When form meets function? 'Tis a beautiful thing. And given that we spend so much time in our kitchens around here, it's no great leap to say that we also kinda love the folks who bring us our most beautiful kitchen pieces—and surest-to-please gift ideas. Specializing in everything from plate ware to decor, these 20 artists and retailers are committed to making our kitchens beautiful. And beautifully functional. Amen to that.
Home Base: San Fransisco, CA
Website: Rae Dunn Clay
Rae Dunn Clay creates understated, beautiful ceramics, some of which are one-of-a-kind, while others are limited edition. Rae Dunn says of her shop, “I don’t strive for perfection in line and form in my work, because for me the balance I’m trying to achieve can’t be represented that way. The incompleteness and imperfection of my work is part of the story.“ Ranging from salt cellars to plateware to decorative plaques, we’re not sure Rae Dunn Clay products could be any sweeter if they tried. (From $5)
Home Base: Louisville, KY
Website: Sycamore Hill
As creator of The Hand Stamped Vintage Coffee Spoon™, Etsy shop owner Kelly Galanos represents “the art of upcycling.” Sycamore Hill’s upcycled antique utensils range from butter knifes to cake servers, and each piece is stamped with a witty, sweet or saucy phrase. You may be drawn to the sentimental You Are My Sunshine coffee spoon or to the cheeky Cereal Killer breakfast companion. (From $16.50)
Home Base: Philadephia, PA
Website: Peg and Awl
Walter and Margoux Kent treasure things from a time gone by. They say their pieces are “made from olde [yes, oldE] things, treasures found and recovered from misfortune and neglect…” Lucky for us, these treasures are available to buy and keep through their online shop, Peg and Awl. Featuring kitchen tables made of reclaimed oak, apothecary spice racks, and chalk tablets (left), just to name a few, Peg and Awl has your kitchen fix for nostalgic charm. (From $14)
Home Base: London, England
Website: Yvonne Ellen
Yvonne Ellen’s shop caters to the lover of quirky kitchen decor, offering carefully selected vintage pieces adorned with original illustrations by Yvonne. You’ll find colorful patterns, phrases and charming animal characters stretched across elegant plateware, serving dishes and tea sets. No two pieces are alike. (From $18)
Home Base: Darien, CT
Website: Coppermill Kitchen
Beth Ann Sweeney of Coppermill Kitchen fell head over heels for vintage copper cookware while on her European travels. Not long after, her husband Tim, a cystic fibrosis sufferer, found himself awaiting a double lung transplant. Beth Ann's growing copper collection inadvertently helped her cope with Tim's illness, as it gave her something beautiful to focus on during a difficult period. Thankfully, Tim received a lifesaving surgery, while Beth Ann's preoccupation with copper stuck—and bloomed into a booming business. Beth Ann selects works based on a number of specific criteria before having them fully restored to offer up to the kitchen-loving masses. Cooks worldwide prize quality copper for its even heat distribution, and any of Beth Ann’s picks will lend sophisticated sparkle to any kitchen. (from $195)
Home Base: Portland, OR
Website: Pigeon Toe Ceramics
You’ll thank us for turning you onto the beautifully made ceramic housewares from Lisa Jones and her team of talented studio assistants. Many Pigeon Toe products could be described as minimalistic, but don't confuse minimalistic with boring— because that they certainly are not. Many products on the Pigeon Toe site feature unexpected pops of color and interesting shapes that beg a second look. (From $11)
Home Base: Woodstock, NY
Website: Gray Works
Elizabeth Bryant and Andrew Gray are the pair to contact for Catskill Mountain Rustic Modern Furniture and Housewares. The duo seamlessly blend the seemingly opposite styles of rustic and modern for pieces that are a remarkable fit for most kitchens. All items are wooden, handmade, one-of-a-kind and made from locally sourced materials. At the Gray Works shop on Etsy, you can find stunning carved tabletop vessels, carving boards, kitchen stools and furniture. (From $25)
Home Base: Chicago, IL
Website: Up In the Air Somewhere
Susan Dwyer is always busy in her studio dreaming up beautiful designs to appeal to our more delicate kitchen sensibilities. Offering ceramic and papier maché pieces, many featuring gold leafing, Up in the Air Somewhere is inspired by the industrial landscape of Chicago. (From $18)
Home Base: Brooklyn, NY
Website: Kaufmann Mercantile
Kaufmann Mercantile, founded by Sebastian Kaufmann, is an online store with a motto we can get on board with—“more of what matters.” Kaufmann offers products for home and garden, and way beyond. But since we're talking kitchen products, theirs are ever-rotating and wide-ranging in function and price. We are particular fans of the Stronghold denim aprons ($135) made from extra-durable organic selvage denim. And we can’t talk Kaufmann Mercantile without a shout out to the References section of the site, featuring original articles from a variety of contributors, covering an array of topics from Cocktail Bitters to Urban Gardening. (from $7)
