Decorating with English Tea Caddies

Did you know that tea was introduced from China to England in the middle of the 17th century?

Treasured, secretive as well as valued, tea used to be its own currency. The history relating to the fiscal implications of this commodity is very interesting; suffice it to say, I am glad we have it today, for many reasons. At the time tea was presented, it was believed to be therapeutic as well as delicious. The fragrant leaves were even prepared and drunk in ceremonial ways with ancient hierarchy. The English people accorded it time and space and this alone must have had the effect of producing a sense of well being. The health benefits of tea were known in the East for thousands of years.

I have become a lover of tea and also a collector of tea’s exquisite accouterments. Tea centers me and serves as a source of inspiration for my work. My bedtime ritual is to sit with my cup of hot tea to relax and unwind…then my mind can become creative; this is when I do some of my best work. Not only are you allowing yourself to relax, you can acquire extra antioxidants your body needs to help boost your immune system.

Tea has to be stored in a closed container to keep its precious leaves fresh. Tea caddies were made early in the 18th century, but it was not until the second half of the century that they were introduced as a home style accessory. Not only do I love tea, I have a natural affinity for those beautiful little caddies! It is amazing how intricate some of the inlays within the woodwork captures your attention. They have compartments inside that housed different leaves. The mere design of the boxes tells one how important these tiny little leaves were then…and still are to this day. Charles Faudree loves to incorporate tea caddies into his design. The Chippendale mirror and French Empire chest are the perfect setting for our caddies which are nestled underneath our French lamps with shield shades. They add a touch of class to any little spot that needs something different…sitting atop a stack of books, on a shelf or just…sitting alone; this setting would make Charles very happy!  Today we are featuring an array of English tea caddies, one being tortoise shell,  that would enhance any setting. Look at the fine hand craftsmanship each displays.  It is finding simplicity in simple things — simplicity takes clarity and confidence. Making your rooms work with harmony, proportion and effortless simplicity is key to decorating. Now relax and have a cup of tea!

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