Want to add some fun to your kids' next meal but don't have the time or energy to turn their food into a work of art? Let these eight inventive plates and platters do the work for you. From cool platters that keep kids entertained and everything in its place to decorative plates featuring letters, faces, and personalized illustrations, these trays are a guaranteed good dinnertime!
Melamine plates that look like vintage china? It's true! We're convinced that we need everything in John Derian's new melamine collection, and if you're into alfresco dining (yup, picnics included), you're going to need them, too. Launching in June, his melamine collection offers a lightweight, virtually unbreakable alternative to using paper plates or schlepping nice dishes outdoors. The melamine collection includes a side plate, salad plate, dinner plate, and charger, and ranges from $9 to $17. Oh, and did we mention that they're also dishwasher safe? Enough said.
The intersection between healthy eating and good design has traditionally been a pretty lonely place. Tatyana Daniels Beldock, a former health care venture capitalist, set out to change that when she launched a line of plates under the name Slim & Sage. The concept is simple: since research suggests that 90 percent of weight loss is achieved simply by eating less, Tatyana worked with experts at Stanford and Harvard to come up with a plate that takes the guesswork out of portion control. Even if these plates didn't help reduce caloric intake by 59 percent(!), we would still love them — we don't think it's a coincidence that they resemble Hermès's famous Balcon du Guadalquivir pattern.
The bold geometric patterns on the plate hide the built-in grid for recommended portions: one quarter is for protein, one quarter is for whole grains, and one half is for vegetables. Made from porcelain, the plates are nice enough for company but discreet enough that guests will never guess the motive behind the pattern. We stole a minute of Tatyana's time to find out more.
POPSUGAR: What did you find when you researched why America has such a tendency to overeat?
Tatyana Daniels Beldock: Our plates have gotten out of hand. Plate sizes have been rising in the US over the last 50 years: the average plate in the 1960s was nine inches. Today it is 12! (Slim & Sage plates are 9 inches.) France, ever the throwback, measures in at just 10 inches. You may think all this expanding china has had little effect on your eating habits, but think again: a study in the journal Appetite found that people clean their plates an astonishing 91 percent of the time, no matter how much food is offered, even if they are no longer hungry. Also portions are larger in restaurants, fast-food joints, and prepackaged foods in grocery stories.
PS: That's an alarming statistic — 91 percent of the time, even if they are no longer hungry? Why do you think that it is? Some sort of primal throwback? Habit left over from our parents telling us to clean our plates?
TDB: Yes! Can you believe it? People clean their plates an astonishing 91 percent of the time, no matter how much food is offered and even if they are no longer hungry. I believe it's because we have been conditioned since childhood to clean our plates. The National Institutes of Health recommend replacing larger plates with smaller plates as a good way to combat this and trick people into eating less. "People eat what's put in front of them," they say.
PS: I think that we are all guilty of that! Why isn't this science more widely used and applied? It seems like a very straightforward, smart concept.
TDB: Often some of the best ideas make you think, "Wow — why haven't I seen this before?" I am not sure why it hasn't been done before, though. There was a study done at Google where they introduced smaller plates at their cafeterias and their employees lost an average of 10-15 pounds without even really trying.
PS: That makes it sound painless. I know that takeout is a great excuse for people to abandon portion control. When you order takeout, do you make a point to eat it on Slim & Sage plates?
TDB: Yes, absolutely.
PS: Right now the price point is about $25 per plate — do you have plans for rolling out a lower price point option? How about bowls?
TDB: Custom plates for spas and resorts are in the pipeline, and we are considering a lower price and children's line in the future.
PS: Great, we will keep on the lookout! Meanwhile, we just learned that Slim & Sage was picked up by Neiman Marcus. Congratulations!
What's black, white, and red all over? British fashion designer Duro Olowu's just released home collection for the newly re-branded JCP. With the exception of other primary accents (think electric yellow, kelly green, and cobalt), this tabletop and rug-dominated collection takes classic black and white to an even bolder level with graphic, global-inspired prints. While fashion lovers are excited about the accessible price points for his JCP fashion collection, we're tickled to see his beautiful designs translated for home. Keep reading for a look at the collection!
To celebrate Prince William and Kate Middleton's upcoming big day, UK shelter magazine LivingEtc asked nine British and American top designers, including Jonathan Adler, Rob Ryan, and Donna Wilson, to create a one-off commemorative plate or pair of plates. The plates will be auctioned off with all proceeds benefiting Shelter, an English and Scottish housing and homelessness charity. Bidding begins at £50 ($81) for a pair and ends at midnight on April 29, 2011, the couple's wedding night — head here for details on how to bid. Let's take a look at the designs, and then tell me which one is your favorite!
I adore the look of this wall of plates. The clustered arrangement looks decidedly modern, while the various shades of blue remind me of my grandmother's collection of Danish Christmas plates. Hanging plates instead of paintings is a fun way to decorate your home, and it's usually much less expensive than artwork.
If you need advice on how to hang your plate collection, read these tips. I recommend accumulating your plates over time and sticking to a colorway or theme that's close to your heart. However, there's absolutely nothing wrong with snapping up a few gorgeous plates to establish a palette or theme. Get your collection started with a few of these lovelies.
Grab a plate — it's meal time. Phillips Avent is making eating educational with a new line of tableware set to debut next month. The collection includes BPA-free plates, bowls, and silverware ($4 - $20) to take babies from the weaning stage through self-feeding and is designed to spark family conversations about numbers and food. Each piece from the colorful line comes with a nutritionist-created recipe, and the items for younger eaters are backed with non-slip silicone to prevent meals from ending up on the floor. The cute line will make its debut at Babies R Us stores next month. What do you think of the products?
There was a time when monogrammed dinnerware was reserved for Southern Belles and traditional homemakers. Today, everyone is getting in the game of having their everyday plates and fine china painted with their initials. As wedding season gears up, you may even find a few ambitious registries seeking out their own personalized tableware. Monogramming is pretty, but pairing personalization with porcelain does not come cheap — these lovely Birds on a Wire Dessert Plates are $75 for a set four ceramic dishes. In the end it's just a small price to pay for eating off your very own words.
Here are a few more of my favorites.
Découpage artist sisters Michaelle and Margie of Dorset Decoupage were recently approached by a family friend who wanted help decorating her first post-grad apartment. With backgrounds in interior design, the duo had no trouble hunting down chic, affordable furniture, mixing Ikea furnishings with estate sale and flea market finds for a fresh, youthful style.
But when it came time to put art on the walls, they wanted something one-of-a-kind and statement-making that would give the space a polished, grown-up aesthetic. So, they looked no further than their own découpage studio, creating a wall arrangement with handmade plates and dishes featuring antique floral, botanical, sea, and wildlife prints. With a mix of round, oval, square, and rectangular shapes, they composed a symmetrical layout that garners attention from all of their friend's guests. I adore the eclectic mix of imagery; from a heart and arrow to a flamingo and butterfly, it beats store-bought artwork any day.
Wow — can you believe the first three months of 2010 are already over? I can't! Time is certainly flying by, but hey, I'm not complaining. The arrival of April means the days are longer and the flowers are blooming. If you're anything like me, this Spring you're as busy as a bee. So let's quit wasting time. Here are six items that we're currently obsessed with. Check them out; they'll make your month a little more fabulous.