How do I Choose the Best Modern Flatware?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Choosing modern flatware can seem like a difficult task, simply because there are so many outlets where flatware can be purchased in sets and as individual pieces. Fortunately, there are a few basic steps that can help to refine the process and make it more manageable. Those steps include such basics as as determining the metals you prefer for the settings, the general design of each piece within the place settings, and the total cost for the number of settings you need.

Stainless steel flatware does not require polishing and will last for many years.
Stainless steel flatware does not require polishing and will last for many years.

It is sometimes a surprise to learn that contemporary or modern flatware is constructed from different types of metals or metal alloys. Stainless steel flatware is what most people think of immediately. However, there are also modern designs that are made using nickel-plating and sterling silver. There are even gold-plated sets of flatware that can add a different visual element to the table.

The choice of metal or alloys is often determined by how often the flatware will be used. Stainless flatware is an excellent choice for everyday use. Modern flatware of this type does not require polishing in order to retain its sheen; washing by hand or in a dishwasher is sufficient. Stainless steel holds up well to repeated use, which means you will not have to replace the set for many years.

If you need modern flatware for special occasions, you may want to consider sterling silver or nickel-plated sets. Both of these have their own visual appeal. However, they do require more maintenance than stainless steel. Sterling silver requires careful hand washing and must be polished carefully after each use. Nickel-plated flatware also requires polishing and is not recommended for regular use, since there is some danger associated with constant exposure to nickel.

The design for contemporary or modern flatware is also an important consideration. Modern versions of flatware are usually very simple in design, although the pieces may include elements like geometric designs, simplistic Greek elements, or even a touch of Art Deco to each piece. Contemporary flatware sometimes combines metal with other materials, such as a handle made using sturdy plastics or wood. Plastic handles are usually available in an array of colors, making it easy to coordinate the pieces with dinnerware or other elements of the table presentation.

As with many household purchases, the cost of the modern flatware will figure into your decision. If your budget is very tight, try looking at individual pieces or sets found in discount retail stores. The designs are mass-produced, which makes it easier to add to your set as money becomes available. Keep in mind the quality of the metal may be inferior to pricier sets, but this will probably not matter if you are looking for everyday flatware. If you want a high quality set, consider going to upscale retailers where it is possible to purchase individual pieces as you go. Make sure to select a pattern that is likely to remain in stock for a long time. Each month, you can buy a few more pieces and eventually have as many settings as you like.

Don’t overlook the possibility of buying your modern flatware online. Auction sites are great places to find bargains on quality sets of flatware, as well as patterns and designs that are somewhat offbeat. There are also online retailers that offer quality flatware sets at competitive prices. Depending on the size of your order, you may qualify for free shipping, which increases the convenience of the purchase without adding to the overall expense.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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