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Design Classic: Mid-century Decorative Glass

For many years now I have been obsessing with various rainbow shades and imaginative shapes of vintage coloured glass from restrained forms of Holmegaard bowls to bursts of colour by Blenko or Murano glass.

What I really like about it, is that you can easily find a spectacular looking object, be it a vase, a paper weight or an ashtray and create a unique centrepiece for a relatively small price compared to, say, a piece of art.


I have recently browsed Etsy and found so many amazing designs that I would like to share with you, so they can be an inspiration not just to me, but perhaps to some of you too. I have added links to the product under each photo.

When searching for coloured glass I look out for the following makers:

Czechoslovakian vintage glass. Some of it, like Exbor sommerso glass, can get quite expensive but there are cheaper options too if you go for less well known makers.

Murano, by different makers. There is a lot of cheap, tacky looking Murano glass around, made to trap tourists, but there are some amazing finds too, like this scallop shaped dish below. At the other end of the spectrum is Venini of course. I remember their amazing shop in Venice that I bumped into.

Vintage glass 6

Mid century Murano glass bowl

Vintage glass 11

Murano Optic Art Paperweight

Sommerso – “submerged” in Italian is a technique used to create several layers of glass inside a single object, giving the illusion of “immersed” colours that lay on top of each other without mixing. The result can be rather striking.



Holmegaard. Apart from Otto Brauer’s Gulvase which can sell for hundreds of pounds I also found these wonderful votives in thick textured crystal.

Of course smoky minimalist forms of these Per Lutken finds are timeless.

Blenko – American brand that claim to be the most colourful glass makers. Despite that, it is this heavy clear glass bowl that appealed to me most! In my living room I do have one of their decanters in orange though.



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