Antiques dealer Jill Fenichell discovered the perfect formula for chaos: Combine precious porcelain with precious family. (And don’t mix well.) So she started making her own tableware, a combo of tough materials and timeless motifs and patterns of her own design. Now her company—Bongenre—turns out sturdy melamine plates, platters, cups and bowls that don’t crack under pressure or compromise on style: Bold geometric patterns conjure a hot night in Tangier; white flowers on a blue background make spring arrive early; an intricate, multicolored star inspired by stained-glass windows and mandalas travels a spiritual route from West to East. Let the soccer balls fly, let the dog off the leash. Bon genre means “good style” in French and “easy living” in any language.

Pass on the Zap

Unless you want your plates looking more like Frankenstein’s monster than fair maiden, be sure to keep melamine ware away from the stove, oven, and microwave.