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How often do you buy Flatware?

By 08/09/2011January 23rd, 201745 Comments

Vintage is really the prettiest (source)
So I have a confession. Call me unsophisticated but I had no idea cutlery (which is what I thought it was called) or silverware is actually called flatware. And I’m pretty excited because on the way home from Seattle yesterday we stopped at Crate and Barrel and bought a new set. This is the pattern we chose:


This set would have been my second choice because I loved the weighty feel:


And I really liked the bamboo ones too, they were my third choice:


The last time I bought flatware was about 15 years ago. I was at Costco and they had a set of 8 (choice of 2 styles) in a box and that’s what I brought home.  A wedding would have been a good place to get nice flatware but when I got married 17 years ago (divorced two years later) I was more obsessed with getting white bone china than silverware. And I still love the china I have.
Did you know that the best stainless flatware grade is 18/10, which means it is 18% chromium and 10% nickel. The chromium lends strength, stain and rust resistance to the iron alloy, and the nickel content gives it a warm, lustrous look. So there you go. A little flatware trivia that I did not know. And all the flatware from Crate & Barrel is this quality. My Costco flatware is 18/8. 
Buying silverware is just not something top of mind when it comes to accessories for the home. Everyone has it because you can’t live without it so then you don’t think much about it (well I haven’t anyway) But now that my dining room is finally starting to come together (I just need a dining table) I cannot eat with my old flatware one more second!
Every time I leave Crate & Barrel I’m happy. I so wish we had one in Vancouver, we are so deprived.
When was the last time you bought flatware?
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  • Kristie at The says:

    When I married 15 years ago, I registered for daily flatware, not real silver. I just felt too guilty asking people to get me really expensive silver that I would rarely use! 5 years ago, I found a gorgeous antique set of real silver at an estate sale with a "B" engraved on the handles and "1907" on the back of each piece – the date of the prior owners' marriage. I bought the set for $250 and absolutely love it. I use it every time I have guests and I rarely polish it – I like it to look a little patinaed. So glad I got that special set, rather than some standard traditional one I probably would have registered for when I was a mere child!

  • Anonymous says:

    We grew up using sterling every evening with real linens, so now I have 5 " sets." Adds such character to a set table. The everyday sterling "set" we used (and do so also as an adult), is actually one place setting from many different patterns. It is a very affordable way to purchase and use sterling since you can pick up one lonely place setting at flea mkts., etc. This way we always know whose knife was left on the butter plate, etc. Kids especially find it fun and helps teach good manners. Wishing you logs of good eats with your new set.

  • Karena says:

    I have a mix of Towle beaded flatware, a mix of vintage sterling, and a Bamboo set from Horchow from about a year ago!

    Right now I am really into pretty linens!


    Art by Karena

  • traci zeller designs says:

    I didn't register for everyday flatware when I got married, but instead used my parents' set from their wedding … which was plain and lovely (and never used by them!). I did switch it to a bamboo pattern a few years ago … which is delightful because my sterling is Tiffany's Bamboo so they all work together …

  • The enchanted home says:

    I have a bonafide fetish for everything having to do with table setting, or anything to make a table pretty, flatware included. The last set I bought was from Horchow, a beautiful peralized handle with silver, its my every day (in addition to my 2 other older sets) and of course I have my sterling which I constantly add on to, and its my absolute fave!

  • Maria Killam says:

    Wow I wish I had known about Horchow, I love their flatware. . .

  • belledame says:

    how often? that question kinda raised my eyebrows… i have one set, service for four. the dune set from c&b. i've had that for about eight years. love them but i was shocked to get them home and read the note about "stain-less steel not stain-free steel." i grew up on stainless steel and not one of the sets my mom had ever stained/rusted to the day i bought this set. and as warned, the knives do need special care.

    before that i had a cheap set of plastic/aluminum that my mom gave me as a temporary upgrade from the single setting i had lived on for five years. just didn't have much company.

    i will admit to owning two sets of everyday dishes. one c&b porcelain, the other 222 fifth stoneware. they're completely different and i love them both!

  • Carrie'sCreations says:

    Wish we had a Crate and Barrel near by. I recently got new flat wear and shhhh it was on clearance. After we got the new stuff I wasn't sure how I had lived with the old for 10 years:)

  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Belladame,
    That's precisely why I'm asking 'how often' because it's not something people think about very much. 15 years ago for me!!
    Sigh, I would love silver though!
    Thanks for your comment,

  • katiedid says:

    We bought a new set as soon as we ran out of teaspoons. Why is it that teaspoons seem to disappear??

  • kathi123 says:

    We recently updated our 19 year old kitchen with new granite countertops,paint,new stone floor instead of vinyl,new knobs on the cupboards, stainless steel appliances,the best tip we got was to replace trash compactor with a beverage cooler, its awesome-I gave myself a wedding shower-I was the only guest-I bought new flatware,new noritake color wave dishes,new pots and pans,new cookie and baking pans-after 35 years of marriage (i never did have a real wedding shower,plus yikes, asked for camping equipment for wedding presents instead of china or silver)) I decided that i deserved it!! so it was 35 years with the same flatware-I am doing the kitchen happy dance now!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    You may be getting your wish! I've heard that Crate and Barrel is coming to Oakridge Centre in 2012. I've been waiting so long for it to come here..and my hubby will be happy I won't be dragging him to Seattle anymore 🙂

  • Sjn says:

    we received good quality Oneida as a gift when we were married 33 years ago. I just replaced that set with place settings for 12. Nice and heavy and similar to your 2nd choice. Hubby loves it!

