The core of Modernist design philosophy is that good design makes life better. The core of my housekeeping philosophy is that my life is better when I don’t to have to hand wash any dishes. From one Atomic Era enthusiast to another, there are a few contemporary standards that I don’t want to live without:

  1. Dishwashers. As much as I love my dishwasher, it is unfortunately no friend to the fab designs on my vintage MCM barware and printed Pyrex. It’s best to hand wash pieces that have been painted or printed using non-abrasive cleaners.
  2. Microwaves. While you can test vintage ceramic and glass items to see how they handle the heat of a microwave oven, zapping your leftovers on retro plates can be dangerous for your dishes, your dinner, and your hands.
  3. Safe Materials. I think we can all agree that contemporary laws for keeping lead, cadmium and other toxic metals out of newly produced household items is a good thing. Vintage ceramics made before these laws were enacted, however, can be bought, sold, collected and used without warning of the potential toxicity in the glazes. If the glaze on your vintage dishes look cracked, crazed, or otherwise compromised, it’s safer to leave them on the shelf and off the dining table.

In the pursuit of good design and a better life, I’m looking out for dishes, glasses and cookware made in the style I love, the convenience I crave, and that also meets contemporary standards for safety.

Atomic Ranch curates the best of Mid Century Modern design to share with our readers. Some of the products you’ll see featured in this story are affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase, AR will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.


Russel Wright American Modern Dinnerware & Serveware
Available in 8 mix-and-matchable colors.

Russel Wright American Modern Dinnerware & Serveware

Russel Wright himself called his American Modern line the “little black dress” of dinnerware. The classic shapes look great on any table and are easy to dress up or down for everyday use and festive occasions. In fact, American Modern is the best selling ceramic dinnerware line in history. Bauer Pottery in California produces the line now (Stubenville Pottery produced the originals), and notes that the current glazes are free of lead and uranium.

Porcelain Speckled Dinnerware
Available in three colors.

Porcelain Speckled Dinnerware

Dansk products have been admired for their gorgeous designs for decades (you’ll see them pop up a few times in this list), and the Porcelain Speckled Dinnerware is no exception. In true Scandinavian fashion, these plates, bowls and mugs manage to be both earthy and elegant.

Dansk Kobenstyle Porcelain Dinnerware
Dansk Kobenstyle Porcelain Dinnerware comes in white with black trim

Dansk Kobenstyle Porcelain Dinnerware

We know and love the iconic Kobenstyle enameled pots, and now you can find the same look in porcelain dishes and serveware. I love how the white and black color palette is so stylistically versatile, while the unique shapes make a statement. The whole set is going on my wish list.

Barware and Beverages

Italian Classic Cocktail Glasses
Italian Classic Cocktail Glasses are available in coupe, martini, Nick & Nora, fizz, or the full bar.

Italian Classic Cocktail Glasses

Enjoy your favorite classic cocktails from an equally classic glass with these Italian-imported vintage-style vessels. You can buy each style in a set of four, or outfit your bar all at once with a set of 16 with each option included.

Italian Retro Cocktail Glasses (Set of 2)
Sold in sets of two.

 Italian Retro Cocktail Glasses

Made in Italy with lead-free glass, these glittering amber cocktail glasses look high maintenance but are actually very easy going (again, dishwasher safe!). They’ll look fantastic on your bar cart and even better in your hand with a twist of lemon on the rim.

Organic Glassware by Hawkins New York
The pitcher is sold separately and glasses are sold in sets of four in medium, tall, or flute sizes.

Organic Glassware

If our love for dinnerware designers like Russel Wright and Eve Ziesel has taught us anything, it’s that the handcrafted shapes of organic curves belong at the table. The Organic Glassware is made of sturdy borosilicate glass, so it’ll withstand high temperatures like a champ.

Liter Glass Carafe with Walnut Stop
Food52 recommends seasoning the walnut stop with food-grade mineral oil.

Liter Glass Carafe with Walnut Stop

Grab this glass carafe with its walnut stopper to go with your monkey pod salad bowls and other hand-turned entertaining accessories. While the wood stopper should never be submerged, the Italian glass container is dishwasher safe.

Porter Terrazzo Water Bottle
Porter Terrazzo Water Bottle is available in cream and blush.

Porter Terrazzo Water Bottle

Terrazzo belongs on the floor, the bed, and anywhere else we can find to put this colorful pattern. That’s why we love the Porter Terrazzo Water Bottle, the silicon cover is just as protective as it is stylish.

Coffee and Tea

Modern Danish Coffee & Tea Set from Food52
Available in light gray, dark gray, and white.

Modern Danish Coffee & Tea Set

Simple, stylish and perfect for elevating your morning cup of coffee from a necessity to a pleasure.

Dansk Kobenstyle Porcelain Teapot
This porcelain teapot is safe inside both the microwave and the dishwasher

Dansk Kobenstyle Porcelain Teapot

I shared the complete Kobenstyle dinnerware set above, but had specifically call out the tea pot because that fabulous lid and handle, modeled after Jens Quistgaard’s original 1956 designs, need more attention.

Stainless Steel Tea Service Set
While the set is dishwasher safe, keep it out of the microwave. It is made of metal, after all.

Stainless Steel Tea Service Set

I’m picking up Googie diner vibes from this stainless steel set, and I want to bring those vibes home for a cuppa.

Prep + Serving + Storage

Glass 3-Piece Mixing Bowl Set
The Glass 3-Piece Mixing Bowl Set is available in 7 colors, including the exclusive Chelsea Blue and the traditional Jadeite shade of green. While these bowls are microwave-safe, Food52 recommends against drastic temperature changes.

Glass 3-Piece Mixing Bowl Set

Ever-collectible vintage jadeite (and its colorful cousins delphite, roseite and milk glass) provides the inspiration for these mixing bowls.

Food52 X Dansk Kobenstyle Casserole is available in 2 quart and 4 quart sizes, and 7 colors. The enamel coated steel is not microwave safe.

Food52 X Dansk Kobenstyle Casserole

The best of retro cookware is not only functional, but also a worthy of display even when it’s not in use. That’s how I feel about the Kobebstyle Casserole. It’s dishwasher safe, though hand-washing is recommended, but it is safe for the oven, a variety of stovetops and in the freezer as well.

Food52 x Dansk Generations Bakeware
The Generations Bakeware collection includes the round casserole, an oval roaster, and a side dish/soup bowl. Each sold separately and available in blue or speckled white.

Food52 x Dansk Generations Bakeware

Take it back to 1968 with the Generations Bakeware collection! The speckled set is exactly the kind of stylish statement I want to see on my Thanksgiving table.

Ceramic Fondue Set
The ceramic pot is dishwasher approved, but it’s best to keep the wood pieces out of the water.

 Boska Ceramic Fondue Set

Whether you choose to go sweet with chocolate or savory with cheese, a fondue set is the retro way to make a chilly evening feel cozier.

Boston Bottle Hand-Turned Jar and Lid
Available individually in 16, 20 and 32 oz. sizes or as a complete set of three. The glass is dishwasher safe, but do not submerge wood parts.

Boston Bottle Hand-Turned Jar and Lid

The airtight lids of hand-turned walnut make these jars an attractive option to display and serve decanted provisions.

Atomic Ranch Design Issue 2020Can’t get enough of Mid Century Modern, past and present? Check out our new Design Issue

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