Architectural Pottery

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It’s hard for me to envision a modern space without plants. When I think of the designs of famous architects like Neutra or Eichler, or modern day architects like Austin based Lake and Flato, it’s impossible to imagine these spaces without the beauty of architectural pottery.  Their simple, modern, clean lines, unspoiled by fluff or distractions make each plant that resides in them a little more spectacular.  An ornate or colorful pot just doesn’t seem to fit in a modern home.  These fit, these work, and it’s why I am so proud to have not one but three pieces of Architectural Pottery for my own home.

Architectural Pottery
images via

The pictures above are lovely examples of Architectural Pottery, a Los Angeles company founded in 1950 by Max and Rita Lawrence. Prominent mid-century LA architects such as Richard Neutura and Pierre Koenig favored the pottery line for spare, geometrically ordered residential gardens and commercial buildings. The Museum of Modern Art in New York exhibited pieces as early as 1951 and these savvy planters appear in many of Julius Schulman’s famed photographs of Southern California architecture. Molds can weigh hundreds of pounds and a single ceramic piece can take over a week to produce from start to finish. Today, Vessel USA Inc. continues to produce Modern Planters & Containers, Ceramic Sculpture and Garden Accessories from its studio in San Diego, California.

I was lucky enough to get my hands of three large architectural pottery pots for the outside of our home.  We have two white ones on the back porch and one black in the front of the house.  After working so hard staining the outside of the house it was inevitable that I would end up “fixing up” the rest of the area as well.  You know how that goes… you get a new couch for your living room and then the chair next to it looks ratty… then you decide you need new curtains… then the paint starts to look dull and before you know it that new couch has caused you to redecorate the whole damn room.  It happens to us all, I guess.  So I decided to do the same to our outdoor space.

My Architectural Pottery

The two white pots as seen above are on the back porch and look really nice against the new stain.  The plants I had in them were “hiding” the pot… so I decided to pull them up and plant some foxtail ferns, as they grow “up” and won’t spill over the sides.  These suckers are heavy!

It was also a great chance for me to do something with the two pots Richie found for me at an estate sale that have been sitting in the shed.  I love the shape of these (below) but obviously someone had painted them a nasty yellow at some point. I scrubbed the crap out of them but the left over paint wasn’t budging… so out came the white stain.  Each pot got scrubbed, wire brushed, and then painted white.  White pots seem to be my thing, I guess.  I love them!

Painted Planters

The staining of the house has been going really well so this also seems like the perfect time to share the results. We’ve been steady at it and it is really paying off.  The back of the house is now a place I love to be. We ended up giving our old patio set (table and four chairs) to some friends and we brought out 4 of our butterfly chairs in place of the set.  The old covers look crappy but I’ve got new ones on the way from Circa 50.  They are vinyl mesh and perfect for the outdoors!  Can’t wait to get those.

Architectural Pottery

The large architectural planters look so much better and I love being able to see the whole pot.  The small white painted pots fit right in too.  But how about that paint job!  I could just pinch myself.  You may remember what it looked like when we started.  >>> SEE HERE!

House Stain

Painted Pots

So, it was definitely one of those moments where making one thing look pretty made everything else look shabby and forced me to make some changes.  With the old patio set gone, the butterfly chairs out, and the new pots and plants I feel like things are really shaping up outside.  Just in time too.  We’re expecting our first “cold” front this weekend. By Tuesday we’ll be down in the 60’s! HELL YEAH! If that happens, it will set a new record for us here in SE Texas.  Bring it on!  I’m so ready.

Back of House

Of course I had to snap a shot of my baby.  I think she approves of the upgrades.  (laughing)
Since we put the chairs out she loves jumping up in them for a little cat nap.  I’m sure she thinks we did it all for her.  The little priss!

Kitty in the yard

And one more picture of the other architectural pottery planter in the front.  This one is black. I’ll probably never find another one… but we’ve always got our eyes peeled! They truly are perfect for our modern home.

