The Underrated Kitchen Essential You Need To Invest In

West Elm

When it comes to your kitchen, it’s likely you spend a lot of time and money on cooking essentials like pots and pans or organizational items to keep things in order. But, what about the stuff you use every day and dress up your table with? If your mind goes to plates, you're right on the money. Although typically put on the back burner, these serving essentials should be prioritized in every kitchen. Luckily, it’s possible to find dinner sets for under $100 that still make a stunning impact on your kitchen’s look.

So why all the fuss about dinner plates? Well, think about it: They are arguably the most used and displayed kitchen item. And if you're one who likes to play hostess and understand the value of a beautiful table setting, dinnerware is definitely something to think about. In many cases, plates can be a focal point for your home and kitchen. So. if you've been using a hodgepodge of sets from college and your first apartment, it might be time to get a grown-up upgrade.

To be clear, investing in a beautiful dinnerware collection doesn't have to be something you budget for for months. There are plenty of gorgeous options out there that are not just affordable, but a downright steal. Yes, some of the biggest home retailers offer some truly stunning plate sets that look like fine china — for a fraction of the price. Everyone from Target to Bed Bath & Beyond have beautifully crafted plate sets on their rosters that will add the perfect pop of color or style to your dinner table, no matter your aesthetic preference. Really.

If you like a more simplistic and minimalist table setting, go for a classy monochromatic porcelain set in ivory, white, or a muted version of a vibrant shade like mint green or a grayish blue. And if you gravitate toward vintage looks, try a dainty set with soft floral detailing or metallic piping. And if you embrace a more eclectic and colorful aesthetic, try a set with interesting artisanal patterns and bold colors.

In addition to patterns and shades, it's important to think about shapes when shopping for your dinner plates. While the typical round silhouette is classic and a worthy option, consider thinking outside the box, er, circle. There are some really beautiful sets in square and rectangular shapes that lend a more interesting look to the table. And if you really want to switch things up, go for a mix and match approach and select various shades and shapes from the same brand or collection. It'll offer an unexpected look to your table, yet still feel cohesive.

So you see, there are tons of worthwhile and affordable options at your fingertips — you just need to know where to look. Luckily, the search is not a difficult one. Ahead, see 10 dinnerware sets that look way more expensive than their actual price points — which are all under $100. Dinner is served.