Useful and Beautiful

I now use a beautiful fused-glass tray to store my dish sponges.  Yep, ordinary kitchen sponges and a vegetable brush on a not-inexpensive tray.  I’ve been wanting to designate a place for sponges because I hate leaving them in the sink or on the counter because they leave spots or  just encourage the mold that likes to cling to the grout immediately under the lip of the counter above the sink.  (I promise to go clean that as soon as I finish this post.) We’ve tried a wire basket and a ceramic mouse as sponge holders, but neither one of us was happy with their looks nor performance.

Then two weeks ago we were having lunch with some friends in Marin who have a small but beautiful kitchen that looks out onto the hills and water.  Now, my friend J is one of those women “who does everything more beautifully than you”.  She’s thin and pretty and can identify birds by their calls.  She’s a lawyer and a Pilates instructor.  She’s climbed Half-Dome and hung out with The Grateful Dead.  You know the type.  As she was cleaning up after lunch, I noticed that she used a colorful ceramic tray to hold her sponges.  Good Idea!  I began my hunt for one of my own.

Coincidentally, one of my favorite little shops here in town emailed me a 20% off coupon to abet my mission.  While the shop overflowed with lovely things, I did not spot my tray.  I almost came on home, but I had time on my meter and decided to walk further down the block and see what was new in a space that used to house a furniture shop.  The space is now divided into smaller shops: a wine store, a cigar store, a flower and gift shop, Merle Norman–and at the very end–The Artistic Home.  The business offers painting and crafts classes, but they also have a small display of objects for sale where I spotted the little green glass tray immediately.  I picked it up and put it down, thinking that I was being ridiculous for considering a piece of art to hold sponges.  Then I thought of William Morris’ Golden Rule that states “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”  Why can’t it be both?

grgltray

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