In Progress—Elsie’s Rainbow Glassware Collection!

In progress- collecting colorful glassware!Today, I'm excited to share the progress I'm making on a rainbow glassware display in our breakfast nook. 

If you watched my empty home tour, you might remember that this rainbow glassware display was one of the things I had planned since pretty much the day we first saw this house. We already have plenty of other spaces for our white dishes and clear glassware, so this little built-in in the breakfast nook was the perfect spot to do a fun pop of color! 

I don't thrift shop or visit flea markets as much as I did in my twenties (which was once or more weekly), but I still have a soft spot for vintage. So it's been fun for me to have one focused collection to work on this year. Sometimes I just like to go and browse on a Sunday afternoon, and this collection has given me something to search for so I don't bring home knick knacks (or as my husband would call it, "clutter"). 

In progress- collecting colorful glassware! I've enjoyed the slowness of this collection. I probably could have done it faster, but I gave myself a budget for each piece (I try to keep each piece under $3, and $5 when it's an extra pretty/special one!) At flea markets, depression glass (and fake depression glass) can be pretty pricy…sometimes up to $20 for one piece in Missouri. I skip over those, reminding myself that I've already found plenty at the thrifts for .25 cents each! 

In progress- collecting colorful glassware!  In the beginning I planned which colors I wanted to collect. I skipped red because it's just not my favorite in this kind of glassware (too goth?), and I skipped orange because it's really hard to find. 

I've put extra effort into finding pink, turquoise and bright yellow (not amber) because those are the colors I think I will use the most for table settings. By the way, in case you are wondering, I 100% plan to use this glassware for parties and cocktail nights. It is a pretty collection, but it's not just a collection. 

In progress- collecting colorful glassware!   The details on the individual pieces are really fun! This goblet with stars makes me smile.

In progress- collecting colorful glassware!    As you can see, I still have some gaps and holes to fill. I'm fine with it being a long-term collection. Maybe by the time I have the breakfast nook tour ready to share, it will be full, but maybe not. 

In progress- collecting colorful glassware!      Here's where I am today. You can see they still have tags and stuff on them. I was just kind of putting them up so I could see what colors I need more of. Basically every color, huh? Green and yellow are filling up. Pink and purple are more challenging to find.

Anyway! That's my little flea market/thrift project. I'm looking forward to seeing it come together! 

Anyone in the Nashville area have any suggestions for the best flea market and thrift shops? And while I'm at it—places to buy plants? :) 

Thanks for letting me share! A lot of you guys have requested that we share more progress reports instead of just waiting till the big before/after reveal. So I'm going to do more of that with this house. I hope it will allow you to feel more involved in the process from start to finish. That would be awesome! xx- Elsie 

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions

  • This is seriously such a beautiful collection. So many great things there.

    Do you ever use the glassware or just keep it on the shelf. Just wondering.

  • I live in Murfreesboro, and there are 3 giant antique warehouses right next to each other off of I-24 and 231/Church Street. One of them has a few booths that are pretty much all glassware. Not sure how they’re priced, but I always admire them when I’m looking around!

  • Southern Thrift in Donelson (15-20 mins from downtown) has great glassware. I see colored glassware there all the time. While you’re at it, on Fridays, across the street from Southern Thrift is a wonderful farmers market!

  • You’ve accumulated quite the collection! I always see these at thrift shops, but I never knew what people do with them. I love how you have so many different colors on display!

    Monica – Mocha and Moccasins

  • Your collection is lovely!

    I want your advise on something, I just bought a house and I am dying to paint the walls and the trim in white. What color do you recomend? Please advise, Thanks 🙂

  • There are several antique stores in Nolensville, TN that have some great glass collections. We usually have breakfast at the Nolensville Feed Mill and than wonder through all the shops right there around it.

  • Oh yes, definitley more of small progres posts 🙂 We love to read about your thoughts, future plans etc even in the process of making it all. Would be great if you add a tag “Elsie’s house” or something similar to later track all the posts like this. Cause we love them! 🙂

    Have a great day everybody!

  • Beautiful collection! I’m a Nashville native and I usually have good luck thrifting at the goodwill in rivergate. It is huge!! Also Robinson flea market in Madison is really good. Each booth is individual sellers so you never know what you’ll find and prices vary dramatically depending on the seller. For plants, check out bates nursery in whites creek. Good luck!

