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Everyday Storage Solutions with English Transfer Ware

It may come as no surprise to many of you, but I use an assortment of my transferware collection as storage containers.  

Next to the stove, three graduated sizes of transfer ware pitchers hold everyday cooking utensils.

*Tip:  If you use any type of breakables for storing utensils in, it's a good idea to add some padding inside to prevent damage to your storage container.  Just stuff and old towel or wadded paper into the bottom to provide some cushioning.

I learned this the hard way.  After so many times of carelessly 'dropping' the utensils into the pitcher that the stress was too much and it now has a large crack running from top to the underside. :-(
I use some of my transferware collection to store and display the flatware I use in all those tablescapes.  

I use this covered dish to store tea bags

This little egg cup is used to store tooth picks (this is a type of transferware called a sheet pattern that is applied to the entire surface of the pottery body)

In my bathroom/dressing area I use this nearly 200 year old soup tureen to hold washcloth's. This is one of my most favorite pieces of transferware.  If you like history then check out my Soupefying Treasure post about this wonderful find.  It's fun and interesting!
 In the dressing area I also use miscellaneous transferware pieces for storage.  Here, pretty bobby pins are displayed in a salt cellar.
*Tip: bobby pins make really cute paper clips!
...sunglasses are stored in this gravy boat (that jade necklace is the first gift my husband, then boyfriend, ever gave me.  That was Christmas 1985)...
barrettes and hair clips are stored in, and on, this creamer.
I store perfume bottles on a purple transfereware plate and on the perfume bottle caps I store my fun rings.  Sometimes I remove the cap and store the rings directly on the spray nozzle. 

I store most of my make up in creamers and pitchers too...eyeliner, lip liner, mascara and foundation
Near the closet entry I display a collection of purses on the wall and inside each is where I store gloves and some scarves.

On my desk, I store lots of everyday office supplies.  This toothpick or cigarette holder could have just as easily been made to hold business cards.

 This vase is called a Corinth vase and it holds a collection of antique letter openers.
This round butter or cheese dish conceals the stickers marked 'fragile' that are placed on all outgoing shipments of transferware.
 I just love storing stuff like this that you don't want to look at in something you do like looking at!

 I keep rubber bands in a transferware shaving mug, paper clips in a jam pot

pens in a hot water/child sized coffee pot 

and deposit slips (not that I get to use them much) and bills (I do get to pay these a lot) in a toast rack.

I use my transferware to store other things too, but that will have to wait for another day, another post.  Here, it is late and I began this post only after reading Donna's over at Funky Junk Interiors about her storage ideas and decided I wanted to join in the fun.

...However...the storage solution I think of most was my Mom's solution to storing cash.  It's also the funniest.  Perhaps it was a generational thing, or a fear of misplacing what precious dollars she had, but my sister and I still giggle about the old days when Mom would cautiously, politely turn her back to the store clerk and withdraw funds from the 'bank' as we called it. The bank of cleavage. No, Mom didn't go around wearing low cut, revealing blouses or anything improper.  She was quite modest. She truly felt that the safest place to keep her cash was between her bosom, tucked into her bra!
Gosh, I hope you're not reading this Mom! 

p/s I'll be joining The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays,  Beverly at Pink Saturday, Susan at Met Monday  Cindy at Romantic Home, Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and DreamingBowl Full of Lemons, Cielo at House in the Roses, and of course Donna at Funky Junk Interiors and Gail at Decorating My Tin Shack.


  1. What great ideas for using your beautiful dishes Nancy. I LOVE the closet entry photo with all your neat purses and pretty chair- That is such a cozy corner!!

    bee blessed

  2. I love seeing all your little transferware pieces and how you have put them to use. Your display on your vanity is just gorgeous.

  3. Nancy!
    What an amazing collection!! I love how you "use" your pieces! I have never thought of using my transferware smalls like that! I love the tip about the paper towel in the bottom! I love your perfumes on the plate!!

    Thanks for all the ideas!!

  4. I had to click right over here when I saw the title of your post. Your transfer ware makes everyday supplies look elegant. It just goes to show we can put to good use things we love. Hugs, Kim

  5. I love the soup tureen holding fingertip towels. It looks so nice!

  6. It is great seeing the different ways that you use the pieces.

  7. Nancy, You are the queen of transferware, we all But I think you are also the queen of pretty organization.
    I LOVE your idea of using a grouping of containers to hold all of your kitchen utensils. I just think that is a very attractive solution to an unorganized mess drawer full of spoons, ladels, mashers, etc.
    Now I'm off off to find a few lovely containers around the house.
    Very inspiring!

