To counteract the burgeoning world of high tech in the workplace, consumers are turning to softer, more romantic looks in the home. And nowhere is this more evident than at the dinner table.

Fruit- and garden-inspired patterns, hand-painted looks, romantic and Victorian designs and softened Southwest motifs are strong trends in dinnerware and flatware. The emerging "gracious living" customer, who is doing more entertaining at home, wants dinnerware that is both casual and elegant. Mix and match dinnerware is becoming popular for an eclectic, yet sophisticated, look.For the more traditional customer, manufacturers are offering glassware that coordinates with both new and existing dinnerware patterns. Colored glassware, particularly blue and green, is adding interest to the dinner table.