Accents of Color and Form: Ceramic Vases
One of the most beautiful ways to add nuance to the decoration of a room is via ceramics, especially vases. They come in myriad colors and often in hues that would be impossible to have in a room any other way. Hence, their great color, shape, and texture serve as accents and bring focus to a room.
I am reminded of a pair of bright orange cylinder vases once belonging to Betsy Whitney that now reside at my loft, and how such a relatively small object adds such a great deal to the decoration. Even with the omnipresent presence of red and orange in retail settings, the color of ceramic objects this bright would be tough to handle in large doses, save in a fast food restaurant.
Also, I like the clarity of introducing modern forms and classic Asian shapes. In my decidedly traditional apartment in New Orleans, we have a group of free form vases in matte glazes that add welcome modern contrast. Right now, a small green modern example contrasts with a fine early 19th-century bottle vase with a purple, magenta and blue glaze. I challenge anyone to make another decorative object look good in these colors.
The seemingly random placement of vases in a room adds an enlivening impromptu quality. Smaller vases are particularly good for these kinds of arrangements and if they hold even a single specimen flower, a small branch or even a leaf, further life is added.
There are many wonderful sources for vases. Price matters little—it’s about the qualities the object possesses and how it transforms everything around it.
- Global Table: a great mix of pieces, with many good values to be found
- Joel Chen’s C Vault, 8590 National Blvd., Culver City, CA 310-559-2435: Simple pieces, but of the richest sort and lots of great Chinese porcelain
- Chinese Porcelain Company: of the highest quality, many antiques with a modern feel