  8. Nancy ~ LOVE all your ideas. So inspiring I think I'll have to go shopping at the antique stores today and see if I can find any little treasures. Your pics are just beautiful as is your collection of dishes.

  9. I love how you use your transferware for all kinds of storage. My favorite is the bathroom where the pretty purple containers look amazing. I love the towels in the tureen! And your rings slipped onto perfume bottles make them look like works of art. Very very pretty!

  10. I am IN LOVE with your blog, so glad I found it. I love all the ideas for using your transferware!! Gorgeous!!! I am your newest follower, I hope you'll pop over and visit often! :)

  11. Gorgeous post, I love the transferware!!

  12. What a great post and thank you so much for sharing your storage ideas! I think my favorite is the flatware storage. They all look so pretty sitting on the shelf.

  13. All of your transferware is stunning and such fabulous ways to use it to store all those daily necessary thing. Love it. Hugs, Marty

  14. What a great idea to use your beautiful goodies for storage. Happy pink Saturday

  15. Oh Nancy, you make me laugh and remember! My grandmother used to store in her "bank" too!!!!! LOL!!!!

    Love all of your storage ideas. I use a lot of my collections for storing as well, but you 've added some new ideas. It's wonderful how your home is surrounded by your collections.

    - The Tablescaper

  16. Hi Nancy~ Love your tureen in the bathroom- wow!! I love how you use your transfer ware everywhere for everyday living- it's incredibly beautiful! As far as the chalkboard in my dining space goes- I found the old frame and used a piece of beadboard paneling (or any other type that is smooth when you reverse it) reversed and fitted for the chalkboard area and then painted it with chalkboard paint. The gold is the original gold on this one- but I have painted others with gold craft paint to get the gilded effect and it looks good. Let me know if you have any other questions- I love making chalkboards with old frames! Thanks for adding me to your blog sidebar- I will put you on my blog roll too! Love your blog! :)

  17. These are really neat storage ideas Nancy and it's a win/win situation since you get to see your pretty transferware everyday! You have really inspired me!


  18. You have great ideas Will try some. Happy PS. Laura

  19. Nancy all your transfer ware is gorgeous!! I love the photo with the chair and purses. It looks so warm and inviting!

  20. Happy Pink Saturday Nancy Sweetie...
    Oh how I love to see others using their transferware for daily usage. Yours is absolutely exquisite.

    Tickles me pink to see others use theirs. I keep several by my stove (center island) with silverware, slotted spoons and wooden spoons in them), and I hadn't thought of using one in my bathroom or bedroom. You have given me a whole new thought. Oh I will be rearranging this afternoon.

    Thank you for the beautiful share sweet friend. Your post is absolutely breathtaking. Love, love, love it.

    Have a gorgeous Pink Saturday. Many hugs and much love, Sherry

  21. I just love how you've made your gorgeous transferware so useful all over your home. It's always nice when something can be both practical and beautiful. That is a great tip to put something soft in the inside so as not to damage the piece.

  22. I like all of your pieces and what a unique idea.

  23. Thanks so much for linking up to Seasonal Sundays. I forgot to mention how much I like your idea of putting your rings on the perfume bottles. I really like that square pink ring!

    - The Tablescaper

  24. Great storage ideas, but a priceless tip at the beginning:@)

  25. What a pretty collection of lovely things!

  26. Nancy, what a gorgeous collection of Transferware. I don't know that I have ever seen a more complete collection in one place before.
    I may have the sister to your pitcher, only mine is green. Happy Pink Saturday, Char

  27. Hello Nancy,
    it is so nice that you use all your beloved things for storage of every day items. I love to be surrounded with my collection things also. And a lot of your items like the tureen are really impressive.
    The story of your mothers money storage made me laughing. I remember that my grandmother stored always her discount tickets in a coffee cup in the cupboard and once my grandfather took one of those cups and filled the coffee in without looking what was in the cup. So all the precious discount tickets had been spoiled and my grandmother was quite angry.
    Greetings, Johanna

  28. Nancy, I love seeing how you live with your collection. It makes collecting more meaningful if one can actually use these pieces each day. You've shown excellent ideas for using a collection. Love the "bank" story. ~ Sarah

  29. Hi Nancy, I love that you actually use your collection of Transferware. Everything is beautiful and I especially like the display on your bathroom counter.