Architectural Pottery Planter

I hope to be back again this week with an update on a small project I did in the bedroom. Glad it’s a short week. I vote for a 4 day week every week!!!!

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32 thoughts on “Architectural Pottery

  1. ScrapAndSalvage

    don’t EVER tell me again you don’t have great pottery. these are AMAZING. i love their rustic, clean look. and what a stellar backyard sitting area you have! i think the rounded white pot is my fave. plus your beautiful and content cat, ha! beautiful as always. lets figure out the reader alert so i don’t miss anything! ;) can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on!

    Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      Thanks Tamara! I really don’t have that many great pots but those three big ones are the ones I’m most proud to have. It was a real fluke to get those. Sorry about the reader mess… I submitted a request for help but who knows. It makes no sense to me but I can be pretty dense sometimes. Glad you’re checking on me, though. I’m so happy you’re here!

      Reply
      1. ScrapAndSalvage

        note to self. check old posts for comment replies and your site for new posts. i can do this!! (hell, i should just keep a tab in my browser open with your url loaded, night and day.) xo

        Reply
  2. Dana@Mid2Mod

    I absolutely love Architectural Pottery, but I haven’t located any yet. There are several styles by LaGardo Tackett that I’m dying for, and I would love to have at least one of his hilarious condom holders…not that I’d actually have any practical use for them, except that they make me smile.

    Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      Hey Dana! I’m shocked that we found the ones we did. In all the years of looking you’d think we’d run into a few here and there but it’s rare… so I’m so pleased to have them. The condom holders are hilarious. If I ever find one I’ll send it to you. HA HA! I’m sure there’s something you could “hide” in there. (laughing!) Thanks for looking!

      Reply
      1. Dana@Mid2Mod

        I’m working on my SIL, trying to talk him into becoming a dealer, and I don’t think it’s going to be too hard a sell. He told me last night that he had already contacted them about it a couple of months ago and was leaning that direction. I’d love to have some original ones, but I won’t turn down the new ones at dealer cost if he has them in the store!

        Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      Hi Meghan. I know, I know… more plants and more pots. I have a serious problem. HA HA! I’m glad you like them. Unfortunately it’s just more to “take care of”, but it’s worth it. I enjoy it!
      Thanks for visiting.

      Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      I agree, Brittney! The outside of the house looked so crappy for so long I was afraid it wasn’t ever going to look okay. This solid stain hides a lot of years of neglect and has turned out even better than I thought. My new motto is: If it looks like crap… just paint it! So far so good. :-)

      Reply
  3. Kim

    I LOVE architectural pottery, and they look perfect on your patio! We managed to find a few nice pots here and there at some thrift stores, so we got lucky. I would really love to have one with an iron base!
    Also, your new blog looks great! I can’t wait til I can do the same one day..

    Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      Oh Kim… you have the MOST beautiful pots… who’s kidding who!!!! Whenever I see one of your gorgeous photos of them it makes me want more. (which is driving Richie crazy!) There’s just something about the white pottery. I fall for it every time! Thanks for the sweet comments all the way around. I’m enjoying the new blog and all the possibilities. Thanks for keeping up with me!

      Reply
  4. Our Heritage Home

    Those pots do compliment your home so well and the painting of the house really makes a big difference, it’s nice to see it all coming together, congrats!
    The new blog it lovely, I hope to one day follow, it’s on my never ending to do list!

    Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      Thanks! I can hardly believe me eyes sometimes. Going from that old nasty, faded rough wood to something so even, pretty, and “finished” looking. Big difference is right! We’re both happy with the final results. Now I just need to figure out how to incorporate your pipe idea. I just went crazy for that. We love that kind of thing!!!! Thanks for following along. :-)

      Reply
  5. Victoria Elizabeth

    I am still amazed at the colored stain. It looks absolutely flawless.
    I was totally distracted from your projects by how wonderful your windows/wall of glass is… that is an incredible amount of natural light. The two in the center look like maybe they are seamed differently? Do they move/slide? Or is than an illusion?