  • Oh, I am so jealous! I wish I had space to display so many pretty things but I live in a smallish apartment. Plus my cat is a butthead, plotting the death of anything breakable. My obsession is teacups; have to be blue and preferably made somewhere in Europe. Everyone should know the joy of finding that one gorgeous piece at a great price as you gather a collection.

  • This is a beautiful collection, and a fantastic idea :o) Thanks for being such an inspiration!!!

  • Beautiful! I love old glassware and have been collecting pink Depression glass. I’ve never used it though because I’m afraid of lead poisoning 🙁 Do you happen to know if this is something to even be concerned about? I’ve found conflicting reports when I search online. Would love to actually use my glassware if I can.

  • What a gorgeous collection! Thanks for not choosing red, that means more for me! I have an intense vintage glassware addiction.

    I buy most of my plants at Gardens of Babylon (at the far end of the Farmer’s Market on Rosa Parks Blvd). Moss’ Florist in Mt. Juliet is another favorite, and they have gorgeous home/holiday decor as well.

  • I agree with you about the ruby glass, it is just so red. You could try looking for cranberry glass. I collected it for many years, it is beautiful. It gets its gorgeous cranberry color from adding gold which is why it used to be pretty expensive. Glass as a whole is quite cheap right now. At least 5 years ago, the prices really started going down because no one was collecting anymore. With the economy the way it has been people don’t have the disposable income to collect. Your best bet for getting great glass may come from estate sales. The ones that the family does not the ones that a business does. The family usually just wants to get rid of it and doesn’t check into the worth. A yellow that I know you would love is almost fluorescent. It is called Vaseline glass. You an check it out on the internet to see the amazing color. I know you aren’t a “collector” but a few of these pieces would be beautiful in your collection. I am no pro on glassware but my Aunt ran house sales for years and would tell me all about the glassware. Hope this helps.

  • Thanks for this post! I love it for a most random reason… I recently received 2 small bowls from my mom that belonged to my Great-Grandmother… The very same amber ones in your top photo (with the label still attached stating the pattern name!!) My great-grandmother died in 1957 & these bowls are among the few things we have from her, but we knew nothing about them…until now 🙂

  • What a beautiful collection! It looks fantastic how you’ve set it up so far. I recently started one and am not having too much luck in my local thrift shops and flea markets but this definitely inspires me to keep looking!

  • LOVE THIS!!!!! So pretty! I also love the “progress report” would love to see more of those!!! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Beautiful! I cannot wait to see how you use it to style parties and get togethers. I have hard time collecting stuff just for collecting sake. I have moved to many times. Glassware would be fun since you can actually use it.

  • I love this. I got rid of my old glass and dinnerware a couple years back with the hopes that I would start to build a collection out of finds from vintage, thrift, or consignment shops. I’m still waiting to find that perfect first piece to start my collection. Reading this just renews my desire to start the hunt again.

  • This is seriously gorgeous! I don’t have the patience to browse through thrift stores etc so I always admire people who do. I love how the pieces are colour coordinated but so different at the same time. This makes me want some fun glasswear for my parties!

  • This is so beautiful. This is something that I could actually do and it looks so satisfying to group the colors together. I love it.

  • I’ve never seen such a beautiful glass display in my life! So inspiring- i feel like i need to start collecting colorful glasses right now! haha. love your blog!
    I just started my own lifestyle blog- http://www.shisays.com check it out!

  • My Favorite places to go thrifting/antiquing are… Madison/Goodlettsville: Goodlettsville Antique Mall, Tara’s Antiques Mall, Rare Bird Antique Mall and Madison Flea Market. Nashville: 8th Ave Antiques, Cool Stuff Weird Things (there’s several other thrift shops on Charlotte too) ALSO! this Saturday is the Watertown Mile Long Yard Sale. Its definitely more than a mile because it starts almost immediately off the interstate in Lebanon and goes until Watertown which is a cute little town 🙂

  • I don’t know if there’s one in Nashville or not, but next time you’re back in SGF you should check at Gordmans. (Of all places! lol) I’ve found some great colored glasses there for $3-$5!

  • Yes. Yes. Yes. This is exactly what I felt like was missing before and I have totally noticed in your recent posts more progress posts and personal posts. THANK YOU for listening to your readers! This makes me totally fall in love with abm again.

