Handmade Home Decor and the Beauty of Imperfection

Handmade home decor and the beauty of imperfection in design is today’s topic, something that I live and breathe here at home. White walls are such a perfect backdrop for a home and a showcase for your furniture and collected handmade objects. While a white interior can be calming and relaxing, without some sort of accents it can be a bit too pristine. Using white as a background color you can accent with anything and I always preach this for all seasons!


I have a great appreciation for the handmade works of others. From vintage paintings to old architectural elements, these are the things that in this mass produced digital society can bring life to a room!

In ancient Japanese culture, the philosophy of Wabi Sabi celebrates the beauty of imperfection. When translated loosely, wabi means simplicity and sabi means the beauty of age and wear. In the tea ceremony ancient masters used bowls that were handmade, imperfect and yet highly prized.


I’m not one to follow trends on any large scale, but I try to stay au courant and share here. As a pottery major in college and beyond I fell deep for three dimensional objects. The forming of clay in your hands is so organic and every piece that you produce is one of a kind. Displaying handmade ceramics in your home is possibly not for the purist, but for those who embrace mixing vintage with modern.  Apparently as trends tend to come and go over the years, handmade home decor and pottery are back in a big way.


Form and function combined are the the lovely reasons to collect handmade ceramics. Wheel formed ceramics can be either purely decorative or serve a function. Cooking in or eating off of something handmade just seems grounding. There’s a connection with food that comes from the earth like clay.

Affiliate links may be used in this post.


5 Tips For Styling Handmade Pottery

• If displaying more than one piece, always group them in odd numbers. This is a general rule of them for styling any collection.

• When styling a grouping of pottery (or once again, any collection) use varying heights. Visual balance is achieved with with size, color and shape.

• Use pieces for purposes other than the original intent. Fill stoneware pitchers with flowers, use large bowls for fruits and consider hanging a collection of plates on the wall as art.

• Mix several pieces of handmade pottery on a bookshelf with vintage books and bottles and create a story on your shelf.

• After styling your collection of handmade pottery, step back and look and rearrange if there isn’t an organic flow to your grouping. See more about styling in this COFFEE TABLE STYLING article on the blog.



Handmade Home Decor

I’ve been sharing some of my own pottery in this post, made years ago in college. I’ll be sharing more of it in some handmade home decor and styled posts down the road. It’s been years since I’ve seen some of these pieces since they’ve been stored. I’ve just gotten them back from my mom who is now in a nursing facility.

handmade home decor ceramic soup bowl shabbyfufu

There is still the myth floating around that handmade artist pottery contains lead and cannot be eaten from. Let me assure you that most artisan ceramics made today does not contain lead. If you have any concerns be sure to inquire prior to purchase. Enjoy your pottery and although I’m not selling any of my own handmade pottery I’ve linked some favorites for purchase above.

how to style pottery

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  1. Absolutely beautiful, Janet.
    I am blessed to have a friend that is a potter and I have a few of her pieces in my home. They are just beautiful and add so much “warmth” to my home. It does take me back to the 70’s, too—a period I loved and embraced.
    Hope you have a great week- xoDiana

  2. I believe handmade never goes out of style! We vacation in Morehead City, NC and love BluSail Golitz Gallery, owned by a husband, a potter, and wife, a painter. They have helped our son do pottery from his wheelchair, they do lots of classes, paint nights, art camps for kids and adults … It is so special to have a piece in your home that brings back fond memories. I love your vessel with eucalyptus. Thanks for bringing attention to a beautiful art form!

  3. Sharon Millsap says:

    Janet, check out the documentary film (Out of the Fire) of my b-n-l, Kevin Crowe & his Tye River pottery. He builds wood kilns & follows Japanese philosophy in his production. outofthefirefilms

  4. Thanks for clearing up that myth about eating from them, because I was thinking that too when I was reading your post. I love ceramic pottery and there are so many beautiful pieces. I’m heading to NY next week and we always visit upstate NY, Woodstock and New Paltz I think those places are the mecca of pottery artists. Love your style combined with the pottery. (unique)

  5. Hi Janet, I share your passion for all art forms. I l appreciate handmade items and always marvel that two hands and a heart created them. I probably have one to many handmade coffee mugs in my cupboard but I love each one of them because of their uniqueness. Kinda like people. lol Thank you for sharing this post. I always enjoy your ideas.
    xoxo Jo

  6. I love your decor. I have have often thought about using my pottery in my home. Thanks for your information. I make my on pottery now I am excited! I can decorate with it. Thank you Connie.

  7. Own sorry I pad changed it.

  8. Glitter and Roses says:

    Hi Janet, enjoyed your post, it reminded me that I have a small collection of pottery I’ve collected while on trips It’s so beautiful and brings back so many wonderful memories, it’s coming out of the cupboard today!

    1. Glad that I inspired you to bring out the pottery again Yvonne…enjoy!

  9. Janet you are a talented lady. I can’t wait to see more of your pieces and how you incorporate them in your home


    1. Thank you so much Cindy!

  10. Janet…girlfriend…what haven’t you done? From Pottery to Mannequin design and everything in between. That white-ish vase is gorgeous! You can do so much with it. I have a raku vase that I probably need to do more with…it just hangs out on the bookshelf.

    Thanks for the inspiration my friend.

    Hugs, LYnn

    1. Playing catch-up this evening Lynn and I wanted to thank you for your kind comment! xo, Janet

  11. Norma Rolader says:

    Absolutely amazing pottery and thank you for all your tips and photos

    1. So glad that you like my pottery 🙂