    Your projects are gorgeous, as always!! Love the terracotta-color/now-white planters… such an unusual shape. And the oversized ones are huge… such a great accent for your outdoor space.

    Your blog looks fantastic. Not different… but tweaked. Very clean and sophisticated. Love your new clock-looking logo!! I uploaded .org and started playing with my theme… but some of the changes I want to make seem like I’d be better off switching to a new theme entirely. Which is WAY more work than I want to do. Sigh.

    Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      Hi Victoria! Wow, you have a good eye! Yes, those middle panels of glass are different. They both slide open.
      It’s very rare that we actually get to open them because it’s so damn hot here… but there’s a “cold” front coming this weekend so maybe I’ll get to open them for a few days. It’s really a cool feature.

      Wow, that’s really cool that you played with the wordpress software. I ended up using a totally different theme and then moving it all around and customizing it. I have to admit it was fun digging in the code and making it into just what I wanted. But I do understand that it can be frustrating and a huge pain. I seem to be a glutton for punishment. (blogs and renovating!) HA!

      Thanks for the visit. It seems we’re both into “huge planters” lately. (lol) Can’t wait to see how gorgeous yours turns out. If it’s anything like your porch it will blow me away!

      Reply
  6. Alex @ northofseven

    How did I miss this post? I knew it wasn’t showing up in my reader. This is not good. I have to fix this. Your backyard area is out of a magazine. It is utopia. I could stare the the photo of grey trim and windows all day.

    Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      Hi Alex! Thanks for finding me despite the reader mess. I have no idea why it won’t show up and I’ve submitted a request for help to wordpress.com support but it will probably go no where. Sorry for being a pain! Thanks for the sweet words and for subscribing. It means a lot!!!

      Reply
  7. Danielle

    The new paint is beautiful!! We actually just hired someone (gasp!) to do some freshening up around our exterior… it’s amazing what new paint and stain can do. Love the results at your place… it definitely looks like a resort. Enjoy!

    Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      Oh Danielle… I dream of hiring someone…. so I’m VERY EXCITED FOR YOU! There’s nothing like going to work and coming home to PROGRESS. Any gasping would be followed by a huge smile! I’m excited to see what you’re doing. I’m sure it feels weird to have the kids back in school. You guys had a fun and productive summer! Thanks for looking… I hope to enjoy my “resort” a little over then next week… and then it’s back to work. :-)

      Reply
      1. Danielle

        We were getting pretty desperate and Tyson didn’t have the time to get to it before the rain hits. Serioursly… He just looked out the window at the area we had done and literally said “Wow… it looks amazing! Remember how it looked like we lived in a trailer park?” And not a good trailer park either. I’ll post photos soon.

        Reply
  8. CT

    Stacey — It looks great out there. Definitely magazine worthy. And you can never have too many plants (and amazing white pots to put them in!!) I wonder if there is any Architectural Pottery around the STL area. I may have to keep an eye out. Congrats on being able to enjoy the fruits of all your hard labor. Cheers – CT

    Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      Thanks CT! You know oh so well how good it feels to “get somewhere” with a project. Even when you’re not completely done you know it’s getting there and it feels so darn good.

      I’m starting to re-think my plant obsession as I sit here with a thumb I can barely move. One of my cactus plants stabbed me in the thumb (even with gloves on) and now my whole joint is so swollen I can barely move it! DANG! Hope it heals on its own or I’m headed to the doctor all because I can’t leave well enough alone! Pretty white pots might be “bad for me”… it’s all their fault. Ha Ha!

      Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      Hi Kelly! I’m sorry you had to sign up again. I double checked my subscribers listed and it has you “confirmed” on Today, August. 6th. Sorry it didn’t catch you last time… might be my fault, as every process including subscriptions are now managed and set up by me (yikes!)… so I could have screwed something up when you last subscribed. All looks good, though. Again, sorry about that. A few little kinks to work out after my move. I’m learning. :-)
      Glad you’re here… and THANK YOU so much for stopping by. Your great eye for design is always welcome and appreciated. Hope the house is progressing!!! (so exciting)
      Stacey

      Reply
      1. Kelly R.

