How To Decorate With Pottery In Your Home

Home styling preferences will vary, but pottery will always add a rich look to your home. Be inspired by the slopes, arches, and patinas you discover. Pottery will be at home regardless of texture, shape, or size. Pottery is no stranger to interiors. Different types of ceramic art have been around for a long time since the Neolithic period. Although ancient, pottery is popular as ever, and antique human creations are still flourishing in homes today, per Deneen Pottery.

From the more contemporary forms to the earthy pieces, you can incorporate pottery onto the shelves and tables in your dwelling and infuse your living space with your unique personality. Whether you decorate with flea market finds or curated collectibles, these home accessories can be functional and aesthetically pleasing. Here are some beautiful ways to style pottery around the house for decorators who may already have some pieces or those just starting a collection of their own. There is no limitation to decorating with pottery and there are many ways to layer these timeless pieces into an interior. Find a few of your favorite inspirations for decorating with pottery below.

Give smaller pieces a place at the table

Coffee tables and bookshelves aren't the only places to display pottery. Whether you use it daily or for special occasions, your dining table offers unique decorating opportunities. Not only does the dining area naturally draw the eye, but a table is a perfect place for collectibles when there is no theme. Take decorating with delicate ceramics a step further and use some beautiful pottery to create the stylish centerpiece you've always dreamed of in the place you enjoy meals.

Instead of decorating with fancy vases with branches and blooms, hunt down a beautiful pottery piece. Consider decorating the flat surface with a shallow, low-lying piece of pottery like this stoneware dish from Joss and Main. Additionally, you can dress the pottery up or down by filling the vessel with potpourri, woven decorative spheres, or any filler that fits the vibe. Not only does natural stoneware or earthenware ceramic inject the atmosphere with warmth, but shorter decorations will anchor the design without getting in the way of conversations taking place around the table. Per Style by Emily Henderson, you want to keep the dining room centerpieces 15 inches or shorter, so everyone has a clear view across the table.

Arrange pottery artfully on a shelf

Are you struggling with decorating empty shelves in your home? Finding all the right pieces to fit together on the shelves can be puzzling. One way to expertly fill the ledges in style is by adding some pottery to the area. Make your pottery visible by staging a few favorite pieces for all to see. You can even update the vessels and rearrange them whenever you feel ready for a change. Before you add pottery to each shelf high and low, consider how you will place each ceramic. You want what you put in this area to be curated with intent and in a way that does not appear cluttered.

According to Becki Owens, pottery looks best on open shelving when it's grouped. Display groupings with styles, colors, and shapes close to one another or in small sets of three or more. Nestle multiple ceramic pieces (as long as they fit) amongst the family photographs, sculptures, and book stacks that line the shelves. Whether you have open-style shelving, a sideboard with glass doors, or a bookcase, you should plan to elevate your space by placing pottery on the shelves in small collections. These wall ledges are a fabulous place for you to stage beautiful arrangements of decorative pottery that brings a personal narrative to the walls of your home.

Go for neutrals

Are you thinking about decorating the inside of your home with neutral hues? Ceramics are an ideal place to start. Whether you consider yourself a maximalist, minimalist, farmhouse fanatic, or all things traditional, decorating with pottery in warm, earthy neutrals will complement any interior preference. The subtle shades can create calm in a colorless space or add softness to rooms with bolder shades. 

Adopt a simple approach to decorating with neutral pottery in the living areas and bedrooms, as even modest creations can elevate even the most mundane interiors. "Ceramics don't have to be a big, loud feature piece," Kelly Hoppen, interior designer, and author, told The Study. "Neutrals are always a fantastic place to start — grays, beiges, and taupes as well as off-white. I love simple little vases, bowls, and ornaments as they make such lovely little touches. I particularly love using white ceramics in the bathroom." Liven up beige, brown, and gray tones with stoneware, earthenware, or clay ceramics you pick for your living room, bathroom, or entryway.

Stagger the sizes for better flow

If you're wondering how to style multiple pieces of pottery together in one area of the house, the starting point is right here. All of the ceramics you bring together will contribute to a successful and cohesive design. Aim to pique the interest of any onlookers by corralling different decorative styles, eclectic combinations of shapes, and varied materials of pottery with one another at alternating levels.

When decorating the shelves (or tabletops) with more than one item, there is a technique you can use to achieve a professionally styled aesthetic. It's all about the sizing. "Be sure to use objects and ornaments of different sizes across the shelving so you have movement," Emma Deterding, founder of Kelling Designs, told Homes & Gardens. "Grouping a larger item with a medium and smaller item will not only keep the grouping, but will create a flow for your eyes to travel with." For the best design outcome, build your look around the largest piece. Stagger the stoneware next to each other in small groups and find a combination of small, medium, and large-sized pottery that will balance the visual flow in your space or across the wall.

Choose interesting shapes

Sometimes all you need for stand-out decor is a unique silhouette (or a few) to add the perfect amount of visual stimulation to the environment. Lucky for you, there is a ceramic shape perfect for accessorizing every home. What sculpts of pottery you choose for your dwelling will directly impact the atmosphere you manifest inside, as the right pairing of curves can draw your eye around the room and make the design more fluid.