  • Nichole@40daysof says:

    I bought new stuff last weekend! We've been married 15 years now and it was starting to show on the flatware (not the marriage!). 🙂 I bought a bunch of different dessert forks on sale a couple of years ago for a party I was giving. One set was a Food Network pattern sold at Kohls. I decided I liked the look and feel of it and have been stalking it ever since. I was finally there on a day that it went on sale and I snapped it up. I must confess that I never even looked at Crate & Barrel. But that's only because I new I would fall for something much pricier. I like all the same ones you do, Maria.

  • Sjn says:

    PS… I do have silver also, but it only comes out for company. Maybe that's a waste? If I used it everyday, I wouldn't need to polish it!

  • Ideezine says:


    I have several sets. Purchased one when I moved out of parents home at 19 yrs old. Then when I got married at 25 and again about 10 years ago. Such a great adventure once you know what you want and the simple fact that you'll use them all the time is even better.

    I love mine so much that I make sure I pack my lunch everyday, when I have to work outside my home, then I am sure to enjoy the ritual of healthy and using flatware that I love.


  • Elisa @ What the Vita says:

    I have IKEA flatware that bends 🙁 I'm so ready to get good quality flatware, especially bamboo ones, but I want to make some more house purchases first before flatware… priorities, priorities 🙂

  • This Confetti Life says:

    I STILL have Costco flatware. Sigh. I think I need a trip to Crate and Barrel.

  • Mira says:

    I actually haven't bought any, except silver teaspoons I bought in Rome. My mom loves to entertain and she has enough silverware for 60 people. When I got married a few years ago, I went through her sets and picked a six piece vintage set for myself. I bought my brother and his wife a 30-piece-set of 18/10 silverware when they got married. Every time I go to their place I am impressed with how beautiful it is (they use it daily); I wish I got a set for myself back then too. I love beautiful silverware and I am sure it will not be long before I decide I need new set.

  • mrsben says:

    You made a wise purchase Maria!

    Its been ages since I purchased any cutlery (quality stainless and silverware) as I just haven't had the need to do so. When purchasing my everyday ones I purchased three sets and don't regret doing so as pieces do have a tendency to go astray. As for the 'silver' pieces; back 39 years ago flatware was the norm as wedding gifts (total of 13 place settings with serving pieces) and since then I've been fortunate to inherit my Mother-in-laws who had a similar pattern (amazingly 34 place settings). So needless to say, I think I am good in that department for a little while yet. 🙂

  • mrsben says:

    P.S: Neglected to mention, I have had my every day stainless flatware (with serving pieces) for at least twenty years now and they really haven't shown any wear regardless that they are tossed in the dishwasher.

  • pve design says:

    "bonafide fetish" here too, with silverware, cutlery, flatware…. I love a pretty table and the right flatware can make all the difference.
    I will post on all my flatware….soon!

  • Marlis says:

    OOh touchy question.. Let's see, I raised boys in the middle of 115 acres of farmland. I was always without spoons. Then they would bring home take out and leave a fork in the throw away container. Now that it's husband and myself at home, we have flatware – albeit, the kitchen flatware was his mothers, I love the shape of the spoons. But, I have a few sets. My last set was purchased at an estate sale two weeks ago, it's a silverplate design with orchids…(my father in law used to raise orchids and the first flowers my husband gave me were orchids)… our of purely sentimental reasons.

  • debbiecz says:

    I last purchased my double set (16) at Costco apprx. 5 yrs ago and it was such a milestone for me. We had been battling financial/family issues and all those things that need to be replaced after 10 yrs of marriage were put on the back burner. The silverware isn't anything special but every once in awhile (as I pull out a spoon, fork, etc) I'll think of how hard we worked to overcome our financial obstacles. I'm due to buy a new set as spoons are like socks they get lost in the dishwasher! Thanks for the info on metal content. P.S. My mom has the same set of everyday flatware purchased in the 70's – it somehow survived 8 kids & numerous family reunions.

  • Luciane at says:

    The last time was about 5 years ago… Villeroy and Boch and the a coscto (lagostina). 🙂


    Luciane at

  • Plumbing says:

    Color is the best asset of one thing. It can give you more than anything. It can help you to refresh your feeling and to feel relax.

  • Who is Susan . . . says:

    I'm loving the bamboo style you selected, it would be perfect in my Tommy Bahama styled home.

    Thanks for sharing.


