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Photo: Meg McKinney Simle

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Think this space owes its impact and young appeal to a novel piece of furniture or cutting-edge design? Think again. An antique collection of colored milk glass inspired the look of the interior. The homeowners hung the various milk-glass plates in groupings on the walls and placed containers and other pieces on the mantel and tables. The living room's creamy palette provided the perfect backdrop for the pops of color.

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Milk glass has been traced back to 1500 B.C., and its popularity has spanned time. Named for its milky color, it was made by pressing molten glass into metal molds. These same molds were used to produce opaque glass in blues (like this piece), yellows, and greens. Milk glass became popular in America around the mid-1800s, when it served as an inexpensive substitute for porcelain. Hard to distinguish because many makers didn't mark their pieces, these objects can have a wide range of values. Be sure to look for chips, cracks, and replacement parts that may depreciate their worth.
 













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