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There is a kitchen island made of wood, with a wall of cabinets behind it. A high shelf above the cabinets displays a collection of objects. There is a large table with black chairs. There are many round light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. Carmen Troesser

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8 ways to show off ceramics with style

These homes are kiln it

When it comes to simple ways to spruce up your home decor, joy-sparking ceramics immediately spring to mind. That’s because they’re so versatile: Opt for functional (mugs or dessert plates), slightly more decorative (a vase or trinket dish), or something in between (like Curbed editor Megan Barber’s conversation-starting French wine jug).

Style-wise, you can choose monochrome designs for a sleeker look, or an assortment of colorful pieces for an eclectic vibe. Best of all, delightful ceramic wares are easy to find, whether at home retailers, on Etsy and Instagram shops, or on your next travel adventure.

For inspiration on how to to weave in stellar ceramics around your home, take a closer look at a few of our favorite House Calls home tours below.

Vases and other assorted objects sit on a metallic surface. in the distance is a window and a grey concrete wall. Carmen Troesser

Give each objet room to shine

With ample space and extra-tall ceilings, this remodeled loft conversion had room to shape ceramic objects into dramatic displays. As seen in the lead image of this story, a black-framed shelf above the lighter kitchen cabinets holds a museum-like collection of assorted wares. And in the image directly above, another corner of the loft home takes an avant garde gallery approach, showing off a few satisfyingly mismatched objets on a polished table.

Wooden shelves above a kitchen countertop hold various kitchen objects and appliances. There is a toaster, kettle, and other kitchen objects on the countertop. The wall is decorated in grey and white patterned wallpaper. The cabinetry is white.

Take a functional-yet-fun approach

This calming kitchen corner is a lesson in keeping it simple but fun. While the stacks of dinnerware are mostly all black or white, a few ceramic accents add a personal touch. The petite striped vase on the highest shelf offers a dash of pattern while remaining a neutral backdrop for the single orange flower to pop. The stubby fermentation jar, dark hued with a lovely sheen, takes on an almost sculptural quality.

A kitchen with light blue wall and green window trimming. The window sits above the sink and between two white shelves filled with cups, bowls, and dishes. Heidi’s Bridge

Mind your colors

Stationery designer Jesse Levison’s LA home illustrates how an unabashed love of color and pattern can manifest joyfully around the house. Here, in the kitchen, the baby-blue wall with avocado window trimming helps tie together the sprinkles of color found across an eclectic collection of ceramic wares on the shelves and counters, from vibrant tall vessels to gridded mugs and bowls to a series of decorative tiles.

A chair and lamp sit in front of built-in wooden shelves, which are filled with sculptures, art, and other objects. Morgan Rachel Levy

Give distinct pieces a neutral backdrop

While this new construction in Denver leans heavily into modern with clean lines and a neutral palette, furnishing choices help create a gentler, warmer vibe. “I’m very attracted to things that are handmade or that have an organic feel to [them],” said owner Cate, who was formerly a commercial interior designer in Australia. Case in point: the range of irregularly shaped pottery and sculptures comfortably nestled in built-in shelving around the home.

On a wooden table sits four ceramic pieces, including two vertical white pieces and two shorter colored pieces. The tallest vessel holds dried grass. Brett Bulthuis

Set the (Insta-worthy) scene

We can’t help but love an Instagram-ready decor arrangement, including this corner situation in a Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian home in Illinois. There’s just the right amount of everything visually interesting here: clean geometry, matching colors, a pop of bright pattern, and a bundle of texture in the dried grass. It all works perfectly with the warm wood table and paneled walls.

A white frame and glass cabinet sits in a room with exposed brick walls. The cabinet holds dishes, cups, and other objects. Luca Beel

Consider a minimal cabinet display

In this Belgian pub turned home, preserving its “scruffy, post-industrial” look means keeping the exposed-brick interior walls and polished-concrete floors intact. But this white cabinet, with glass doors and shelves, creates a delicate moment that shines under natural light. The arrangement of the small wares—many white but some with a print or color gradients—is unfussy, perhaps even precarious at times, which works rather well with the “cheeky irreverence” running throughout the house.

A dining area features a floor-to-ceiling wall of wooden shelves, which contain books, vases, and more. David Papazian

Make the most of your shelving

In this renovated midcentury ranch in Portland, Oregon, a wall of floor-to-ceiling plywood shelves functions as a sculpture of sorts, adding texture and depth to the space. It, of course, also offers plenty of storage. The grid of cubbies, some extended to double height, provides a flexible platform for the owner to curate and rearrange his collection of books and objects (like a quartet of bud vases).

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