It would be interesting to determine the prevailing taste today with regard to china styles. Obviously there are no scientific studies available to come to a definitive conclusion, but by studying what china companies manufacture today, we can judge what their research indicates are today’s popular styles.
It would seem that there are two distinct markets: bridal and everyone else. Bridal china patterns are tilted heavily toward plain white or white with platinum trimmings. The simpler, the less “scribbled up”, the better for the new homemaker. The belief is that with less design on them, these dishes are more flexible, allowing for more mixing and matching as well as being dressed up or down as per the occasion.
The general market is more varied. There is much more color and allowance for pattern-defining design, even if it makes it more formal and locks it into it’s own pattern. The trend also seems to be tilting toward environmental and scenic motifs instead of lines and symmetrical patterns common to old china patterns.
Royal Doulton Carlyle is an example of a beautiful but heavily designed pattern, while Lenox Maywood goes easily with many patterns and occasions. Bing and Grondahl Seagull was an early forerunner of the environmental style and has maintained consistent strong popularity on the dinnerware replacements market.
So what do you like? Simple, versatile and understated? Or color, design and boldness? Either way china dishes, active and discontinued, can meet your needs.