A Show of Hands, Please

“Hands are the tools of tools.”

Picking up where the artisans and the philosophers left off, hands have carved out (molded? grabbed?) a place for themselves in home décor, from vintage glove forms and high art to mass-produced reproductions of same. For those of us who love boho home decor, they add an element of “quirk” to our spaces.

A few weeks ago I ran across these handsome photos on Bliss at Home




That golden all-hands-on-deck vase caught my eye immediately, and I love how the photographer led me further and further into the picture with successive closeups and different angles. It’s a beautifully appointed living room from head-to-toe. Or should I say, hands down?

But it’s the vase that has me in its grip.

Since then I’ve run across more than a few variations on the hand motif in interior design. Were they always there, waiting for me to scoop them up? Or am I pointing fingers at something new? Check out what I found…

Catch the wave


Whether this hand is saying hi or bye, waiting for a catch, fingering some jewelry, or simple looking pretty, as it most certainly does on this bedside table, I want one. I’m a big fan of white porcelain in dishes and decorative items because of its sculptural quality, so finding a source will be #1 on my to-do list. This photo is from the same home as the gold hands vase; see more photos of it here.


Pia Ulin

Raise your hands…or Hands up!…or I surrender! Which?

Pia Ulin’s moody photos are as compelling as the space designed by Lotta Agaton. I feel like giving in, so this must be a hand of surrender. I love the stark contrast of the white hand against the black wall and the white bedding lurking in the shadows. Follow the link for more photos of this home.


Romain Ricard

Perhaps this spotted hand is the mold for the “ov-glove” sold in infomercials? Regardless, it’s perfect in this whimsical vignette. The crow figurine makes me think A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Visual puns are my favorite decorating quirk!


Anders Bergstedt via Stadshem

The photographer uses selective focus to blur this hand, which makes it seem to usher us into the sharply focused inner sanctum of this comfy living room. Perhaps it’s the hand of fate? See more photos of this home on Delikatessen.

Hand in hand

Romain Ricard

Two hands really ARE better than one, right? The tone-on-tone grays in the hands and the wall color add subtle texture to the room. And check out that mantel lamp fashioned from a wine bottle. It doesn’t really need to work, you know? You could use this as a way to keep an unopened bottle (swerve for another pun) close at hand.


This hand seems poised to lend itself to the smaller but whole artist’s figurine. I want to warn the figurine but can’t decide which way to go: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you or Don’t play into his hands.


Alissa Sutton

This wall of helping hands was designed by Alissa Sutton Interiors and was found on The Style Envelope. That mirror-bordered mirror is to die for and has its hands full reflecting all its wall pals.

Message hands

Hand gestures may be an early form of texting but are still very much in use. People may read the same gestures differently and you wouldn’t want to be accused of an offhand remark.

Laura Gummerman

For instance, this hand gesture meant “V for Victory” to the World War II generation and was a handle of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. But the hippies in the 1960s thought America had too much blood on its hands and changed the meaning to “Peace.” See more photos of this home on A Beautiful Mess.



The Internet says this gesture means “Rock on” and is big among metal bands. All I know is, it hurts MY hand when I try to make it.


The gesture of this antique Buddha hand from Cambodia means discussion. Buddha hands positioned in a variety of uplifting mudras have been around for centuries…


…as have hamsa hands, a sign of protection against the evil eye in many Middle Eastern and African cultures. Hamsas show up on jewelry, tattoos, signs and more. I wonder if the left hands on this wall know what the right hands are doing? Regardless, the display is breathtaking against that gorgeous blue wall.

An extension of the ‘arm’ chair, literally

Artist Pedro Friedeberg unveiled his original hand chair, made of wood and covered in gold leaf, in 1962. Since then his original design has sold hand over foot. Er…uh…I meant to say it’s sold more than 5,000 copies, including those pictured here. Friedeborg also designed hand clocks (see some examples on 1st Dibs) and paved the way for surrealist furniture designers in the mid-20th century.

This space designed by Michael Herold Interiors has my kind of quirk–two left hands. And is it just me, or do the hands appear to be all thumbs?


The silver hand chair in this room designed by Jamie Drake is a righty and looks smaller than the one in the previous photo. Does that make it a hand-me-down? I’m liking how he (don’t ask how I know) seems to be waving at the glitzy floor lamp across the room. Hope he doesn’t overplay his hand in his haste to impress her.

Okay, I’ll stop. Maybe.

Well, soon.

Bethany Nauert

I’d need a hand up to sit on this wood hand. Care to help? This piece works so well in this space as a color accent to the sofa and that one-of-a-kind, live-edge coffee table. Beautiful!

William Waldron

This space reminds me either of “Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe,” in which case the hand chair fits in perfectly, OR it’s the office of an archaeologist who knows what it is to get his hands dirty.

Found on Interiors by Studio M

Somebody put a drink in this guy’s hand; he seems to be waiting for it. I like the look of the hand chair, but I think it might function better as a table. Besides, that GORGEOUS gray velvet sofa has lost its arms and needs the help.

See more rooms with hand chairs on Interiors by Studio M.

For the high-handed only

This “handelier” (really, this is one I did NOT make up) is made from perforated vintage aluminum glove molds fitted with special Edison bulbs. Details at EcoFirstArtist.

And if you’ve put up with my puns this far…

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