I had a friend in college who was very skilled at making her home look beautiful. Her apartment was decorated in garage-sale furniture like ours, but she took the extra step and slipcovered her old couch. She had an entire set of Martha Stewart Living magazines that she referred to like encyclopedias.
Our college living situations were temporary, and the extent of most of our decorating was to hang an Ansel Adams or Van Gogh poster print, but her apartment looked like home. When I opened up her kitchen cabinet and saw a stack of Fiesta plates, I was completely smitten.
After I graduated from college I used graduation money to buy my own set of Fiesta dishes. I bought six place settings in different colors so I could mix them up.
Of all my home furnishings, these dishes are what I have used the longest. Fourteen years later, we still use them daily, and they make me happy when I open my kitchen cabinet and see the cheerful colors.
When someone asks what dishes I recommend, I always suggest Fiestaware. It’s also known as Fiesta Dinnerware, and it’s made in the USA by the Homer Laughlin company. Some people collect vintage Fiestaware, but new pieces are at department stores such as Macy’s, Kohl’s, and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
The key, and this is very important, is to buy different colors. They are not supposed to be the same color. The only time I ever see Fiestaware on Craigslist is when someone bought all their dishes in the same color, and they redecorated and it doesn’t match, or they got tired of looking at the same color of blue.
With all these years of daily use (fourteen including six with the kids), we’ve never chipped a plate or bowl. The thick, rounded edges are very durable. A few teacups broke after being dropped on the tile, so they’re not indestructible, but I can confidently call them kid friendly.
An advantage is that the classic design hasn’t changed. I added two more place settings after my family grew. It’s easy to replace a plate that is missing or broken.
I didn’t register for china when I got married. I registered for inexpensive white dishes that can go with everything and look formal, so now I have eight place settings of Fiestaware and eight place settings of white dishes when I want a different look. When I have a lot of people over for a meal, I typically set the kids’ table with the Fiesta plates, and the grownups use the white dishes.