.
- Wood is an eco-friendly alternative to other popular plate materials, such as plastic.
- These types of dishes are known for their natural ability to kill bacteria, unlike other materials.
- Wood dishes are quick and easy to clean and dry.
- Wood serveware is durable, making it the perfect option for both indoor and outdoor occasions.
What Type of Wood Is Best For Dishes
When you shop for wood dishes, you’re sure to be met with different opinions on the best wood. We use acacia wood in our Fundamentals Collection because it’s durable, beautiful, easy to clean, and brings one-of-a-kind wood grain patterns to each dish. Everything from wood serveware to cutting boards to breakfast bowls for cereal can be made out of this gorgeous wood, adding a touch of personality to any dinnerware collection.
3 Steps for Setting a Table with Wood Dishes
Our Fundamentals Collection features our iconic ruffle edge with an old-school texture perfect for any table. Whether you’re in search of a new everyday four-piece wood place setting or are looking to incorporate a few new accent dishes into your gatherings, learn our favorite ways to set wood dishes at a place setting:
Step 1: Start with the Basics
The first step to setting any table, whether it’s a weeknight dinner for you and your partner or a last-minute gathering for your friends and family, is not the dinnerware — it’s the table linens. Placemats elevate any tablescape and provide a base layer for the dishes, helping the stunning look of wood dishes stand out. This is especially important if your dining table is also made of wood, allowing you to differentiate the two types with a simple placemat in between.
We designed our Fundamentals Collection with the idea that the neutral tones could complement any color. Whether you’re coordinating pine round placemats with wood utensils or mixing and matching bold colors, the choice is yours.
Step 2: Set Out Wood Plates and Bowls
The next step to creating a wood place setting is the dinnerware itself. Set a wood dinner plate in front of each chair as the main dish in the place setting. For additional courses, such as appetizers, salads, and desserts, nestle a ruffled wood salad plate on top to create a cohesive look. If any soups, stews, or even ice cream will be served, add a small wood bowl to the place setting and complete the set.
Step 3: Add Wood Serveware
Wood serveware can be used in tablescapes for any serving style, from casual gatherings to formal affairs. Serve family style by adding wood platters and bowls full of your family’s favorite recipes in the center of the table for everyone to dig in.
To utilize your wood serveware, set out a large wood bowl and matching wood salad servers for any salads, pasta, and more. Experiment with adding platters and bowls from other collections to curate the look of your gathering, or stick to wooden designs.
Wooden platters are a versatile and simple addition to any gathering. For a fancier look, you can even use them as a charger plate by setting them under the dinner plates and bowls. Otherwise, they make amazing wood serveware for appetizers, crudité boards, mains, and more.
Pro tip: Continue the rustic theme with wood serveware utensils to match each smaller course. Add a wood appetizer spreader to the butter dish or set out a wood appetizer spoon for garnishes. These small touches can take your wood table design to the next level.
Essential Types of Wood Serveware
- Serving bowls
- Platters and trays
- Serving utensils
- Dough bowls
Why is Wood the Best Material for Charcuterie Boards?
When it comes to choosing serveware for your charcuterie board, the board material you choose matters just as much as the delicious ingredients you arrange on top of it. Wood is the preferred material for charcuterie boards as it does not absorb flavors or moisture easily and offers a timeless look on any occasion. Whether you’re setting out a few charcuterie plates as an appetizer or making the meats and cheese the star of the show, a charcuterie wood board is a safe and stylish dish for serving.
What is a Wood Dough Bowl?
Wood dough bowls were traditionally designed for baking bread. They’re carved into a shape that allows someone to mix and knead the dough in the same bowl it will be baked in. Wood is the preferred material because it naturally holds in heat, which is a crucial step for bread dough rising. Nowadays, a wood dough bowl has made its way into people’s serveware collections for completely unrelated reasons, such as setting a modern Thanksgiving table or serving treats at a movie night — and most of all, the style.
