Lola Acrylic Tray
jcpenney.comThis sunny acrylic tray will be your new best friend for the summer. Pile it up with appetizers, or use it as a drink tray and serve up freshly-squeezed lemonade.
To buy: Lola Acrylic Tray, $32 at JC Penney
worldmarket.comNothing says dining al fresco like aqua and coral colored platters, complete with nautical designs like a crab and anchor. When the food is gone and the plates are clean, no need to hide them away! They make great home decor as well.
To buy: Rectangular Seascape Platters, $15.98 for a set of 2 at World Market
Fish Oval Platter
surlatable.comWe love this playful platter for summertime -- it's especially great for pool parties or lakeside picnics. The durable terra cotta is resistant to chips and scratches, so no need to save it for special occasions.
To buy: Fish Oval Platter, $26.99 at Sur La Table
Claudia Pearson Dog Plates
westelm.comBrooklyn artist Claudia Pearson is the designer behind these adorable Dachshund plates. Inspired by "family, friends, and great food," we can't get enough of her summertime designs. These are just waiting to be used at a barbecue!
To buy: Claudia Pearson Dog Plates, $16 each at West Elm
Oliver Tomato Balloons Appetizer Plate
cb2.comThis whimsical plate is part of a collection called Oliver, which consists of multiple seasonal appetizer plates as well as a few fun martini glasses. All of the plates feature a unique mixed-media design, combining black hand sketch with color photo. At only $1.95 a plate, it's worth collecting them all!
To buy: Oliver Tomato Balloons Appetizer Plate, $1.95 at CB2
Lotta Serving Tray
fishseddy.comThis elegant dish by Brooklyn designer Lotta Jansdotter has us dreaming of throwing a garden party. The deep blue and white color palette, as well as the poppy-like flowers, make for a truly stunning serving platter.
To buy: Lotta Serving Tray, $22.95 at Fishs Eddy
Marin Flora Platter
Leafy fronds complement a white background in this nature-inspired collection by Crate & Barrel. The freeform rim will make these pieces stand out among your servingware, and its versatility is great for summertime -- use these for family dinners in addition to fancier food occassions.
To buy: Marin Flora 12.5" Platter, $29.95 at Crate & Barrel
Rob Ryan Plates
modcloth.comArtist Rob Ryan gives this set of dishes a fanciful look in cobalt blue and white. Each ceramic plate shows a natural scene with a sweet, thought-provoking note -- like “Other planets cannot be as beautiful as this one.” Scalloped edges with tiny heart detailing complete the look.
To buy: Living a Foodie-Tale Plate Set, $45.99 at ModCloth
Custom Melamine Plates
etsy.com/shop/lucybellandcompanyAdd instant chic to a party with these playful, personalized serving plates. A colorful monogram decks the center, and a chevron pattern in a contrasting color rounds out the punchy look.
To buy: Custom Monogrammed Melamine Serving Plates, $24.50 at Etsy
Graphic Marimekko Tray
crateandbarrel.comGet a bold, black-and-white look with this substantial tray from Crate & Barrel’s Marimekko shop. The striking design comprises concentric rings of white dots on a black background, against which colorful food or cocktails are sure to pop.
To buy: Marimekko Fokus Tray, $89 at Crate & Barrel
momastore.orgNow here’s a conversation starter: These plates from the MoMA Store were meant to look like talk bubbles from Japanese comics. The set of three comes with one large and two small versions.
To buy: Chat Plates, $34.95 at MoMA Store
Floor Plan Platters
fishseddy.comWhether you’re entertaining in an apartment or a house -- or any arrangement in between -- serve snacks or sweets on this cheeky Fishs Eddy platter. The white piece serves as a backdrop for a graphic black floor plan depicting a penthouse layout.
To buy: Floor Plan Penthouse Platter, $36.95 at Fishs Eddy
Giraffe Tray Set
2modern.comSet out three different types of sweets or snacks on this tray set, which depicts segments of a yellow giraffe against a graphic background. Thomaspaul rendered the playful set in melamine for a modern look that references traditional china styles but is far from stuffy.
To buy: Thomaspaul Bazaar Giraffe Tray Set, $66 at 2Modern
Marimekko Pieni Unikko Tray
crateandbarrel.comMarimekko’s Unikko -- the Finnish word for poppy -- has been its most popular print since it was introduced. Get the floral look in a variety of color palettes on this rectangular serving tray from Crate & Barrel’s Marimekko shop.
To buy: Marimekko Pieni Unikko Tray, $63 at Crate & Barrel
Curved Chip and Dip Server
For a cool, modern look, serve chips and dips in this sleek, two-part server from Villeroy & Boch. A single curving line defines the form of the white porcelain piece.
To buy: Villeroy & Boch New Wave Eye-Catcher Chip and Dip Server, $172 at Bloomingdale’s