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Everywhere you go, restaurants and hosts are serving meals on white plates. While there's nothing wrong with that, I'd like to remind everyone that colour is okay, too. I know, I know, food pops against white plates, and it's much easier to replace broken dishes if they're white, but why not mix some patterned dinnerware into your table settings this summer? You don't need to change the entire setting for a new look, just a couple of vibrant plates mixed between your current set will liven things up a bit.

I've been on a real watercolour kick lately — I recently bought myself a paint set to prove to my seventh-grade art teacher that I do, perhaps, have some artistic talent. Artist Shelley Hesse currently has a few of her designs (much better than my own) at Anthropologie right now. Watercolor Petals Dinnerware, $14-$24, Anthropologie.

Keeping with the watercolour theme, these Mediterranean-inspired dishes by designer David Stark would be perfect for a nautical look. David Stark Brushstroke Dinnerware, $32-$40 USD for a set of four, West Elm.

For a punchier look, try these blue and white dishes with a Polish print. (You can see more graphic blue plates in the Style Files section of our July issue.) Hand-Painted Polish Dinnerware, $7-$8 each, HomeSense.

Concerned about breaking dishes? Pretty melamine plates are available in abundance. Yellow hues will add some cheer on the patio. Sunshine Melamine Plates, $24 USD for a set of four, West Elm.

Kilim prints are everywhere these days, including dinnerware. These green and orange plates feature platinum bands for a contemporary take on fine dining. And people, please get that fine china out of the cabinets and onto the table for use! Jasper Conran at Wedgwood Kilim plate, $30, Waterford Wedgwood.

Other ways to give your table a new look for the season? Switch up chargers, tablecloths or napkins. For more table setting inspiration, visit our Dining Design section.

Photo credits:
1. Anthropologie
2, 4. West Elm
3. HomeSense
5, 6. Waterford Wedgwood

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