Successfully decorate with a range of pottery in varied forms by considering what shapes already exist in the room and repeating the dominant one in several pieces, per Beautiful Home Decor. You can take your pick from any cylindrical, round, rectangular, curved, conical, organic, abstract, or handmade structures from Pottery Barn or West Elm. Decorating with a varied collection of different forms will help create staggered vignettes that increase dimension across an otherwise flat surface. Don't forget to note where the ceramic will be placed and mind any space constraints before purchasing pieces. For example, the area will vary from an enclosed bookcase to an entryway table that can accommodate larger pieces. When filling the shelves and tabletops, choose your ceramic forms wisely and focus on shapes that complement the aesthetic.

Collect with purpose

By collecting pottery, you are curating delicate, one-of-a-kind decorations for your home. The best way to gather pottery is to dive in and start, but you should aim to collect pieces with a purpose and discover items that intrigue you. While you may love the patina, glaze, or handcrafted quality, the refreshing change of pace the pottery brings to your decor is attracting you. "People needed to go back to basics, tangible things that give a feeling of security," Cristina Grajales told 1stDibs. "And what can be more basic than taking in your hands something created from a piece of earth?"

Tailor your home to your sense of livability and surround yourself (and guests) with handcrafted ceramics that you feel good about and make a big statement. "The growing interest in art pottery is an acknowledgment of the importance of craftsmanship, quality, and individuality — and the rejection of mass production," Lucy Vaughan, co-founder of Vaughan Designs, told Country Life. Handcrafted items enrich the home with beauty and purpose.

Make your own pieces

Can't find the perfect pottery for your home? Take a risk and put your artistic skills to the test. When the decor you seek is too expensive, non-existent, or out of stock, customize a ceramic to decorate the walls and tabletops. What decoration is more personalized than a piece of clay you formed yourself? With some imagination and the right supplies, you can be well on your way to filling the shelves in your residence with beautiful handcrafted objects you can be proud of — no experience required. They can also make for great conversation starters.

Getting started at home is easier than you think, as long as you have the necessary supplies like clay, molds, a potter's wheel, and extra tools. When handcrafting pottery at home, it's essential to find a type of clay you can bake at low temperatures, such as Raku or earthenware clay. The specific style of clay ensures it doesn't crack as it hardens and bakes, per Creek Road Pottery. Once you gather supplies, the decision-making power to form a ceramic in any style of silhouette, shade of color, or size rests within your imagination. Celebrate the craft and decorate your space with pottery that will outlast any trend simply because it has more meaning to you.

Fill it with foilage

A great way to inject natural color and life into your home is by incorporating organic features like potted plants and flowers. Consider decorating with greenery inside the pottery pieces you have around the house. You can turn any piece of pottery (from the smallest to the largest) into a stunning floral arrangement by adding your favorite blooms or faux stems. Choose one or fill your home with a combination of organic and artificial plant life — the decision is yours.

You'll need to choose the right type of ceramic if you decorate with flowers or indoor plants that need watering and soil maintenance. To begin with, the ceramic must be the correct size for the plant and its roots, so ensure it's tall and deep enough for the style of greenery. Secondly, not all pottery is for holding actual plants, as it is more than likely missing the required drainage holes at the bottom. If you're willing (and the piece is without holes), you can try to drill holes into the base with the right masonry bit and powered drill, per DIY & Houseplants with Brittany Goldwyn. This trick will allow you to use the ceramic as you intended without worrying about pooling water or removing the plant from the container.

Let them stand alone

Are you seeking a distinct decorative element for your home? Pottery is the home accessory you have been looking for! Sometimes the right pottery pieces can just be by themselves. "They don't have to do anything," Christine Stucker, a founder of Stewart-Schafer interior design studio, told The New York Times. Don't fill it, don't pair it, just simply let it be. Glance around your dwelling and find ways to include more empty ceramics — no filler needed.   

Placement is essential when decorating with empty pottery pieces. Stage your empty ceramic solo on a shelf, a countertop, or a table without any decor inside to compete with other features or textures. If the first time isn't successful, try moving the unfilled vessel to different areas of the house until you find the perfect spot. The whole point is to let the piece stand alone as a focal point. "They really add a layer of warmth and richness," Stucker continued. Balance the space on your walls and create a timeless profile with pottery that introduces drama.

Choose the right material for the outdoors

While it may be nice to have a sanctuary inside your home, sometimes it's good to have an outdoor oasis. Pottery isn't just an interior decorative item — it can be equally as impressive outdoors. Include ceramics on the lanai, front entry, or backyard, just as long as you pick a material to weather the outdoor elements. Several substances can accommodate exterior conditions and deliver an earthy, grounded appearance, including terra cotta, glazed ceramic, fiberglass, fiberstone, or concrete, per Backyard X-Scapes.

Pottery is one of those decorative accessories that have the ability to enhance your interior design style now or in the future. This design element has permanently made a place for itself on shelves, mantels, and table tops in homes of all styles. Through decisive material choices, neutral color palettes, handcrafted creations, and a variety of shapes and different-sized groupings, you can style pottery in your home that will always be trending.