Use wood dough bowls for all kinds of meals, from keeping bread rolls warm on the dinner table to serving up a seasonal 1905 Salad Recipe. Pair them with a wood round tray for pops of pattern, or use them on their own. With different designs and natural grain textures to choose from, a wood dough bowl is one of the most versatile dishes you can add to your tablescape.
Our 5 Favorite Wood Dough Bowl Patterns
We design our wood dough bowls using mango wood, as it’s known for its incredible durability and style. In order to add our iconic patterns and designs to match our collections, we opted for enameled mango wood - the enamel allowing for the patterns to be present. Our favorites include:
- Oyster Print — the nautical blues and illustrated oyster shells on this wood serveware are perfect for a tasty oyster roast or seaside party.
- Iris Blue — with subtle pops of the serene blue pip patterns, this mango wood dough bowl makes a stunning finishing touch for any tablescape.
- Blue Citrus — the smokey blue background and vibrant citrus pattern of this bowl make it the perfect wood serveware design for summertime gatherings.
- Feathered Dusk — perfect for autumnal gatherings—and don’t forget the matching feathered wood salad server set.
- Balsam and Berry — make your holiday table settings merry and bright with the timeless red and green holly branch pattern on this festive wood serveware bowl.
How to Clean Wood Dishes
Caring for and cleaning wood dishes is simple and easy — just another reason we love using them. After the guests have left and it’s time to start on clean-up, take a damp rag, a mild soap, and slightly warm water to each wood dish or utensil to carefully remove any leftover food or oils from the wood. Never put your wood dishes in the dishwasher, as letting them soak for too long could cause splits and cracks in the grain or cause it to lose color entirely. Dry the bowl as soon as possible using a fresh, soft towel — and voila!
Restoring Wood Dishes
To preserve the look and integrity of your wood dishes, learning proper maintenance is key. If any pesky stains appear or it’s time for a deep clean of your dishes, there are two main methods experienced hosts swear by. Take either half of a lemon or a 1:5 white vinegar and water solution and rub it over the entire surface of the wood serveware, letting it soak for a few minutes before wiping it down. Lemon and vinegar both attack odors, spots, and bacteria, keeping your wood fresh and ready to use.
Any time wood serveware starts to lose its shine, a quick oil rub will give new life to your favorite dish. To keep a plate or bowl in pristine shape, add a touch of our favorite wood treatment oil to a cloth rag and gently spread it over the entire dish. After a few minutes, you can wipe off the excess oil, and the wood plate or bowl will look as good as new! This practice is commonly referred to as “seasoning” your wood dish and is something to consider as you incorporate wood serveware into your collection.
Mix and Match Wood Serveware with Other Collections
We try to find inspiration to create unforgettable tablescapes for every gathering we host. And while sometimes that could mean setting out a complete matching collection for a cohesive look, we always enjoy pairing wood dishes with our other go-to dinnerware collections. From wood serveware platters and bowls being set at a buffet table to creating a multi-layered place setting, wooden dishes are versatile and stylish when set with other patterns.
When paired with the Signature White Collection, wood serveware adds warmth and texture. The classic white color works as a base at any event, and with a matching ruffled edge, wood dinnerware brings the look of the table down to Earth. Your menu will pop when presented on these neutral hues and timeless dishes, whether you’re setting an everyday table for family or hosting a birthday luncheon for friends.
Wood dishes bring a unique depth to a table when paired with patterned dinnerware collections. Our Blush Collection features pastel pinks and whites in soft patterns, such as diamond shapes and quatrefoils, and when paired with the rich look of wood serveware, the entire tablescape is pulled together. The Crew Collection features a bold black and white design and an arabesque scalloped edge, creating the perfect backdrop for featured wooden plates. Unlock your inner designer and create unique dinnerware pairings using wood dishes for a table setting you and your guests will never forget.When you’re curating your dinnerware collection, consider adding unique, rustic wood dishes to the mix. With wood dinnerware perfect for laidback family gatherings and hosting plated dinners, there’s room on every tablescape for a stylish, textured accent. Design a table you love with wood serveware and dinnerware.