Home Base: San Jose, CA
An Italian transplant in California, Rossella Manzini found her way onto Etsy and into our hearts when she ran out of room in her own home to store all of her ceramic wares. Rossella’s playful and romantic use of color and illustration is grin-inspiring, and like many of our favorite shops, RossLab accepts custom orders. Are your wheels spinning yet? (From $18)
Home Base: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Website: On Our Table
Tasked with stocking equipment for wife Cindy Lazarenko’s newest restaurant, Geoffrey Lilge developed a preoccupation with the craftsmanship of cutting boards and butcher blocks, and before he knew it, he was crafting quality kitchen objects himself. The husband and wife duo are now partners at On Our Table, a website dedicated not only to providing high-quality, handcrafted kitchen tools, but also to chronicling their personal adventures in food and design. (From $84)
Home Base: Brooklyn, NY
Website: Nicole Porter Design
Thank goodness for neon, and thank goodness for Nicole Porter and her hand-printed graphic textiles and wood housewares, carefully built to last. Using only all-natural materials, Nicole produces brightly colored linens and wooden bowls and plates, featuring the same strikingly bright color palette. (From $8.75)
Home Base: Columbia, MO
Artsy Etsy trio Carrie Shyrock, Beth Snyder and Karen Shyrock offer letterpress paper goods, including kitchen-centric products like foodie prints, recipe cards, calendars, coasters and little paper pads promising to make grocery lists a little more fun from here on out. From sweet to silly, these charming prints will do quite nicely in any home. (From $4.50)
Home Base: New York, NY
Website: Birdkage Style
As a former fashion magazine editor and celebrity stylist, who is better suited to fashion your aprons and market totes than Birdkage designer Courtney Robinson? Featuring three distinctive design collections, Birdkage offers towels, totes and multiple apron styles for the home and garden. We are big fans of her classically made kitchen aprons that we suspect will be a hit with moms on Mother's Day. (From $22)
Home Base: Brooklyn, NY
Website: Home Into Haven
Lest we forget what we might call “the nitty gritty,” we must of course salute a representative of natural homecare. Producer of small batch botanical products including room-refreshing sprays, furniture polishes and gentle soaps, Kayce White’s Haven products are inspired by her family’s use of natural home remedies. We love them, because they allow for effective clean-up without harsh odors or chemical backlash. (From $4.75)
Home Base: Appalachian Mountains of Virginia
Website: Julia Paul Pottery
All of Julia Paul’s pottery is made to order. Her simplistic yet playful designs are versatile, and simply put, just lovely. A wide range of pieces are available for order, from pitchers and vases to full place settings. We are smitten with her summer drink cups glazed in a glossy white—Julia finds them reminiscent of forest fog, and we have to agree. (From $30)
Home Base: Plum Island-Newburyport, MA
Culinarium Kitchenware, available on the Culinarium website and on Etsy, is a family owned company that encompasses a wide range of products from trays to cellars to coasters, under the creative leadership of Head Designer and Manufacturer Jordan Castro. All are eco-friendly and made from recycled materials when possible. The modern, minimalist lines and the neutral, earthy-gray hues of Culinarium products will be right at home in a contemporary kitchen. (From $29)
Home Base: Kingston, NY
Website: Black Creek Mercantile
A builder at heart—and in reality, thank goodness—Joshua Vogel creates wooden pieces for the home that you want to put your hands on. You want to hold them, and you want to have them on your table. Wood turnings sold at Black Creek Mercantile include vessels, utensils and cutting boards, as well as original formula oil blends for knife and cutting board care. (From $30)
Home Base: Brooklyn, NY
Website: Alyssa Ettinger Designs
Alyssa Ettinger first dabbled in pottery as a teenager while at summer camp, and then as a college student before stepping away from the wheel entirely for two decades to work in magazine publishing. Encouraged by friends, Alyssa returned to the studio, and boy, are we glad she did. Now based out of her own studio in Brooklyn NY, Alyssa produces porcelain products with a light, airy quality. We especially love the vintage-inspired milk bottles. (From $29)
Home Base: Bronx, NY
Website: Jessica Howard
Jessica Howard’s ceramic serving ware is inspired by nature, both woodland and aquatic. At her shop, you’ll find brightly colored illustrations set against stark white backgrounds, offering playful contrast and a pop of color to brighten up any dinner table or bland kitchen backsplash. All pieces are hand-painted and hand-glazed by Jessica. (from $28)
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