Plate Date: Prints Charming

We've heard all about how plain white plates are ideal for culinary presentation, but if you ask us, unless you're gunning to be the next Top Chef, there's plenty of room for a side of self-expression with your supper. Recently we've spotted an influx of dinnerware in a rich mix of grassy greens, cobalt blues, and brassy metallics--from Anthologie Quartett's indigo botanicals to Jasper Conran's chinoiserie vignette for Wedgwood. And while striking the perfect visual balance may seem as daunting as timing your soufflés, take it from us: as long as you stick to a color theme, contrasting patterns will excite the eye as much as your amuse-bouche does the taste buds.

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Photograph: Andrew Arthur