How To Elevate Your Space Using Ceramics by Julia Weaver

An art form handed down through generations, ceramics has played an important role in human culture for thousands of years. Coming in all shapes and sizes, it’s also a great way to bring texture and personalization into your home. From dishes and decorative pieces to flowerpots and lamps, you can choose neutral colors for an earthy look, or an assortment of colorful pieces for an eclectic vibe.

Don’t know where to start? We’ve asked artists, from Portland, OR all the way to New York, NY, to share their best piece of advice on how you can elevate your space and appeal to the senses using ceramics.

Tune into the mood you’re aiming for.

Choosing ceramics is always a very personal experience. Not only are you choosing a color, size, and shape, you are also choosing a sense of mood. Whether it is an accent piece, a custom-made design, or something you use every day, handmade ceramics will add a grounded touch to any home environment. – Big Dog Pots

Add enduring beauty with pottery.

To start, imagine which space you would like to enhance – walkways, patios, entrances, and common interior spaces are most ideal. Afterward, consider your styles and colors. Narrow-mouthed pots are great as decorative pieces ad wide-mouth ceramics work best for planting. Trending shapes include sleek cone designs and tapered square wedges. Aqua, blue, white, and matte black are colors that work well with any decor. – Ten Thousand Pots

Use pottery as centerpieces.

A uniquely textured, hand built or wheel thrown and raku fired pieces can be used as a centerpiece on your dining or coffee table, or anywhere that you wish to have a focal point or wonderful conversation starter. These pieces can be used decoratively, such as a potpourri container or perhaps a luminary. – Desert Rock Pottery

Choose pottery that speaks to you.

Your home is sacred and your personal space should speak to your soul. It should be a reflection of you, so choose shapes, colors, and textures of ceramics that are aesthetically pleasing, feel good, and function well. Pottery, like any art, should have purpose and meaning, so strive for works that have a story. The best ceramics out there are a fine balance of neutral yet refined. Ceramics are made from the earth, crafted by hand, and made into something beautiful and functional. It’s pretty amazing, why wouldn’t you want to bring a component of nature into one’s living space? – Clay + Craft

Opt for toxin-free pieces.

We’ve been handcrafting functional art since 1977 – not only is it a beautiful addition to your home, but it is also a useful tool for everyday life. When incorporating pottery into your home, especially when it will be used for dining, protect your health by choosing products that are non-toxic, lead-safe, and cadmium-safe, as many glazes and paints used in ceramics contain toxins that can be harmful to your health. – Emerson Creek Pottery

Incorporate your own creations.

Painting your own pottery gives you the opportunity to create personalized pieces that suit your style, match your other decor, and make unique, one-of-a-kind works of art to display in your home. – As You Wish Pottery

Give your pieces room to breathe. 

Displaying handmade ceramics in your home is a celebration of craftsmanship and human connection. If you’re new to decorating with ceramics, my number one tip is to give your pieces room to breathe. Ample negative space around your piece will transform it from a tchotchke to a special moment in your home. This applies to objects from small bud vases to large fruit bowls. Give it space. Create an experience. – Monsoon Pottery

Place on shelves behind you for video calls.

Ceramics and pottery would also be something that would be perfect for that “zoom meeting” backdrop. Handcrafted pottery, a lovely shapely vase or stunning pot, sitting on a shelf with some classic books would look very professional, graceful, stylish, and contemporary. My personal pottery style is colorful and joyful. Most of my work is done on mugs. I love to refer to them as holding a little bit of art in your hands. It’s the perfect way to start a day, with something happy and makes your day bright. – Yellow Cottage Studios

Begin collecting functional pieces.

Collections are not only beautiful and personal but can be multi-functional. Think about how a collection of beautiful stoneware pitchers in a variety of sizes is interesting to look at, but also serve as the perfect vases for the garden’s prized pink peonies. Or, how a display of like-toned serveware, be it all white or a mix of soft neutrals. Useful and within reach but impactful as a design element. – Kristy Kay Design

Think outside the pot.

Use handmade ceramics to enhance your home environment, reduce clutter, and express your own unique vibe – think FUNction. A beautiful bowl collects mail and keys, a tall vase centralizes cooking utensils, a serving tray corrals any counter-top grouping in a neat and tidy display, and household plants thrive in a unique clay vessel. Bring your pottery artwork out of the cupboard, and enjoy it to express your unique home style. – Clay by Laura

Pottery tells you about the artist. 

When you begin to think about filling your home with art and your kitchen with dishes, we encourage you to go straight to the source. Reach out to an art studio to begin collecting unique pots to not only adorn your walls with, but to use with each meal and celebration. Each piece of pottery has a story to tell about the person who made it; what they were influenced by, how they see the world, and ultimately who they are. – Rat City Studios

Begin by upgrading kitchen items.

Start your collection by upgrading a commonly-used item in your kitchen, like a beautiful serving bowl or a cozy new mug that fits both your hands and your personality. Then think about more items that blend function and decoration, like vases and plant pots. Or consider something like a rustic fermenting crock. It’s a great kitchen counter accent and it makes great sauerkraut. – Saltstone Ceramics

Think texture, function, personality.

Consider these questions when selecting your designs. Does it add texture? Ceramics in any area of the home add variety to any room. Utilizing mixed media design (i.e. clay against wood) can create focal points of interest when entering a space. Does it have function? Though “sitting prettily on the mantel” can certainly fall within the realm of “function”, ceramics are so versatile because they can be used everyday. Offer a guest a unique mug, put fruit in a hand painted bowl, or arrange flowers in a non-traditional vase. Having functional items can also prevent clutter and elevate the space. What does it say about you? At Anecdotes Pottery Studio, all ceramics are designed and painted by you. Let your individuality shine through your space. – Anecdotes Pottery Studio