  30. You've found some really great and ingenious ways to store everyday items in your transferware! Your bathroom is really fancy by the way! Love the purses on the wall!

  31. Wow, I really enjoyed that tour! What an amazing home and accessories you have! Just love your transferware. Totally unexpected and amazing. I'm swooning over the purses hung on the wall, that is so beautiful!


  32. Nancy, your collection is just fantastic, and I love the fact that you are using it for storage, too. It's not only beautiful, but so functional. I love surrounding myself with the things I love, and it's very clear that you do, too. Super displays here.

    Happy Seasonal Sunday...


    Sheila :-)

  33. Wow! your collection is so gorgeous and I love all of the ideas to store things! Now, you've got me thinking. =0)
    Happy Pink Saturday!

  34. Your blog has always been an inspiration for me! I love transferware and love to find new ways to incorporate it in my life. There is no use for it just tucked away and used on special occassions. I want to enjoy looking at it and using it everyday! I also use my depression glass to hold makeup brushes and cotton balls. Thanks for sharing so many wonderful ideas!

  35. What wonderful storage!!! So lovely. I love all your transfer ware. Thanks for sharing!

  36. I loved how you used these beautiful items. HPS

  37. I like how you use your transferware for different purposes, Nancy, very decorative!...Christine

  38. I love how you have used these beautiful pieces, enjoying them everyday. Batting would work well as a cushion, too.
    I want to invite you to link to my Creative Organizational Party on my blog Decorating My Tin Shack. The linky will open at midnight (MST) I hope you will share your post there, too.
    Happy PS

  39. Nancy, thank you for joining me at my Creative Organization Party. If you know anyone else, feel free to invite them. I was just looking at you post again, really do love how you use your transfer ware to store things, it is so pretty.

  40. Nancy, what a wonderful way of using and seeing your lovely transfer ware every day. I do use some of mine in the kitchen for storage...eggs, tomatoes and the like but I'd never thought about using them in the office.

  41. Nancy, this is such a wonderfully functional way to show off and enjoy your collection. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing.

  42. Nancy,
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful and creative collections. Like you, I like to be surrounded by things I collect and enjoy using! Like your mom, sometimes I store my money in a secret spot!

  43. * Soooo glad I just "found" you! This is truly DELIGHTFUL annnnnd USEFUL "eye candy"!

    What a FAB collection you have, & what greaaaat ways to see & use all those lovely pieces everyday, instead of only when opening the pantry door/buffet or in whatever or wherever they're usually stored!!!

    Many, many THANKS!!! ~ Great ideas I'm going to surely use!!!

    Linda in AZ *

  44. I could go into your bathroom and never leave; it's that gorgeous! After viewing the beautiful photos, I went around my little house rearranging things and making them "more pretty". Thank you for the inspiration!

  45. Aha! Now I have new excuses for not passing up any bargains on dishes in my future~ I love your storage ideas. Everyone of them is lovely. I love the use of that rug in the bathroom, something I myself have done. Why bother with a plain jane bathroom rug when you can use something beautiful right? I have been known to use hairclips for paperclips if only out of sheer laziness. It's nice to know there is justification for that as well. But around the office, you will sometimes see me or my boss wearing a paperclip to hold back our hair...

  46. Nancy, since I consider you the transferware expert, I wanted to ask your opinion on a couple different patterns. I have Blue Willow in several different makers and I really want a red/pink pattern. I am looking at Johnson Brothers Old Britain Castles, Johnson Brothers Mill Stream and Royal (USA) Memory Lane. Since I have not seen any of these in person, I'm wondering if you know which is more red than pink. I'm leaning toward the castles. My mom has them in blue and my kids love castles. If I had the budget, I think I would buy every pattern in every color! I have seen some other lesser known patterns I like, but can not get enough plates/cups. Any advice you can give me would be helpful!!

  47. great storage ideas!!!! And thanks for the tip about adding a towel or fabric at the bottom. luckily I've only broken a peanut butter jar :) not transferware!!

  48. Wow-what a delight! I would love to have all that transferware for storage. You have such an impressive collection!

  49. Oh Nancy, I love all the uses you gave your beautiful transfer ware pieces. I'd like to buy you a set for 8 dishes, you know, dinner plate, soup plate, salad plate, cup and saucer...can you tell me how to go about it?...and if it's at all possible as I live in Ecuador-SAm. Please visit me and tell me about it. Thank you in advance.


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