  • CalloohCallay says:

    Crate & Barrel is opening at Oakridge Mall – not sure when though

  • Margaret says:

    Cutlery in a box is usually…well…let's just say you don't cry if the disposal chews on it. Ironicy, I just acquired my parents' Oneida flatware from the early 70s, which my mom used for her 'better' dinners. It's my everyday utensils set now, and after recently shopping for Oneida, am grateful it was made so well, and will last another 30 years (if kept away from the disposal).

  • Gloria says:

    When I got married three years ago, flatware was the one thing on my registry that I was obsessed with. It's a simple design from Kate Spade and I use it every day and it still looks brand new. I haven't been an adult long enough to need to replace it yet, but I imagine I'll just get the exact same design. I'm missing about 4 of my 12 teaspoons already, so I may need to buy some more of those.

  • ddu says:

    And did you know that the table linens are called "napery"?

    We use great-grandmother's richly patina'd sterling and keep the stainless around for food prep. Thanks, Gran!

    Best wishes!

  • ~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ says:

    About a year or two ago I was in this antique shop and found a lovely set of silver for 6. It was marked $35 so I offered $25 and the guy said, Deal! It's simple and plain and I keep it out on the sideboard and use it often. I posted about it when I bought it so the pictures are in the archives of my Blog.

    I am so glad to have found your blog. I am learning so much. Thanks.

    Would you consider doing a post about creamy yellow whites and how to paint and decorate a home using these colors. What color furnishings would you put with creamy whites? I want my home to look like candlelight happening everywhere. I am not at all trendy and not a fan of the gray whites. Already planning my next house.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  • Sharon says:

    I have sterling flatware that I love but didn't want to use it every time I set the table with china. I put china in the dishwasher and hand wash the silver. I bought a Yamazaki stainless that we use everyday and it's still as beautiful as the day I bought it some thirty years ago. Buy plenty, and always try to buy extra spoons!

  • Lisa @ Cozy Condo Living says:

    We got flatware as a wedding gift from our registry 5 years ago. I didn't know it was called flatware either until then. Ours is starting to rust in places so I don't think it's the 18/10 quality. I'll have to look for that the next time we invest in flatware/silverware/cuttlery.

  • Linda Merrill says:

    I bought a regular set about 15 years ago. At some point I'll inherit my parent's wedding sterling and intend to use it on a daily basis. Why save it only for best?

  • Judy says:

    I bought my last set of 18/10 flatware about 15 years ago. It is quite plain and very serviceable. But as I get a little more "mature", I tend not to go for flatware or sterling that matches.

  • Jessa says:

    I have flatware that my mom handed-down to me about five years ago, when I got my own place.. it was five years old then. It's a quality set, in good condition and all I cared was that it matched. I guess I'm about due for my first "real" set that I buy myself.. but every time I go out looking I get overwhelmed. There is just so much out there!

  • Jessa says:

    By the way, I really like the ones you picked out! They are going to look great on the table!

  • Diane Stewart says:

    I've been through quite a few sets in the past 35 years. Right now my everyday is a set of "hotel" flatware. I like it because of the mixture of vintage styles and the convenience of stainless.

  • Christina Rodriguez | Diva by Design says:

    I haven't bought a real set of flatware in more than 10 years. This is because I have three children and all of it ends up in the yard or the trash. I just buy big sets of whatever utensil i am running low on at Sam's. Frustrating for a decorator, but I am dreaming of the day I can actually choose a new matching set!

  • Donna says:

    Christian echoes my own problem. We inherited antique silver-plated silverware from Tim's grandmother which we lovingly cherished and only used for special occasions.

    But I had inexpensive daily use silverware for years. I finally decided to 'host my own shower' and Hubby bought me some 'good silver'. Next thing I college age son is pitching pieces in the garbage during a party..or taking it with his lunch to college and it ended up in the back of his car. Sigh.. How can kids throw away silverware?

    Recently someone was having a huge garage sale and sold a huge set of beautiful silverware (from a wedding facility). It was lovely and I scarfed it right up. Now we have a matching set for all the kids and grandkids. Love the simple gold and silver combination.

    Your silver is lovely Maria! The perfect way to celebrate a new home.


  • Anonymous says:

    Years ago I started using my sterling flatware for everyday. It wasn't getting enough use when I saved it for special occasions. It isn't in as good shape as it once was but I love using it. I put it in the dishwasher (avoid lemon dishwashing detergent). I polish it 2 or 3 times a year (sometimes less), usually when I'm watching a movie. I don't think I'll ever go back to stainless.
    ~ CE

  • Maxine says:

    I know this is an old post, but just in case someone happens across it as I did, I wanted to share this little piece of wisdom my mom told me. If you have a special set of silver (as I do) that you only use for special occasions, count the flatware as you set the table (count it out), and count the flatware as you put it away (count it in). If there’s a piece missing, it’s easy to check around (even in the garbage before it is tied off and put out to the curb) at the time to find any stray pieces. My silver is a set my mom collected for me from the year I was born, and is very difficult/expensive to replace. I’d be heart broken if I lost a teaspoon.

  • I think no need to buy new stuff if my older stuff is still in good condition. I just inherited quite a bit of sterling silver flatware . They stand the test of time for me. I only buy flatware and new glasses when I need to.

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