Look What We Found: Functional Décor That Looks Like Art

June 15, 2017

Look What We Found: Functional Décor That Looks Like Art

When you think about art for your home, you probably imagine paintings on the walls and sculptures on console tables. But the definition of art is expanding. “More people are investing in artisanal furniture, serving pieces, and textiles, instead of just paintings,” says interior designer Stephen Czeck, partner at Jen Going Interiors and co-founder of Going Home. That means the chair you sit on and the plates you eat from can be art, too.

The idea is to find special pieces that don’t look mass-produced but are also functional. You want a marriage of high-quality materials, such as reclaimed wood or textiles, with skilled “maker” techniques, like glassblowing or carving, says Summer Wick, marketing project manager at Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. and owner of Cascade Vintage & Co. in Camas, WA. And when it comes to practicality, think about how each item serves your lifestyle. These finds should spark your inspiration.

Handblown Bowl

“A handblown glass piece is like a snowflake,” Czeck says. “No two are the same.” This freeform bowl is a stunning, one-of-a-kind centerpiece for a coffee or dining table. His advice: “Fill it with something neutral and earthy, and let the colors of the bowl be the star.”

Ash Wood Serveware

This set has a rustic look that emphasizes the natural grain in the wood, which can help anchor your décor. “Every table, no matter how styled and dressed, should be grounded with an earthy element,” Czeck says.

Stoneware Dinnerware

Crafted by renowned British stoneware brand, Royal Doulton®, this dinnerware set has cachet and fine craftsmanship in a chic, go-with-anything palette. “The line motif looks individually drawn, which makes each piece look handcrafted,” Czeck says. Yet, it’s also dishwasher and microwave safe, making it casual enough to use frequently.

Glassblown Vase

This glassblown vase is both eye-catching and balanced in its design. “Simple white accents are always so fresh and clean,” Czeck says. “Put this vase in a minimalist room to accentuate simplicity or with a lot of bold colors and patterns to tone down the palette.”

Nail-head Accent Sofa

The clean lines and squared arms look current, while the nail-head trim looks custom. But what Wick loves most is the fabric. Linen is popular with textile artists and furniture makers alike for its durability and versatility. “It doesn’t pill or shed like some other fabric, and it’s known to be mildew-resistant,” she says. “It also ages beautifully and gets softer with use.”

Handwoven Throw

Artfully handcrafted, one side of this throw has a coarser flat weave and sharper stripes, and the other is fuzzier with softer, watercolor-inspired stripes. “I like things that last,” Wick says, “and that means choosing colorways that will transcend time. Black and white is that perfect duo.” Design tip duly noted.


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