6 Creative Ways to Decorate with Antique French Confit Pots

Bonjour! I am Susannah Cameron, cofounder of Chez Pluie. The first antique object I ever bought was a confit pot. I still have it proudly on display at home – it is small, about 8” high, with little handles and jaw-droppingly beautiful ocher glaze. I find these pots so alluring and have become completely and shamelessly addicted to collecting them. The team here at Chez Pluie were teasing me just the other day saying if you look up ‘confit pot’ in the dictionary, you will find a picture of me!!  Just quietly I wouldn’t be sad about that! For me, there is something so charming about confit pots and I was hooked the moment I first set eyes on them. The best thing is that they are an absolute joy to collect and decorate with year-round. The ‘collecting’ aspect means that I have a perfect excuse to buy these whenever I like! This means that I have a huge personal collection and also love to gift them to friends who share my passion for pottery. If I see one at a brocante or at an antiques fair I will buy it – the condition is important, so both handles need to be intact, and the patina needs to be nicely timeworn. I love ocher glazed confit pots and when I find a green one, I will snap it up to add contrast and color to my collection.

I love displaying amaryllis bulbs in them at Christmas, and if I have orchids in bloom, they add height and a whole other dimension to confit pots. During the summer, we have potted basil on the kitchen counter, and it is always sitting in a little 6” confit pot.

Susannah Cameron Chez Pluie Provence founder - pottery obsessed confit pots 

What are confit pots and what were they used for?

Confit pots are a tangible link to French culinary traditions, particularly those from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They represent a time-honored method of food preservation before refrigeration - they were originally used for preserving cooked meats under a seal of fat, hence the name pot à graisse or ‘grease pot’ in French. You will notice that they are half-glazed around the top, this was for three reasons. Firstly, the glaze prevented little rodents from being able to grip onto the surface of the pot and feast on the contents. Secondly, they were glazed inside and the top half of the outside to keep the pot watertight and cool through evaporation. Thirdly, it was less expensive to glaze pots partially rather than entirely.

Antique French confit pots in bookcase vitrine with antique portrait painting

Collection of antique French confit pots in antique bookcase

Where are confit pots from?

For me, confit pots are as symbolic of Provence as lavender, poppies, and sunflowers. Their sunny, cheerful yellow glaze is a color that is found everywhere in homes in Provence – linens, tiles, wallpaper, and paint colors are often bright yellow. Confit pots were made in southwest France from Castelnaudary to Anduze. They are beautifully made from terracotta which is abundant in these areas of France. The combination of practicality and beauty in these pots will appeal to those who appreciate objects with a story and a purpose.

Details of antique French confit pots ochre and green glaze

Here are my 6 favorite ways to use confit pots.

1. As a Centerpiece for Dining Tables

Create an eye-catching centerpiece for your dining table by grouping several confit pots of varying sizes, heights, and diverse colors. They can be filled with potted flowers, a spring posy, candles, or left empty for a more sculptural arrangement. Integrating confit pots into a tablescape adds a Provençal touch to your dining room. Try pairing an ocher pot with a splash of green with a solid green glazed pot – they will make a great impact.

Antique French confit pots with hydrangeas and tulips

2. As a Rustic Vase for Fresh Flowers

A similar idea is to use confit pots as vases for fresh flowers. Don’t hold back! Clusters of confit pots overflowing with garden clippings, branches and blooms will make you smile every time you catch a glimpse. Personally, I don’t think a prettier vase exists! Make sure that you use a watertight container inside to protect the pot and furniture.

Antique French confit pot green with hydrangeas

Vignette of antique French green and ocher pottery

3. Planters for Herbs and Flowers

Confit pots can be transformed into charming planters or cache pots for herbs or flowers. Whether you're growing basil, thyme, or a small indoor plant (orchids look gorgeous), these pots offer a unique way to display greenery in your kitchen or living room. The rustic look contrasts beautifully with the freshness of the plants, creating a natural and inviting feature. And again, don't forget to use a watertight container inside to protect the pot and furniture.

Antique French confit pot with hydrangeas

4. Decorative Container for Cutlery and Napkins

Use confit pots in your dining area to store flatware and serviettes. This not only adds a decorative element to your space but also makes it easy to set the table for meals, combining functionality with provincial charm. Below is a photo from a client in the US with their confit pot purchased from Chez Pluie.

Antique French confit pot as kitchen utensil holder

And here, another creative client (Interior designer MelroseCo) has used their Chez Pluie confit pot as a vase on the veranda.

Weatherboard veranda with confit pot as vase

Confit pot as vase on veranda


5. In the Bathroom for Storing Bath Salts and Soaps

In the bathroom, confit pots can be used to store bath salts, soaps, or small hand towels, adding a touch of rustic elegance. This idea combines practicality with a spa-like ambiance, making your bathroom feel more luxurious and inviting but with a touch of French country. Large-scale confit pots could also be used as a receptacle for single us guest hand towels once used.

Collection of antique pottery with green glaze

 Antique French confit pot with blossom

Antique French pottery with easel



6. Display in a Collection

Simply displaying a collection of confit pots can be a decorative statement in itself. The options are countless. Arrange them on a mantelpiece, bookshelf, or in a dedicated display cabinet. This will showcase their unique shapes, colors, and sizes, celebrating their history and beauty. Don’t forget to include tian bowls, cruches and conscience jugs if you have them – the subtle differences in shape and color will play off one another.

How to decorate with antique French confit pots - commode console vignette

Collection of antique French ocher confit pots with Karibou landscape stone wall

 Collection of antique French confit pots open shelves

Another client is a skilled artist, Vitaly from Lititz, PA. She loves confit pots as much as me and has painted this stunning still life featuring a green-glazed confit pot. 

Antique French confit pot with green glaze from Chez Pluie

Still life painting of antique French confit pots

Collection of yellow ocher and green glazed French confit pots


Discover our collection of antique and vintage French confit pots.


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1 comment

Hello, just wanted to thank-you for all the inspiration you give me by all your beautiful pictures and information, it makes me very happy to see and learn of a life I will have one day :)

Michelle Burdett May 11, 2021

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