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How to decorate your home with vintage ceramics


Don’t relegate your vintage ceramics to the bathroom and kitchen! Beautiful and versatile, vintage ceramics can be introduced into every room in the house – you don’t need large collections of pottery vessels either; sometimes simply swapping out door knobs and drawer handles is enough. Here, we show you how each room in your home can be given a vintage twist.

Ceramics in the entrance hallway

Walls are often overlooked when choosing display areas for vintage ceramic pieces but a collection of vintage plates or ceramic tiles will create visual impact and interest when wall mounted on plate hangers. Create an eclectic mix, or group by colour or design, for maximum style factor. The hallway or landing can also be the perfect showground for vintage mirrors which will instantly lighten those traditionally dark spots in the home. A hallway table or console stand will showcase a pretty vintage ceramic vase and, filled with seasonal blooms, will instantly transform the space and offer the perfect welcome to your guests. Or why not pair a decorative vase with an ornamental vintage plate on a stand to add real character and atmosphere to your entrance?

Ceramics in the lounge

There is nothing to say that vintage ceramic pieces have to be displayed in groups or in isolation, and often single pieces can look stunning placed among the more mundane. On a bookcase or in a cabinet, try interspersing individual items between books and picture frames. An occasional table will showcase a collection of vintage ceramic figurines, while a side table can happily house a vintage ceramic reading light.

Ceramics in the dining room

Set your table for afternoon tea with a vintage ceramic tea set or create your own ensemble with assorted cups and saucers. This way, your mismatched pieces will not go to waste and will group together beautifully. Vintage plates can be screwed together to create an individual cake stand and as an alternative centrepiece, group together a selection of ceramic figurines, trinket dishes and vases. An outwardly random assortment, if coordinated within the room’s tonal palette will create a tasteful vignette of texture and size. Similarly, a selection of succulent plants, arranged in vintage earthenware will provide an alternative focal point for your table.

Ceramics in the kitchen

Contemporary homes often cannot accommodate the large kitchen dressers that were favourites of our parents and grandparents although these are the perfect foil for a fabulous collection of vintage ceramic teapots, jugs and plates. However, if you don’t have the space, don’t despair! Floating, open shelves can be arranged with your vintage china - simply use plate stands for your favourite pieces and create depth and texture by intermingling with jugs or vases.  Adding a vintage twist to your home doesn’t have to involve large collections. In the kitchen, use vintage tiles as a splash back or as a trivet or coaster. Small vintage preserving jars will add the perfect touch to a windowsill and can be planted with herbs, or why not use a vintage stoneware crock as a utensil caddy? And if your love of vintage teapots does not extend beyond one or two examples, don’t hide them away – stand them near the kettle and use them!

Ceramics in the bedroom

Transform your bedroom into a vintage haven easily with the addition of beautifully styled ceramic pieces. A collection of vintage porcelain trinket dishes will grace any dressing table while a vintage pottery table lamp will cast a warm glow after dark. Guest bedrooms can be set with a tray of vintage porcelain tea cups and saucers for a romantic feel. With the addition of a vintage teapot, your guests may struggle to get up in the morning! Don’t be deterred from using your mismatched vintage china cups either, simply fill with scented wax for a vintage inspired candle. Art deco perfume bottles add a feminine touch to a bedroom and displayed with vintage photo frames and silver will bring a new dimension to your bedroom styling.

Ceramics in the bathroom

Beyond towels, the bathroom (master, ensuite or guest) is often overlooked when accessorising a home, and yet it can be a great backdrop for vintage ceramic pieces. A simple shelf will house a collection of vintage ceramic dishware, while vintage ceramic pots can be used as a great alternative for storing toothbrushes and soaps. Vintage porcelain drawer handles and door knobs are a quick and easy way to add a vintage touch while a coordinating ceramic light pull will draw the look together. As with any room in the house, the addition of a posy of flowers in a vintage ceramic vase or milk jug will elevate a bathroom, while a porcelain pitcher and bowl will add a truly antique touch.

Ceramics in the garden

When we think about ‘vintage’, it conjures up certain images which translate in the garden to informal planting which is unstructured with mixed borders and scrambling climbers. Vintage ceramic pieces are the perfect complement to this kind of outdoor space with butler sinks making fabulous planters. Glazed vintage earthenware pots look fantastic in colour coordinated groups, spilling over with flowers, while vintage ceramic teapots can be used to plant annuals and sit atop a ceramic tile-topped bistro table. Hung on ribbon and suspended from trees, or attached to a plain wall, vintage teacups look pretty and will lend year-round colour. 

If you are looking to add some vintage appeal to your home and garden, Hemswell Antique Centres offer a one-stop shop. Our online site lets you browse by category and period and if you are looking for a specific piece, we can reach out through our Dealer Portal to source it for you. Or why not come and browse our centres in person – the perfect place for style and design inspiration, for every room in the house. 

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