Nowadays there is a mass produced version of just about anything for your home whether it’s furnishings, rugs, textiles, or accessories. They make em quick, and they make em cheap and a LOT of people buy these things. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of a day trip to Ikea and I have definitely had a few items from there in my own home (especially during college and my early twenties). But my appreciation for quality pieces, something that has a story beyond being created in a big ole factory, has really grown over the years.
One area in which I find it really easy and fun to look for amazing handmade home decor is accessories and I am lucky enough to feed that passion in all the research we do for the store as well as my design work with clients. Let’s walk through some of my favorite handmade home decor accessories, the story behind them, and how best to showcase them in your home!
Not Your Momma’s Ceramics
I took a few ceramics classes growing up and even as recently as a year ago. I cannot recommend it more - it’s so fun to get on the wheel or hand mold a few pieces. And let me tell you, your admiration for handmade ceramics will increase significantly after the fact. It is NOT an easy craft to learn...hence why we will not be talking about my personal handmade ceramics ;) but rather those of some true ceramic artists local to Southern California.
One of my favorite artists, Caroline Blackburn, makes the most stunning pieces right in her home in Studio City. These pieces are unlike anything I have seen - the colors, textures, and glazes in the pieces she creates make them the perfect statement piece for a dining table, cocktail table, or “shelfie” addition. Her pieces vary in size and shape but some of my favorites are her ruffled porcelain vases because they offer a sense of femininity in shape but their glazes have this amazing earthiness to them. We carry a few different designs at the shop. Stop in to see these for yourself!
Another fav ceramic artist of mine is Mary McDonald of Laguna Beach. Her studio is also in her home (so cool!) and her pieces are quintessential coastal California. Her black and white pieces happen to be my personal “go-to” for so many design moments. I love grouping her black and white porcelain pottery on shelves or individually as a vase for flowers on a bedside table or bathroom vanity.
This talented artist also happens to make the most adorably designed mugs - in both white and black options. They are slightly bigger than your standard mug which makes them the ideal coffee container - love me some caffeine! I have a whole set :)
Handmade Blankets to “Layer” Up
Another category of decor which is so fun to look for those really special, handmade home decor items are throw blankets. The right throw blankets can really elevate a space through their color, texture, and placement. Whenever we install one of our design projects, we put a lot of thought into the selection of the throws. We are thinking about how our clients use the space, the colors of the furnishings, art, and other accessories, AND the overall climate of the project location - are we by the beach and need some lighter weight linen throws or are we somewhere where the temperature can really drop and we may want to pull in some wool or cashmere?
We have a selection of amazing blankets that are handmade in India and pay homage to traditional weaving techniques in addition to offering the perfect touch of color and texture. Each piece incorporates organic cottons and natural dyes, passing through many hands to become the final product. And they come in varying weights so some can even act as a bed quilt and others are perfect as a throw on a sofa or layered on a ladder. I am beyond obsessed with the little pom-poms on the ends and am dreaming of they day when I can re-do my home and pop these pieces throughout! These blankets are sold exclusively at the store, so come on in to grab yours.
In need of something a bit warmer? The shop carries a handmade blanket for that, too. Meet the Lizzy Bee Throw, who is actually as cute as her name suggests. This beauty is handwoven from luxurious merino wool, and then hand felted to create an array of shapes that we simply can't get enough of. A major plus, each blanket is made at a woman's cooperative in Uruguay. An ethically, handmade product whose design is as beautiful as her story - I'll take two of each, please!
Small Batch Handmade Candles
When you find that perfect candle, you know the one with the cutest container and the best scent?...when you find that one, you don’t turn back. That candle is the House of Morrison exclusive candle collection which is made even more desirable by the fact that they are made in small batches right here in Newport Beach, California. Our fearless leader, Denise, has a sister (who also looks like her twin FYI) named Dana and Dana is the magic behind all that is our candle line. She has made candles for years, fine tuning the perfect mixture of scents, to find those delicious combinations that you keep coming back for.
My go-to is our summer scent which has the sweet and tangy scents of grapefruit and mangosteen. Even with it called our summer scent, I rock this candle all year round! It looks charming placed on a bathroom vanity, console, or bedside table given it’s adorable container and wood lid with a leather loop detail.
Now time to get going to discover your favorite handmade home decor items to enhance the design of your home! Enjoy the hunt and if you find something great - share it with us!