|Perotti by Pottery Barn. A fantastic hand-forged look on a substantial base. This stand-out set with organic appeal will withstand wear-and-tear for decades.|
I can understand the temptation to make a quick selection. There's a lot of stuff out there. Bed Bath & Beyond alone offers over 200 different styles! But your flatware can stand out in a very good way if you're careful, a very bad way if you're not, or may be so boring as to go entirely unnoticed.
Okay, let's get down to it.
How do you know what you'll want? What will make the right statement about your personal taste? What will work for you in a myriad of dining situations? I'd like to suggest a way to narrow down your selection. Try to view the flatware in front of you as people, or bodies, all shaped differently, clothed in various styles, carrying a wide range of personalities. When you think of your flatware this way you can start to see that some pieces are very feminine with long, narrow necks and delicate lines, such as these:
|Iona by Crate&Barrel.|
while some are more masculine with wider necks, blunt edges, and minimal styling, like these ones:
|Tiempo by Crate&Barrel. The perfectly round shape of the spoon's bowl makes a fun statement, but make sure the head is shallow enough to still be comfortable on the mouth.|
|Amalfi Gold by Ricci|
|Slim; Shiny. Charlotte by Crate&Barrel. Charlotte wears a no-fuss maxi dress.|
|Wide; Round; Shiny; Classic. I love this set. Savant by Pottery Barn. Savant wears a fashion-forward, off-the-shoulder ballgown.|
|Square; One focal point. Fiesole by Pottery Barn. I'm thinking a belted maxi skirt with a white, cotton tank.|
|Modern; Tapered; Trendy; Shiny. Uptown by Crate&Barrel. Uptown wears skinny jeans and ankle boots.|
|Flared; Shiny. Scoop by Crate&Barrel. Scoop has no pretenses. She's confident in a pair of boot-cut jeans, her favorite t-shirt, and tan leather flip-flops.|
|Details in the seams; Classic; Flare. Vera Wang Wedgewood Grosgrain. Black tunic and an eclectic trio of long, chain necklaces.|
|Long and lean; Round/Oval; Modern. Oona by Crate & Barrel. These may look simple and will be versatile, but they'll make a nice statement as well.|
|Long and lean; Squared; Modern. Luna by Pottery Barn.|
|Curvy body; Textured; Shiny. Shiny Hammered by Pottery Barn. Wearing trusty thermals.|
|Heavy in the belly; Smooth; Shiny; Modern. Eva by Crate&Barrel. Naked.|
|Textured; Classic; Dull & Shiny; Wide. Tivoli by Pottery Barn. Substantial, stylish yet unpretentious, and comfortable, I like this set quite a bit. However, carefully consider your drawer space as the size of these will likely take up double the space of another set.|
|Square; Antique; Dull finish; Classic. Maxfield Demitassee Spoon by Pottery Barn. I am in LOVE with these spoons. So smart and handsome. "An antique tea service from an English hotel inspired the design of our demitasse spoons."|
|Two-toned; Regional; Textured; Patterned; Wide. Byzantine Gold by Yamazaki.|
|Two-toned; Clean; Dull finish; Smooth. Surat by Crate&Barrel. Surat is dressed for an evening black-tie event in Manhattan.|
It's pricy, to be sure, but if money's no issue, you'll have a show-stopping collection on your hands... er table.
I'd like to give a quick caution against choosing pieces that are very stylized such as these:
|Kyoto by Crate&Barrel. Even if you have a great interest in Eastern Asia, you probably don't eat only Asian food in your home. Using these to eat cannelloni, for example, may feel as incoherent as using chop sticks.|
|Hazel by Crate&Barrel. These are definitely eye-catching, but the odd shape reminds me of the effects of the hall of mirrors in a carnival fun house. I wouldn't rule them out entirely, but I would just want to be sure this is a style I'll love for years and years.|
Each is appealing in their own way, but may lack versatility and become "old" to the owner years before the flatware has worn out its usefulness.
Whatever you do, I recommend shopping for your flatware in a place that will allow you to hold the pieces in your hands and see them at every angle. Get something that feels properly weighted and comfortable to you and anyone else helping you to make the purchase. Otherwise you may end up with something that resembles camping flatware in looks, feel, and quality!
My personal favorite? The Bella Silver-Plated Flatware by Pottery Barn. Stunning. Stunning, stunning, stunning. Elegant, timeless, fashionable, substantial, and smooth with beautiful lines and a gorgeous luster. They're probably too nice for everyday use, but I'm not sure that would stop me from making the purchase. This is a set worthy of safe-keeping, to be handed down to the next generation.
|In my dreams I own this set. Well done, Pottery Barn designers!|