05/30/2012 03:29 pm ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

Tablecloths, Punch Bowls And 8 Other Housewares That Are Going 'Extinct'

I love checking out pretty accessories and glossy serving pieces in the department stores more than anybody -- don't get me wrong. But, recently, while chatting with a friend of mine who is finding it difficult to stash all of her newly acquired wedding gifts in her one-bedroom apartment, a thought entered my head: There are so many entertaining 'staples' that we are dictated to own, but they are barely used in a modern home.

"Do I really need a punch bowl?" my friend asked me. I was stumped. I guess there may come a day when she would want to mix up a fruity concoction for a party and ladle it out of a crystal bowl for her guests... but the chances were slim. Is it better advice to collect fewer, more versatile pieces than several specialty items that will sit and collect dust except for on rare special occasions?

I'm beginning to think that owning many of these items is old-fashioned and that there's now a trend to pare down and simplify our collection of entertaining gadgets. This may be due to limited storage, or possibly it's in line with a more casual lifestyle, or simply because we are more interested in the food we're serving than what it's served in! I have rounded-up several items that I think I can pass on for these reasons. Let me know if you think you can live without them too.

Editor's Note: Please keep in mind that, as with all decor topics, we all have our own opinions. This article was based on research about general product trends -- your must-have list may differ. And while we encourage discussion, civility is more important than, ahem, a crystal champagne flute.

Extinct Housewares

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