Today I’m sharing my front hall spring refresh using soup tureens as planters. I just love the shape of soup tureens and quite frankly the overall idea of a soup tureen makes me smile! It just seems like such a fancy piece of tableware and their shape, each one unique, is what draws me to them. Their lids are often ornate with a sweet ball-shaped handle and their handles and feet get me every time! To be honest, I have never actually used one to serve soup but there is something about their history and their air of elegance that draws me in. As my uncle Steven would say, “Fancy-schmancy.”

green apothacary with pansies in soup tureen

A Little Soup Tureen History

A quick search on the Internet and I learned that Soup Tureens were introduced to the English via the French in the early 18th century. I read that Louis XIV‘s taste for hot, rich stews is often credited as a major influence in the use of tureens. They were originally pewter or silver and later, around 1740 moved to earthenware and porcelain. There are so many styles and patterns that are all so beautiful but for this project I thought I would stick to the all white ones.

4 different soup tureens

Finding Soup Tureens

When I set out to search for tureens online I found them to be quite pricey. I knew if I were going to do this project I would need to thrift them. Luckily I was able to purchase four tureens from The Blessing Barn Store in Mendon, MA. Each was around $20-$25 with the small one being just $8. Perfect! The Blessing Barn Store is a secondhand/thrift store whose profits go to local charities that support families in need. It is a feel good place to shop and one of my favorite stores. You can learn more about The Blessing Barn Store here.

soup tureens in a row

Choosing Plants

Once I had the tureens, off to Home Depot I went to find some pansies. In April, here in MA the flowering plants are just arriving at the garden centers with pansies usually arriving first. I wanted the tureens to be the highlight in this design so I decided on these subtle little white violas. Fun fact: did you know that all pansies are violas but not all violas are pansies? Who knew?? Another fun fact is if the flower has four petals pointing upward and only one pointing down it’s a Pansy. If the flower has two petals pointing upward and 3 down then it’s a viola.  This was news to me and with a quick glance at the ones I picked out it was clear – I had violas.

violas in a soup tureen

Planting Violas

Next for planting, I simply filled the tureen with potting soil and then added the violas. To add a little texture and to help support the flowers in standing up straight I added some excelsior. Per usual I over-bought so the extras landed in a few of the drawers.

violas in a drawer in the apothacary

I had my green apothecary turned card catalog already planned out as the space for these beauties. I still had my Easter décor out so these sweet tureen potted violas gave this space a pretty refresh and will take us right into spring.

soup tureen planters

What’s Next For These Tureens

Once the blooms pass, I will wash the tureens out and place them on top of our dining room hutch. I’m not sure I will ever serve soup or stew in them (as I write this Ray and the boys are eating dinner in front of Sports Center on the TV….soooooo I think its safe to assume at the moment we’re pretty far from fancy tureen dinners around here, lol.) Having said that I do see some fresh floral arrangements making their way into these tureens in the not to distant future! You know I love a unique vessel when arranging flowers!

soup tureen planters on apothecary

I am also considering hanging just the lids on our dining room wall. Let me know what you think!

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Thank you for visiting the blog today! I was excited to share Using Soup Tureens as Planters with you! For another plant idea check out DIY Topiaries Using Grapevine Wreaths.

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