Vintage enamelware is a charming addition to any home decor. With its colorful and durable design, enamelware has been used for generations and has become a popular choice for both practical and decorative purposes.
If you're considering incorporating vintage enamelware into your home decor, this post will provide you with all the information you need to get started.
In this article, we'll cover decorating with vintage enamelware, how can you tell if enamelware is vintage, is enamelware safe to use and the best places to shop. Whether you're a seasoned collector or a beginner, this post will provide you with valuable insights and inspiration for decorating with vintage enamelware.
Recently I got a phone call from my niece, Valerie, asking if I had considered writing about decorating with vintage enamelware. She was working on purging items in her kitchen and came across a stack of old enamelware colanders and sent me a photo.
The picture of the colanders stacked one on top of the other was so pretty in colors of blue and white! So I put my research hat on and discovered that people were looking for ideas on decorating with vintage enamelware. And that is how this story of curating ideas and research began.
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Decorating with Vintage Enamelware FAQ's:
Is Vintage Enamelware Safe to Use?
While vintage enamelware is generally safe to use, there are some precautions you should take. Older enamelware may contain lead or cadmium, which can be harmful if ingested. If you plan to use vintage enamelware for cooking or serving food, look for pieces free of chips or cracks in the enamel coating, as these can harbor bacteria.
You want your enamelware in as perfect condition as possible. It's also a good idea to avoid using vintage enamelware in the microwave, as the metal underneath the enamel can cause sparks.
How Can You Tell if Enamelware is Vintage?
Identifying vintage enamelware can be tricky, but there are a few clues to look for:
- Vintage enamelware pieces often have a unique color or pattern that sets them apart from modern enamelware, but also remember the classic white with a colored rim.
- Look for chips or wear in the enamel coating, indicating age. This chip will look dark underneath.
- Check for markings on the enamelware, such as the maker's name or a pattern number. These can help you date the piece. I have yet to find a mark on a piece of vintage enamelware, but others say you might find one occasionally.
- Vintage enamelware may have a heavier weight and thicker enamel coating than modern enamelware. If a piece looks perfect, then it is probably not vintage.
Enamelware Decorating Ideas
After getting the phone call from my niece and doing some research, I decided to pull out my two pieces and shop for more while thrifting. Searching several Goodwills and a local thrift store, I came up empty. I tried again a week later with no luck. I don't see enamelware very often, so I was starting to doubt I would find any.
Next, I contacted my niece to see what pieces she had, and lucky for us, she had lots of enamelware and was willing to style and take some photos. Luckily she shared some beautiful photos. So I was back on track to write this post. Let's now look at different pieces you can decorate with and ideas on how to style them.
Decorating with enamelware can add a pop of color and a touch of nostalgia to any room. There are so many creative ideas and ways to decorate with enamelware. Here are some enamelware decorating ideas to get you started focusing on each individual piece.
Enamel Bowls and Plates
Use enamelware bowls or plates as wall decor or bench decoration, individually or grouped together like I've done here with my vintage enamelware bowl for a statement display used during holiday decorations.
Enamelware containers like this bowl have endless decorating possibilities. It also makes it easy to move or rearrange your decor items.
Another functional idea for using an old enamelware piece is organizing your pantry. This white bowl with a dark blue rim was perfect for all the oils and honey in my pantry.
And my most recent find is this small, I think newer, green-speckled enamelware mini loaf pan. I am using it to hold chip clips in my pantry. It is just the right size.
Vintage Enamelware Pitchers
Display a collection of enamelware pitchers on open shelves in your kitchen or dining room. Here you can see how my niece displays pitchers of various sizes on her dining room hutch. Using a pitcher is a great idea for older pieces that you do not want to use for serving food and drink products.
Here is another idea for decorating with enamelware pitchers, but this one is a newer pitcher that is vintage inspired decor. Simply hang it on a hook in your kitchen area for a fun decoration that says kitchen.
Tea or Coffee Pot Enamelware
I love this idea of adding a berry plant to an old vintage enamel coffee pot. Vibeke Design has an eye for repurposing old items into decorations. She has a lovely cottagecore aesthetic.
