Mixing it Up with Melamine

By Kate Riley April 8, 2014

This last few days of sunshine have me excited for warmer weather and for casual spring and summer table settings indoors and out. I’ve never been the matchy matchy type when it comes to dinnerware, I like to mix patterns from several sources old and new, it feels far more collected and original that way.

I’ve spent some dollars on collections of melamine plates over the years for serving up summer hors d’oeuvres or savory meals without worry. Melamine plates became popular in the 1950s and now this resin based dinnerware is again in vogue. Many retailers are now offering stylish yet practical collections of melamine plates and platters for casual appetizers, suppers, and impromptu picnics. Modern versions mimic their ceramic sisters but have the benefit of indestructability. 

A few weeks ago, I bought these melamine accent plates and last week these watercolor floral napkins in a fresh color palette with an aloha feel – together they’ll be lovely in spring and summer for dining al fresco in the courtyard.

yellow melamine blue and yellow watercolor floral


To inspire, here are a few favorite melamine plate + cloth napkin combos, layer them with your basic whites for a fresh look this season!

blue and black plate napkin


mod and jade mix


blush plate floral napkin


blue and yellow plate napkin


yellow and gray place setting


stripe and pattern plates

blue striped plate / intersect napkin / fanfare napkin / middleton platesblush plate / villa napkin / isola napkin / coral blue plate / yellow rosa plate / gray chevron napkin / striped napkin / bazaar plates/  

Are you a fan of melamine plates and platters too? Where have you found your favorites?


  1. I too have a love for melamine plates and bowls. I usually can’t resist Targets melamine dishes. They always seem to have great patterns every year. I live in so cal and the weather is turning nice and warm. You have inspired me to have our dinner on the patio tonight. Thanks!! Have a beautiful day!

  2. Our “everyday” dishes are various plain white porcelain ones from Crate & Barrel – I like how they all “match” in color/material, but the shapes and designs are a little different. But I am also a fan of melamine, and we’ve got several melamine dishes for our toddler from Target that are really fun. They’ve got some cute designs right now – woodland animals and monsters (her favorites). For grown-ups, I think I like best the ones you picture above in the smaller repeating patterns, like the yellow pattern in the first photo and the set of four in the last photo. :)

  3. esp love the new napkins you bought — on sale now too. I usually swing by the World Market plate section and Pier 1 whenever I’m in during spring months as they often have nice patterns in melamine. your post is giving me lots of fresh new ideas!

  4. I have just discovered some really nice melamine dishes from Le Cadeaux. They have some beautiful mediterranean style designs but are really pricey. I’m on the search for some reasonably priced ones.

  5. Marshall’s had some Cynthia Rowley melamine pieces last week. I snagged a big serving bowl (it’s 13.5″ in diameter!!!) for only $8. The colors are royal blue, turquoise, lime green and teal. The bowl I bought actually looks like Italian pottery. I had to pick it up in the store to learn it wasn’t pottery!

    No joke, I LOOOOOOVE this bowl! So yeah, I’m a fan of melamine.

  6. Love these! I wish I could get melamine dishes too. Unfortunately my family uses our dishes in the microwave a lot and melamine lets out a chemical that goes in your food if heated. I fell in love with the cream ones Target used to have but never got any.

  7. Love the melamine…I have seen really pretty ones, but have to pass on them. Why?!? Top Rack in Dishwasher only, and not i microwave….bummer.

  8. I love Target and Pottery Barn for melamine dishes. I have a few different sets and use them for everyday. I also purchased a set of 16 on sale at Target for parties and family get togethers. Less expensive than other types of plates and not as wasteful as paper plates. Looks a lot prettier too!

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