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Charger Plates

As an elegant complement to high-end dinnerware sets, charger plates are an optional but excellent addition to your collection of entertaining supplies. Charger plates are a staple of fine-dining and special-occasion table settings, elevating the appearance of the table with an extra splash of color. Our collection of charger plates comes in a variety of different colors and patterns to coordinate or match with the other dinnerware items you have. Decide whether charger plates are right for your approach to entertaining, and then choose the style that best matches with your dinnerware collection.

What Are Charger Plates For?

If you’ve ever been to a formal wedding reception dinner or a fine dining restaurant, chances are that your place was set before you sat down. A tablecloth likely covered the table, perhaps with place mats at each place. On top of that you may have seen a large plate topped by a smaller salad plate. That large plate at the bottom layer is known as a charger plate, and they’re designed to fill out the place setting and provide an elegant base for appetizer or salad plates and soup bowls before the entree course arrives. The charger is generally removed before the dinner plate is served because dinner plates tend to be only slightly smaller than chargers. Your approach to using a charger plate may involve it being left on the table throughout the entire meal — this is a matter of personal preference. In general, though, protocol dictates that the charger is used as a base for first and second course plates only.

How to Choose the Right Charger Plates

Charger plates are almost entirely decorative, though they do help protect place mats or tablecloths from spills. Still, the emphasis should be on form over function. This means it’s important to pick out a charger plate that coordinates well or matches with your dinner plates. You don’t necessarily need an exact match, though it is often nice to purchase chargers designed as part of the same collection as your dinnerware to ensure color and pattern cohesion. Our collection also includes some neutral-colored chargers that are good for general use with just about any dinnerware color and pattern. Even with these neutral chargers, it’s best to match the material type and style to that of your dinnerware. Fine gilded porcelain, for example, won’t look quite right with a rustic charger made of natural wood. You can also think about the serving pieces you tend to bring to the table, like a copper skillet, that might be suitable for coordinating with your chargers.

With so many excellent options to choose from, you can experiment and see if you like the way a set of well-chosen chargers elevate your dining table.

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