So, consider adding flowers or plants as decoration in vintage enamelware teapots and coffee pots to give them new life. It's fun to display your vintage pieces in a farmhouse kitchen.
Mugs or Cups
Use enamelware mugs or cups as unique planters for succulents or herbs, as my niece does in her kitchen. Place them in a window or down the middle of your dining table as a centerpiece. There are so many ways you can decorate with enamelware cups and mugs.
Repurpose enamelware pots as stylish organizers for desk accessories or makeup brushes or as a base for a small Christmas tree during the holidays.
I put this beautiful enamelware pot on the front porch at Christmas with a small tree in it, surrounded by other vintage holiday decors.
Hang a tray on your wall with other decorations. I added some pretty flowers and have it hanging with other vintage inspired pieces.
Here is a Hearth and Hand at Target new enamelware piece. I love the simple, elegant style. If you love the look but are not a fan of thrifting, you can always take these ideas and use them on new pieces.
Use enamelware serving platters or trays as decorative accents on your coffee or dining room table. Set the platter down first and then use the decorating rule of three. One taller item in the back, like a vase, then something shorter, like a statue, and then in front an even shorter time, like a small plant.
Now you have a pretty styled enamelware platter as a coffee table decoration or dining table decoration.
Decorate with colanders in your kitchen or dining room or use it as a fruit bowl like I've done here in my own kitchen.
But probably my favorite thing about this new enamelware piece is how summery it looks sitting on my counter.
Ladle or Spoons
Display an enamelware ladle or spoon by hanging it on the wall or putting it in a pitcher like my niece did here. You can see the enamelware ladle alongside her wooden spoons in the pitcher.
Isn't this a pretty pop of color amongst all her wooden spoons?
She also has a beautiful white enamelware colander hanging on the wall. And her vintage enamelware pitcher on the shelf above.
This is a fantastic example of decorating with multiple piece so enamelware!
Our last piece of enamelware to share a decoration idea are these gorgeous enamelware canisters. Display canisters on kitchen shelves for a decoration.
Isn't this lovely!
Simply use the canisters as a vase and fill them with your favorite flowers. I am particularly fond of the camomile flowers in this canister. So delicate and pretty!
Next, display some plates behind the canisters as decoration, just like in this photo. The colors in the plate complement the colors in the canisters.
We have covered ten pieces of vintage enamelware and how to style them in your home decor. Next, let's talk about the best places to shop.
Best Places to Shop for Vintage Enamelware
There are many places to shop for vintage enamelware, both online and in-person. Some of the best places to look for vintage enamelware include:
- Antique shops and vintage stores
- Flea markets
- Estate sales and auctions: both online and in person
- Garage sales or yard sales
- Secondhand stores: Thrift stores and consignment shops
Tips for Caring for Vintage Enamelware
To keep your vintage enamelware looking its best, follow these tips:
- Wash enamelware by hand with warm, soapy water and a soft sponge.
- Avoid using abrasive cleaners or steel wool, which can scratch the enamel.
- Dry enamelware thoroughly after washing to prevent rust.
- Store enamelware in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and humidity.
In conclusion, decorating with vintage enamelware is a unique and affordable way to add character and charm to your home decor. These pieces will last a long time, making them a practical choice for kitchenware, but they also add a pop of color and nostalgia to any room.
By following the tips and ideas presented in this post, you can confidently incorporate vintage enamelware into your home decor with style and ease. From identifying vintage enamelware, and decorating with enamelware to caring for it, we hope this post has provided valuable insights and inspiration for decorating with vintage enamelware.
So why not start browsing flea markets and antique stores to find your own unique pieces of enamelware to decorate your home with? I'd love to see your favorite pieces and hear new uses not mentioned in this blog post. Share your vintage enamelware finds with us on social media and join the community of vintage enthusiasts!
If you're a fan of vintage decor, check out some of my other posts that feature designing with vintage items:
- White Kitchen with Copper Accents to Create a Vintage Aesthetic
- Antique Vintage Aesthetic Bedroom
- 10 Vintage Inspired Decor for your Home
Oh! I almost forgot that in my YouTube video HERE, I finally found all the wonderful vintage enamelware in my area, and the pieces are amazing.