        Oh no worries! Technical troubles are my specialty :). I’m just glad I’m back ‘in’ the fold. The house is progressing – painting is underway, floors to be sanded and finished starting tomorrow, and cabinetry is sitting on the floor in the approximate locations where it will be installed. All of the pics I took are either super blurry, dark or have my son’s finger in them (or all of the above), so I’ll probably wait on another update until I have my husband to wield the Baby Bjorn :).

        Reply
  9. Pippa

    Hello, Dana sent me over, OMG people you are living my dream, so pleased to become a follower! I too love anything to do with MC, plants, design etc but your home has me doing a happy dance! You get so used to seeing lovely homes by anonymous folk but not this time, your very generous with your sharing! Anyway enough gushing, pleased to meet you! Pippa

    Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      HEY PIPPA! So nice of you to visit my little mess of a blog. Dana is so awesome! It’s been such a pleasure getting to know her through emails and her blog. I love the things she writes about and the people who follow her are super cool… so hello, it’s so nice to meet you too.

      We are overwhelmed with this house but it was the one of the best (and hardest) decisions we’ve ever made. It’s more work then we ever thought. But aren’t most things that are truly worth it, I guess. Thank you for following along and checking in on us. I will take some time today and visit yours as well… I’m sure we have LOTS in common.
      Great to make the connection… thanks for reaching out. I’m so pleased!! Have a great weekend and thanks again. Talk to you soon!
      Stacey

      Reply
  10. Sandy Cash

    Hey Stacey. Loved this post. and photos. Right where my heads at, as I’m so into pot plants at moment too [coming into spring here, yay!] Love the pots and plants. I’ve also tried finding your air plants here in Sydney and not had much luck. Bummer. Also I am sure you have received this before [probably a few times] but I’m putting you on my list of One Lovely Blogs. Cheers Sandy

    Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      Hey Sandy! Oh my goodness… the fun is just beginning for you then. SPRING… YAY! My favorite time of year. Fall here is a great time to repot, plant, and work in the yard in general… so I’m trying to get things done after the summer beat everything down. Thanks for the comment! I’m a sucker for pretty pots (and anything you seem to post!!!! Such great stuff!).
      Thanks for including me on your list. I think you and your blog are lovely, indeed.

      P.S. You’re so amazing… remembering that I’m a Libra baby and about to turn (44) shhhh, don’t tell anyone. I’m old. So sweet of you. I might need to make a birthday “wish list”. (ha ha!)

      Reply
  11. the home tome

    These pots are gorgeous: and nice work on re-painting that round one.

    I think foxtail ferns are my new fave plant! Thanks for the introduction.

    So I’m looking across the room at what we call our “jungle” ie the corner by the picture window with a cluster of seven plants. And I’m thinking: maybe we could do something better than using those white plastic pails. I’m embarrassed to say that one of them even has the price tag showing (2.99, container store). Ha! I say to myself, “Oh, Stacey would never let that happen.” I’m always just so distracted by the fact that the plants are STILL ALIVE (not my doing, Rob’s the the green thumb) that I don’t even see the pots. Well. Past tense: I didn’t. Thanks for the inspiration. :)

    Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      Thanks! I really love those foxtails and they live through anything! Since it’s stays pretty warm here lots of people plant them in their yards too.
      HA HA HA! I never noticed the plastic pots at your place…. I was always taken by the gorgeous plants. Hey, who cares if they’re plastic… they look great to me! Sometimes its just so hard to find nice pots that are big enough for your plants. If you do find one, you have to take out a second mortgage to afford them. It’s so crazy what they charge for pottery. YAY plastic… the plants certainly don’t care.
      Glad you stopped by!

      Reply

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