  • These glasses are so fun and will add a unique and fun element to entertaining! Good luck with the rest of the collection! Can’t wait to see them in use 🙂

  • Hi Tori,
    Yes! I am planning to actually use the glassware (I haven’t yet because it’s fresh from the flea market and hasn’t been washed yet- haha!) 😀
    xx- Elsie

  • Hi Brenda!
    I think the brightest white possible (whatever is closet to untinted white) is best for trim and shiny too. That makes it pop against the walls. 🙂
    xx! Elsie

  • Ugh- me too! I have gotten rid of and sold SO much vintage stuff in the last five years. It’s nice having a collection I can work on that’s useful and pretty (and has boundaries! haha) because I still love going to thrifts just for fun.
    xx- Elsie

  • Hooray! I’d love to see what you end up choosing! It took me a long time to find this collection and really the main reason I started was because this shelf was so perfect for it. 🙂
    xx- Elsie

  • The rainbow really ties it together. I had a few of these turquoise glasses in my old house and I loved them for some weird reason, but I felt like they didn’t have a place or a use. I’m happy they do now. 🙂
    xx- Elsie

  • I know that they are out of budget, but I’m surprised to see no glassware from the Madonna Inn among your collection! I love their goblets. They have lots of pink and purple 😉

  • When we visited The Madonna Inn it was right before we were house shopping, so I wasn’t collecting yet. I remember them from there restaurant though- aren’t they super GIANT? haha! Maybe next time!
    xx- Elsie

  • I can’t believe how great this looks! I’m always spotting little glasses like this, you’ve completely inspired me to pick some up. I know you said from flea markets/thrift stores but anthropolgie always has beautiful, colorful glasses!

    Laura

    http://thefoxtrails.blogspot.com

  • elsie, i love all the vintage shops on 8th ave – pre to post modern, preservation station, 8th ave antique mall and wonders on woodland in east nashville!

    for plants, check out moore + moore and flowermart – both magical.

  • Really pretty and practical, too. I think if I had a breakfast nook like that I’d be tempted to do the same thing! I have Depression glass from my grandma’s collection and I love it.

  • I love it! A couple of years ago i gifted a friend 5 beautiful, different colored wine glasses. I now wish i would have kept them! Time to go thrifting!

  • What a beautiful collection. Makes me want to start collecting unique glassware like that! 🙂

    xo Amber |The Everyday Dame

  • Love it! I’ve always wanted to have a collection, this is a great idea! Looks great and gives color to the house.

  • Love this! I also love that it’s not a traditional rainbow. Can’t wait to see how the collection pans out 😉

  • Love it! I’ve always wanted to start collecting something but I didn’t knew what. This is a great idea! I love that it also adds great color to the house.

  • Love this kind of posts: progress info, quirky details, thrift goodness. It’s what I like in ABM – creative ideas easy to apply for everyone.
    Keep’em coming, please!

  • If you’re looking to add to your collection, there’s a great vintage shop in East Nashville called Lost Century that has a lot!!

  • So cute! These would look really cool if the shelves had some sort of back-lighting. Almost like a stained glass effect 🙂

  • Love your collection! I have a lot of this style glassware too! Mostly pink and some blue- it started with my grandma showing me her depression glass that was handed down! Now I have her pink Miss America salt and pepper shakers! I also have a fun red tea cup and saucer set- they are a little goth but the simplicity of the pattern makes it really classy! Thanks for sharing!

    Xoxo,
    Laura
    http://lauraisthriftingthroughlife.blogspot.com/

  • So in love with this collection!! For my wedding I collected vintage glasses and vases that were various shades of my wedding colors and used them for centerpieces. This sort of takes me back to that and makes me want to start all over again with all the colors of the rainbow!

    ♥Heather

  • I love these! If you feel like adding a few non-vintage glasses to fill out the collection, The Pioneer Woman has a line at Walmart (I know, the big box store of all box stores) that are turquoise, plum & clear. I’m guessing, though, since your house isn’t finished yet, you are in no hurry to host a dinner party. 🙂

  • I love this idea. It is beautiful and a way to thrift shop with a focus. I love looking at the glassware but rarely buy any. Now I might have to change that. My daughter does eclectic shopping like this with dishes and has a unique collection of plateware.