My Delight with White (Ceramics)

By Kate Riley April 25, 2012

I was at Marshalls the other week and found myself yet again drawn to the aisle with the shapely white ceramics on sale.  I ended up buying a pitcher, a large sculptural bowl, and vase, all for $20 (woot!) and all because I didn’t have that particular white piece in that particular shape.  I have deemed my obsession with white ceramic objects  a sickness and I feel no shame in the affliction.    

white ceramics bhg

via Better Homes & Gardens


They’re just so simple, so stylish, and so versatile.  I love how Nicole has her collection above her media center in her family room.

meohmy white ceramics above media

via Me Oh My


Doesn’t Nester’s collection look lovely in her painted hutch?  And I’m so in love with her bookpage swag too. 

nester white ceramics

via Nesting Place


I am constantly drawn to compotes and basket weave versions.  

white ceramics bhg

via Better Homes & Gardens


Pitchers and cake plates and scalloped edges?  Yes, please.

white dishes country living

via Country Living


Layered against a dark backdrop?  Hello gorgeous!

white dishes martha stewart

via Martha Stewart


For us ladies who lunch, who potluck, and entertain, we all know that placing our baked goodies or nibbles on top of white pedestals or inside white platters is a sure way to present the food at its best (and complement the hostess’ display too).

white platters on dish rack

via Country Living


What I love so much about collecting white ceramic objects is that you can mix old and new in any way you like just as modern vases pair with vintage teapots in this bookcase below (and how fab is that orange background?).  

white ceramics bhg bookcase

via Better Homes & Gardens


It seems even Ms. Sarah is a fan, judging by the display in her summer cottage kitchen.

sarah richardson cottage kitchen white ceramics

via Country Living


If you’re looking to add some white objects to your collection, West Elm is a great resource and always has a few new pieces every season.

west elm white ceramics

Pure White Vases via West Elm

Home Goods, Michaels, and Target always have a few to choose from, and I’ve also picked up a lot of pieces at yard sales and thrift stores too.  Martha Stewart has an entire line of whiteware at Macy’s.  I love Jonathan Adler’s white ceramic animals, they’re whimsical and fun.  For milk glass or ironstone or creamware, I shop antique stores and flea markets for vintage pieces to add to my growing collection I store in my hutch (remind me to add a picture to this post…)  

Are you as addicted to sculptural white ceramic objects too?  Do commiserate with me so that I do not feel alone.   Where’s your favorite place to snag the good ones?

* * * * *

P.S.  There’s a new post up over at Centsational Style – it’s all about ten ways to add style to your bookcase.   I think I should add a grouping of white ceramics as tip #11! 




  1. I am officially obsessed with white ceramic pieces. AJ doesn’t understand when I come home with another, he thinks it looks exactly the same as the rest. Obviously, it looks completely different to me. :)

  2. I love white ceramics too! We don’t have a lot of extra storage space, so I keep mine on top of my white cabinets. They sort of pop against the pale yellow walls, but I think it will be even prettier if I can ever get the walls painted gray!

    Beautiful images today! Can’t wait to head over to Centsational Style and read the latest!

  3. I’m guilty of trying to talk brides into switching their registry if I find out they have registered for anything other than white ceramic dishes. You can mix and match tons of different brands and the options to dress them up with different linens and serving pieces are endless.


  4. I love the look of white ceramics too. I needed about 8 more “white ceramic” pieces pronto to fill the upper glass cabinets in my new kitchen. (Like the cabinets in the top pic of this post) I went to Goodwill found 8 vases/pitchers//compotes that were all about 8 inches tall and spray painted them a matte white. This was to be a temporary fix for an open house but they look so good they have been there a year!

  5. I completely am in love with the color white, and white ceramics also. The best bargain I ever found was at Target one year. All for $10 each. Wish I’d have bought more.

  6. Inspiring. Makes me want to start scouting Goodwill for white ceramics, paint the stuff I have and like with white spray paint, then empty some bookshelves, and arrange the lovelies against a tangerine wall as per that one BHG photo you show. Great idea for economy-home-staging.

  7. Can’t go wrong with white ceramics! I would say thats a completely healthy obsession:) Marshalls always has great options too. I’ve also found some good finds at TJ Maxx as well!

  8. As my boyfriend recently pointed out to me – I am obcessed with cake plates right now. I haven’t found the perfect one – yet – so I still haven’t made a purchase.

    The funny thing…I don’t even like to bake! However I am planning to turn it into a teranium. And then if I ever do develop a penchant for baking I’ll be prepared.

  9. Oooh, love all the eye candy. I love white ceramics too, I need to go check out some thrift stores and build up my collection!

  10. White ceramics and milk glass are my favorites!! I especially love the knobby ones for their texture and flared edges for their whimsy! I have a hutch solely dedicated to my white ceramics that I have mainly picked up for garage sales and a few antique stores. It overflows because I can’t stop!

