Cottage Living: Vintage Ceramic Mugs

vintage ceramic mugs | 60s 70s collectables | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: COttage Living

Our home decor trends are (thankfully) gradually getting simpler and less materialistic. Another step down from farmhouse style is cottage living. Think sunny windows, embroidered curtains, open shelving, and vintage ceramic mugs on display. When you opt for vintage, you are not only contributing to sustainable living, you are adding personality and character to your dishware.

vintage ceramic mugs | 60s 70s stackable Japanese mismatched | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: 1StopRetroShop

Vintage ceramic mugs from the 60s/ 70s

All it takes is one good week of camping to never want to leave cottage life. Our favorite new collectibles are vintage ceramic mugs from the 60s and 70s. Not only do they boast great color schemes, they often come in stackable variations that make for easy storing.

vintage ceramic mugs | Poland crockery collectables | Girlfriens is Better
Photo courtesy: Magazif

Where to find

Our favorite place to find vintage or handmade goods is Etsy (check out these stackables from 70s Japan!). Just do a search for “vintage ceramic mugs” and then start small. It’s okay to have mismatched sets that develop over time! Soon you will find a particular style that you love and old mugs are great for tailgating and backyard gatherings.

vintage ceramic mugs | Etsy hand painted earthenware | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Phoebe Whal

Think global

Ceramics are pretty durable so you can shop globally with more confidence. Look for vintage ceramic mugs in countries like Japan, Poland, and Sweden—places that provide unique local designs. We love rustic colors that make us think of being in the great outdoors. These beautiful collectibles deserve space on open shelving or kitchen utility hooks and contribute to your kitchen hygge decor.

vintage ceramic mugs | floral designs collection | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: We Heart It

Creating cohesive collections

When creating collections of any kind, it’s best to keep the overall theme cohesive. For example, keep your vintage ceramic mugs in a similar pattern, color palette, or crockery style. Then you can mix and match easier, purchasing one or two at a time instead of sets of four or six. You’ll enjoy adding new items to your shelves and they will feel like part of an eclectic family.

vintage ceramic mugs | handmade Portland wheel thrown clay speckled sun | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Mary Carroll Ceramics

Support Local Artists

Another alternative option to purchasing vintage is to seek out vintage-esque. Support local artists who handcraft their own unique spin on vintage ceramic mugs. We love artists that hail from the Northwest, such as Seattle and Portland. They just know how to bring the outdoors into their artwork and usually can be relied upon for the utmost quality. Look for mugs crafted from wheel-thrown clay and pack them on your next picnic.

vintage ceramic mugs | colorful floral pattern collection | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: AbielleAntiques


Another way to start a collection is to find a studio to invest in. Collecting colorful pottery ala vintage ceramic mugs from an art studio is a good first step towards building a collection. You can purchase a few mugs first and then add a teapot, espresso cups, etc. as you build your coffee station over time. No need to stick to our personal favorite color palette, branch out with bright pinks, teals, whatever suits your fancy.

vintage ceramic mugs | pink green 60s set pitcher coffee | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Charlotte Jacklin

Keep Them; Give Them Away

Mugs are easy to get attached to and are so multi-purpose. You can easily gift vintage ceramic mugs with a favorite bag of coffee beans or hot cocoa mix. Add a little message that tells the story of how it originally appealed to you or what made it special at the time. Alternatievely, old mugs look delightful as planters and can hold pens and pencils on your desk. To keep the clutter down, set a specific number of mugs you will allow in your cupboard and refresh any old ones with newer purchases.

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