Make the Ordinary…Beautiful

“You don’t need to surround yourself with a host of material possessions in order to create a beautiful home…instead, make the ordinary beautiful.” – from Seasonal Home by Kristin Perers

I like Kristin’s idea. I like it a lot.

David Andersen, photographer

Simple blue bowl with red and yellow apples. Photographed by David Andersen.

Ordinary things CAN have such simple grace and beauty. Like a plain ceramic bowl filled with apples.  Or silverware stored in a woven basket on a counter. Or a handsome leather bin by a back door to store shoes. Or real linen napkins (instead of paper) for meal times.

Beyond the practical, we can fill a jam jar with spring blossoms, drape a favorite scarf over a chair, put an abandoned bird’s nest on a mantle, display pretty liquor bottles or glasses on a side board.  Making use of the things at hand.

I like the idea of choosing to make the ordinary stuff of life beautiful. William Morris said, “If our houses, our clothes, our household furniture and utensils are not works of art, they are either wretched makeshifts, or, what is worse, degrading shams of better things.” Pretty intense, but I appreciate his sentiment.

Over a decade ago my coffee maker carafe broke. Getting a replacement carafe was proving impossible.  Then I took a good, LONG look at the coffee maker itself. It was made of plastic and UGLY and took up a lot of counter space. From that moment onward I have used a coffee press. Right now I am using a stainless steel Frieling press that has elegant, simple lines (and might I add, is virtually indestructible).

I think we are made to appreciate beauty. It resonates within us. And “works of art” can be found in such humble things.  Several years ago I bought this plain handmade wood bowl. It’s the kind of thing you could imagine being overlooked at a flea market and yet it appealed to me.


Handmade bowl. Circa 1940.


Signed and dated!

Made from a single piece of wood, it wasn’t a perfect piece, but it had a nice look, feel and weight to it. Perhaps the coolest thing about the bowl was that it was signed and dated by the maker on the bottom. I liked knowing that Rahl made this bowl in 1940. It had history.

But best of all, this ordinary bowl can be used for many different purposes. Currently I’m using it to corral my costume jewelry on my nightstand. In the past I’ve used it on a coffee table to store dominoes. But it could be used for more practical matters…say, for biscuits or cookies or nuts.

It’s just an ordinary bowl. Not fancy, but useful and beautiful in its own way.

Truly, “you don’t need to surround yourself with a host of material possessions in order to create a beautiful home…instead, make the ordinary beautiful.”

What ordinary thing adds a touch of simple beauty in your home??


  1. This is our philosophy as well. I love using beautiful things to showcase everyday objects. That bowl is a treasure. =)


  2. huntingforvintage

    Thanks Breanne! Just peaked at your blog. Lovely!!


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