  11. I am loving all things white myself! I am doing all white furniture in my office. And, I am looking for a white pierced jar for my entryway. If you know of a place, please share. ; )


  12. I’m glad I’m not the only one with this addiction! In the two and a half short years I’ve been married, I’ve already amassed quite a collection… and I’m not stopping anytime soon. =)

  13. Yup, me too from the collectibles to dishware…
    we are having a party and I want it to be casual and elegant…so I have been collecting white plates at thrift stores to mix and match….at one store I got 8 beautiful white plates for $1.99!
    Now I am on the lookout for more…another collection!

  14. Another lovely inspiration and idea from CentsationalGirl !!

    When we move into our new home; I just look up for an inspiration here (in you blog), definitely !

    Thank you !

  15. Im obsessed too! My husband is having a hard time adjusting though…He’s like “I don’t know about all this WHITE!”
    OH WELL…..He’ll have to adjust:)

  16. You have just given me something new to be obsessed with. WHITE ceramics!
    Have been wanting a hutch/buffet to display my grandmothers china and now I know what else I want in there. Fortunately I live about 100 yards away from a T.J. Maxx which is both awesome and very dangerous but they have the best deals on this kind of thing.
    Can’t wait to start my collection!

  17. I remember when I used to think white dishes were boring…no longer. I love them and I really enjoyed seeing all the pictures. I love, love that bookpage swag…I’m going to have to explore that a bit more.

  18. I love milk glass, and have found some fantastic pieces at our local thrift shops, for almost nothing. Since they are for display or flowers only, I don’t worry too much about the insides, and they look great in the china cabinet. Love these arrangements, I think I’ll take some tips for improving mine!

  19. Haha, I own very little white ceramics but I actually want more! My decor and quilts tend to be so colorful, white looks really good against it.

  20. totally understand you because I am an addict too! I go to all the places you mentioned and I adore Jonathan Adler and scored a bunch when his stuff was on clearance on hsn (here are some of the things I got I also have a display cabinet in my kitchen with my white ceramic collection but I have no picture, I adore milk glass and I usually score them at a better price at my local GOODWILL store. :-)

  21. I’m usually more of a bright color person, but those collections were all so beautiful. I think I might have to start with a small one and see where it goes.

    Also, is “woot” a Canadian thing? I’ve neve heard it before in NYC, but I’ve been coming across it in blogs from our neighbors to the north. It sounds like a fun word; what does it mean?

    • Ha, Jeri, that’s so funny! I use “woot” just as an exclamation of “so cool”, kinda like the “awesome” we all said in the 90s… :)

  22. Yes, I’ve been obsessed since I was a little girl. But maybe that’s because my parents are antique lovers/collectors?

  23. White is the color of purity. Brides wear white in many countries, because white symbolizes a virgin. White means kindness. In some cultures white is worn at funerals. White is Monday’s color. White daisies are a symbol of loyal love. Thanks for sharing this!

  24. Yes, there is something about a collection of monochromatic objects that looks really effective and just wow. I think you would like the work of ceramic artist Gwynn Hansen Piggott. She makes sculptural works that she calls ‘Still Life’ and they are just so beautiful. She groups arrangements of bottles and bowls (that she makes herself) into arrangements that are just exquisite, with their muted colors they evoke an air of quiet calm reflection. Check her out

  25. Most of the items are not ceramics, they are porcelain. I paint on white porcelain objects with china paints and they are fired in a kiln. I don’t do ceramics. If your pieces are heavy they are probably ceramic material but if they are light and you can see light through some of the thinner ones, they are porcelain pieces.

  26. I completely agree!! When I doubt and pretty much always–I buy white! I love white ceramics!

  27. I have to admit to not really giving white objects much thought until I read this blog – but by the time I was finished, you have almost made me into a believer. I loved all your illustrations. I tend to lean more toward Celadon pottery myself, but I have to admit – I am liking the white!!

  28. I love white ceramics too. Platters, serving trays, and fruit bowls are some of my favorites. Add a pedestal to any of them and I swoon. Costco and Crate and Barrel are some of my favorite spots to find them.

  29. This post is exactly what I needed to complete my friend’s living room mood board. The white ceramics against the orange wall from BH&G is exactly what I had in my mind for her fireplace/built-ins wall. THANK YOU! Cheers, MGal

  30. Such pretty things Kate..and white goes with anything..I’m still crying over my vintage white milk glass pedestal that my kitten decided to jump on..somehow she managed to flip it all the way over and broke it in several pieces..and it was such a bargain at $4.00..oh was just a thing and she is so warm and fuzzy and she loves to sleep on top of me..much better than a plate!!

  31. Me, too! L.O.V.E. white ceramic pieces! ZGallerie is my favorite source, but I usually scour Marshalls and TJ for more budget-friendly finds. Painting the back of our built-ins around the fireplace is definitely on the project list for this year. You are so right – all of that white really pops with a bold background.

  32. The look of white is so crisp and clean. My eyes are instantly drawn to any pottery or ceramic, and a collection of white is not plain, it’s classic. Love it!

  33. I’m dying over quote “I have deemed my obsession with white ceramic objects a sickness and I feel no shame in the affliction.” ((gigl)) Ahh… A fellow obsessor. ;)

Leave a comment!

Keep the conversation going! Your email address will not be published.*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Lately on Instagram (@centsationalstyle)