Home(goods) for the Holidays (Written by: Johnny Was)

Holiday decorations are festive, but they get packed away in January, which can make those drab months feel even more lackluster. To liven up your abode 365 days a year, we have collaborated with Mela Artisans to create a unique, handcrafted line of home accessories. Working with an artisan in India, Mela blends traditional techniques like hand enameling, woodworking, ceramics and painting with contemporary design.

We selected Mela Artisans for our partnership for their message to preserve artisan techniques and skilled artisans, but also for their mindful efforts with donating a portion of proceeds of all sales towards promoting health and education in over 10 developing communities throughout India. Since 2014, they have worked with over 20,000 female artisans, paying them a fair wage, opened up three medical camps in different communities, fitted over 600 pairs of eyeglasses and delivered many solar-powered lanterns to remote locations.

For our collaboration, we took some of our most popular prints and had them hand-lacquered onto bowls, frames and vases. Most of the woodworking happens in Saharanpur, a small city about 125 miles outside of Delhi. The ceramics are primarily crafted in Khurja, which has been dubbed “the ceramics city” as it has over 500 small factories with kilns.

One of our favorite pieces is the enamel decorated Clermont Vase, with its bold, spring-themed floral design that’s perfect for storing cooking utensils next to the stove. Speaking of utensils, a great gift for you or someone you love are the Clermont Serving Spoons, crafted from wood with painted handles to add a fresh pop of color to all salads or serving dishes.

For your picture-perfect moments, we love the Bardeaux Large Frame and the Enchanted Large Frame. Both can either stand on a dresser or be hung on the wall. With their bright designs, they are a perfect contrast to a black and white photo and one of our favorite gifts for loved ones is a framed picture (that was the inspiration behind these frames). Also, great for office desks or when creating a salon-type wall in a hallway or living room.

Finally, for something more neutral, the Mela Hammered Aluminum Bowls are stunning. Each one is hammered by hand to give a beautiful hand-hewn texture with a raw edge, while the inside is painted with a layer of bold enamel. These can stand alone or be filled with citrus fruits, dried flowers or even a potted succulent. Also, if you need something in your entryway to stash keys and mail that still feels high design, this is our pick.

For more ideas on decorating with Johnny Was, as well as easy gift ideas, head over to our Home Edit.

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