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Decorating with Vintage Ironstone and White Pottery

May 12, 2015

DESIGN + STYLE   |   Published May 12, 2015

Gone are the days that something truly excites me at Goodwill.  The store provided me with some unique and inexpensive finds to DIY.  Weekly visits occurred and I would always come home with something.  I'm sorry to say that while we had some good years together, those days seem to be in the past.  The prices are up, the quality is down, and nothing seems to peak my interest......with one recent exception.

My new, but not real, ironstone teapot.  Isn't she a beauty?

Decorating with an ironstone teapot |

I went into Goodwill just before Easter and saw this teapot.  But it was $6, and for me, that is just too much at a thrift shop....especially because it has some chips in it.

I went back in the next Monday, hoping that it would be 50% off.  It wasn't.

I went back in the next Monday....still full price.

I claimed that I was just trying to be patient, but my mom said I was being cheap.  She was finally tired of me talking about my teapot and gave me the extra $3 so that I could get it "half-price."

She's the best mom....but I'm not cheap :)

Finding an ironstone teapot at Goodwill |

Once I got it home and removed the large amount of packing tape holding the lid on, my suspicions were confirmed that I shouldn't have paid $6 for it.  It was really nasty dirty inside and had a big piece broken out of the base of the lid.  Convenient that the packing tape disguised all that, don't you think?

But it cleaned up nicely and you can't see the missing piece of the lid when it is inside the teapot.  I'm using it for decorating so those things don't bother me.....just confirm that Goodwill is not the bargain it used to be.

Filling a white ironstone teapot with lilacs in spring | anderson + grant

When describing my style, I would say that it leans more towards simple and neutral.  I enjoy decorating with pieces that are timeless and can be used in new and different ways as trends change.  One of my favorite things to pick up and decorate with is white "ironstone," because white can really fit into any style of decorating any time of the year.

Thrift store white ironstone teapot | anderson + grant

I've loved white dishes for quite some time.  But after following Miss Mustard Seed, I learned all about ironstone.  She really has brought it to a lot of people's attention and because her readers love her, they love ironstone and are willing to spend some cash on it.  Vintage ironstone in good condition can get to be quite pricey depending on what the piece is.

Of all the white pieces of pottery that I own, only one is real, vintage ironstone.  It is a large teapot and is beautiful and sculptural.  It has many years of history behind it and shows the crazing and cracks that come from such age.  It has value and I made an investment in the teapot when I purchased it.

But, my new teapot is every bit as nice.

Ironstone teapot with lilacs on shabby green chair

Real vintage ironstone is great to have.....but you can pick up many white earthenware pieces that are just as decorative if your budget is low.  You can even pick up pieces that aren't white and spray paint them.  If you like the look, please don't believe that you need to invest a great deal of money to get it.

I've used the faux version many times here.....

Hung on a wall.

Used in a tray.

Styled on a shelf.

Displayed on a painted table.

Filled with Christmas ornaments.

None of them are "real" vintage ironstone with a maker's mark on the bottom, but are  just as beautiful to look at.  These pieces  may not be worth as much but I love them just the same. You can easily pick up a whole collection to display and not spend a lot of long as you don't fall into the trap of believing that it it has to be true ironstone to be special.

Thrift store white teapot filled with flowers

I love both of my white teapots because they are pretty, not because of their value.

What your your thoughts?  Do you enjoy picking up white pottery for decorating?

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