The Magic of Blue and White

Last week we touched on the use of Ginger Jars in design but where did they come from and why do we love them so much? They first appeared in the Qin Dynasty 221-206 B.C. I was amazed to find out that an accessory in the world of design dates back to so long ago. Ginger jars were used to store and transport spices but today we just like them for their shape and their pattern. Robust trade between China and The Netherlands in the 1600’s introduced the Dutch culture to blue and white pottery. The Dutch loved the blue and white so much that when war with China limited their access to the pottery the Dutch decided to make their own. That singular decision brought the world Delftware and it is still very popular today. The use of the blue and white chinoiserie vases, garden seats, bowls, and jars has always been popular with designers of note such as Bunny Williams, Jeffery Bilhuber, and Amanda Lindroth because they are worldly and timeless. Blue and white pottery blends with every style from classic to modern and they are filtering into all stores making them accessible to everyone. Let’s take a peek at the dining room from last week’s Lantana to see how Blue and white pottery blends with the island style of the Tommy Bahama Kingston collection somewhere in the Heart of The Villages.

• China CabinetLooks Finished and it Pops, Dining-Room Lantana, Home Décor by Ruth Dyer - in the Villages of Florida.
The china cabinet has a mirrored background which is beautiful but we needed the crystal inside the cabinet to pop. The way to make the crystal pop is to add color to the back of the cabinet. We purchased plates that were blue with what looked like inlaid shell. They look very expensive and the blue and white stands out, inside the cabinet. However, they are only melamine. I love that melamine can mimic the look of expensive plates without the price tag. In the china hutch on display, no one will touch them and no one will know they are melamine.

• Faux Coral
The top of the china hutch needed something to make the vignette look complete. We chose two large pieces of faux coral on black stands to adorn the top of the china hutch. The pop of white draws the eye upward and a touch of coral is always welcome in an island look.

• Birds
The wall that holds the china hutch is a big wall. Since the china hutch is tall and more narrow we needed to fill the space on each side of the hutch with something tall. The homeowner chose two watercolor pieces by artist Gene Rizzo, “Hey Back Away From My Fish”, and “Here’s Looking at you”. Both pieces are dramatic and beautiful representations of the blue heron and the pelican.

• Blue and white garden pots
Usually, on each side of the china hutch we would place two extra chairs for the dining table. However, since we only had four chairs we decided two garden pots would look great and they do! I like to use garden pots for a variety of things because they are easily moved and they store nicely below the pictures.

• Two large mirrors
The two large mirrors on the back wall of the dining room reflect all the light from the sliding glass doors back into the space. Mirrors always brighten the Lantana dining room and do not compete with the beautiful art.

• Free Spirit
The final piece of art in the space is “Free Spirit” by Alan Maltz. This piece has intense grades of blue and highlights a green mangrove at the focal point of the picture. The piece is 60” wide by 40” high and fills the wall nicely. Don’t be afraid to use large art to make a big statement.

• Table runner and bowl
The table runner is white and navy blue. It makes a great casual statement and stands out in contrast to the dark finish on the table. Finally, we placed a large blue and white bowl on the table to complete the look. The homeowner loves fresh flowers and will set them in the bowl for a centerpiece whenever the mood strikes her. The large glass bowl is pretty with a purpose and it looks good with or without flowers.

• Table angle
The table at an angle works in the Lantana. This allows extra walk space on the way to the kitchen and leaves plenty of space to seat guest when using the table.

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Before and After Pics Below