It usually starts with a slightly over-the-top idea. MaoSayWhat shared this picture on Flickr as part of a set of photos taken at Billy Reid (I believe the NYC shop). It's such a striking look for instore display but I think, on an everyday basis at home, trying to store such a dense arrangement of scarves or handkerchiefs in a vintage trophy or urn would become impractical. However, the image did remind me of another use for ice buckets: napkin storage. Not super-crisp linen napkins that look best ironed, but less formal cotton napkins that can be stored in rolls on a kitchen shelf. Just another way to enjoy a terrific old bucket without waiting for a special occasion.
I don't have a walk-in closet, but if I had a place where I kept some accessories out and close at hand, I might keep a few wool scarves in a silver bucket. Probably too much of a dust magnet, though.
Maybe Mary McDonald still has the best idea. Take a closer look.
She suggests using pretty buckets to hold blueprint-like rolls of paper, or to serve as part-time waste baskets.
Three "blue office" photos above by Melanie Acevedo for domino, January/February 2006.
More pragmatic options. Flipping through San Francisco Style by Diane Dorrans Saeks, I spotted something I used to do: keep paintbrushes in smaller urns. Shown above are detailed views of artist Ira Yeager's barn cropped from David Duncan Livingston's lovely photographs. (I did a double take too. David Douglas Duncan is the photographer behind the Picasso books, one of which appears in my new blog banner painted by talented Anne Harwell.)
Happily, overstuffed cups in paintings never tip over. More on Anne's work and the muses behind the picture to follow. Related past post: Best in Show.
Off topic, but I suppose a different kind of bounty, Anthropologie's holiday ornaments are in. For me, the standouts are the swan, the skates, the peacock, and the ombre caribou.
If you have any plans this year to display ornaments in a vintage punch bowl, here's an inspirational image, also from David Duncan Livingston and San Francisco Style.
When I first put this post together, I should have included a reminder of the umbrella stand used by William Pahlmann Associates to hold blueprints as seen decades ago at the Tiffany Decorators' Show. Love this idea for wrapping paper too. Photograph is from Tiffany Table Settings.
These brass open-work styles aren't always so easy to find but they are really sharp.