Welcome to Design track mind by Melissa Gulley

I am an interior designer from Newton, MA having a lot of fun writing this blog between client appointments, kid stuff, kid school stuff, dog stuff, husband stuff, husband's company stuff (http://www.fueldog.com/), life stuff, old house stuff, family stuff, extended family stuff and the rest of the detail stuff. I am not a writer (clearly) so please ignore the typo's, spelling mistakes and desperate need for proofreading.

Obsessions: Opaline

Now many of you know I have various things I collect.  Entering my house you are, of course, struck by the vast turquoise accents.  Many of my collections were inspired by my Grandmother Alice.  One such collection is Opaline Glass and it started with these lamps that I adore- my family is so afraid to break them that they make me put them in a place where they rarely go (whatever- as long as they stay intact).
Grandma's opaline lamps
Opaline is a semi opaque, hand blown, hand polished French glass that began in production in the early 1800’s.  White and blue are the most popular colors but the other colors pink, green, yellow, red, black and lavender are more expensive due to rarity.  Although Italy and England have produced glass similar to Opaline, real Opaline was only produced in France.
Below see some examples of the blue color which can range from an intense medium blue to turquoise and aqua.  The picture of the lamps shows a particularly translucent variety.
V and M opaline

Christies opaline
blue opaline decanter set
blue opaline urn lt blue opaline lamps opaline_glass_crystal_boxth
White Opaline was the first color Opaline, and is created with bone ash which gives it the white color.  Opaline has a very high lead content and with oxides of anatomy and arsenic the other colors can be achieved.  When you hold the white Opaline up to the light you will see a red color radiating from where the light shows through.
white opaline dresser set white opaline perfume bottle white opaline scent bottles
Here are some examples of pink:
Pink opaline lamp 
Pink Opaline box
pink opaline sewing box
pink opaline snake vase
pink opaline set of lamps
Even though the glass looks so translucent you would think it’s paper thin, it’s not and actually has some heft to it.  It is much thicker than you would imagine.  Here are some green and yellow examples:

opaline box green
baccarat_glassth opaline

yellow opaline vases yellow_opaline_glassth Yellow opaline box lime green opaline box
And of course red, lavender and black:
FrenchOpaline red Lavendar opaline vase black opaline lamps
Information gathered from House Beautiful article on Opaline Boxes, January 2001.


  1. You certainly do seem to have an obsession! I love the green opaline...I find it very soothing for some reason.

    Jocelyn Hutt

  2. I agree. Thanks for the comment, I am new at this and it's so nice to know someone is out there!