Mercury glass can add glitz and a touch of nostalgia to everyday decor, but something about the holiday season always reminds us of how much we love it. From statement pieces to small accessories, it might be hard to tell which of these mercury glass picks you can buy and which makes for a surprisingly easy DIY.
Mercury glass first became popular in the late 19th century. Although it's associated with the antique pieces that were produced during that era, you can find contemporary mercury glass products everywhere. While I still love the look of grouping mercury glass with other vintage decor, I'm a bigger fan of mixing it with modern design, as seen in the image below.
Even though the shape of this Moravian Star pendant ($370) is traditional in Moroccan design, the multi-faceted surface and geometric shape works incredibly well with contemporary decor. When illuminated, the filtered light is quite lovely. My favorite pairings for this type of pendant are brightly colored ethnic rugs and simple, streamlined furniture.
My go-to remedies for dated wooden furniture, like old desks and dressers, are paint and new hardware. These Mercury Glass Melon Knobs ($8) would look so beautiful against a strong shade, like indigo blue.
Instead of filling mercury glass votives with candles, I like to use them as mini potting vessels instead. I have a trio at home that hold mini blossoming cacti that I placed on a white lacquer vanity. The combination looks fresh and slightly unexpected. These Antique Mercury Glass Votives ($15) have a clean shape that would work especially well.
Click on the images in the layout to shop these mercury glass pieces directly!
I was just reading Emily Henderson's recent recap of episode 14 of Secrets From a Stylist, and she brought up the subject of purchasing real mercury glass vs. the faux stuff. She writes, "1/2 of the mercury glass was real, from antique malls, and 1/2 of it was from West Elm. You honestly can't tell the difference. I'm normally not pro buying things that are trying to look old, but a. they look the same, b. the old stuff is super expensive and very very breakable and, c. the new stuff can actually hold water without the painted inside flaking off."
She makes a few great points. The style of tableware is really trendy these days, but real "mercury" silvered glass hasn't been produced in the States since the late '70s, so it can be hard to track down, even if you do prefer antiques. Faux mercury glass is so ubiquitous, I don't really see the point in hunting for antiques, unless you're looking for something with a really unusual shape.
Do you own any real mercury glass?
We've shown you plenty of colorful, tasteful ways to decorate for Saint Valentine's Day this year. But if shades of red and heart shapes just aren't your style in any form, there's still a way to work this lovely holiday into your home's decor: mercury glass. The pretty material adds a touch of romance and shimmer to your home without going over the top. And it's versatile: use mercury glass to class up your abode for Valentine's Day, then leave it up for a gold-powered Oscar bash at the end of the month. Bring a little bling into your home and start clicking!
Source: West Elm
Growing up with a beekeeper father has left me with an oddly profound love for the buzzing creatures. I'm not about to harvest a beehive myself, but I wouldn't mind a bit of bee-themed décor. I think this elegant Wisteria Mercury Glass Beehive Cloche ($27, reduced from $54) is the perfect compromise, especially since it also supports my love for mercury glass. It would look très chic standing on its own anywhere in my home, but it's also a great place to hide keys or other odds and ends that build up day to day. I'd like to use it to save leftovers, but unfortunately it's not food-safe.
Red and green may evoke the holiday season for many of you, but nothing says Winter like some shiny, icy blue. Put a match to some tea lights in the Wisteria Cool Blue Mercury Glass Votive Holders ($18.20 for six, reduced from $28) and your home will be a Winter wonderland, sans the icicles and frigidity. Considering how trendy mercury glass is these days, I can't help but snatch them up. Set them around the room to create a flickering space, or arrange them on your tabletop for a magnificent, wintry tablescape.
Mercury glass has been popping up all over — I've spotted it in both chic shelter magazine spreads and on decorating-savvy friends' mantels. And of course, I wrote about the gorgeous mercury glass used in the Haley Lamp. Mercury glass's silvery sheen adds instant refinement to a home, as well as a touch of glamour. Mercury glass, which was first made in the Czech Republic in the middle of the 19th century, was used as an economical substitute for silver. It's made by filling double-walled glass with a liquid-silver solution, and is often seen in home décor objects such as candlesticks, decanters, and vases.
Dear Haley Table Lamp ($219),
I love you like Tom Cruise loves Katie, like Amélie loves cracking crème brûlée, like hearts and stars and flowers, and like the Beatles love me do. I love your glam mercury glass shimmer, your chic silky barrel shade, your three-way switch, and the way you'd command attention in my living room. Unfortunately, sweet lamp, I cannot afford you right now. So, my dear Haley Table Lamp, if you're listening, I hope you love me enough to wander over my way.
You won't feel guilty treating yourself to a little housewarming gift with this candlestick; it's overwhelmingly affordable. Find out where to snatch this steal when you read more