What's Behind This Olive Bucket Trend?

Posted by Melanie Toland on

You've no doubt noticed these unique buckets everywhere lately. Have you wondered, like I have, what's behind the olive bucket trend? I did a little digging and here's what I've found out. 

Apparently, an authentic "found object" olive bucket was featured in the January 2013 issue of Country Living, then another appeared in Flea Market Decor Magazine (Spring 2014) in its "Great Finds" section. I'm sure there were a few notable mentions before that, but pinpointing an exact peak is difficult. Let's just say they started getting lots of exposure 2013/2014 and the momentum is still going strong.

Look at this large authentic olive bucket as it appeared in Country Living.

Country Living featured an olive bucket January 2013

But what is an olive bucket exactly? According to a product description in a Pottery Barn catalog (they once carried authentic, vintage olive buckets) they were once used to gather olives in the countries along the Mediterranean Sea, specifically in Turkey.

And that's about all I can find. Who designed the perforations that are so distinctive to olive buckets? And why are they perforated in such a way? Anyone? Bueller? Am I the only decor nerd who wants to know?

Getting your hands on an authentic piece has become more difficult, so many of us are making do with reproductions that are just as lovely. Here are some ideas for using them in your farmhouse or vintage-eclectic home:

  • for the holidays, use them to hold greenery, pine cones, lights, birch branches
  • use them in the bathroom to hold extra rolls of toilet paper or to organize and corral rolled bath towels or wash cloths (we carry an olive bucket toilet paper holder; you can buy it here)
  • use them in the kitchen to hold fruits and vegetables
  • keep a supply of kindling on the fireplace in one (as in the Country Living photo above)
  • treat your home office to the prettiest waste basket there ever was
  • display dried flowers or grasses
  • display lighted tree branches (love those!)
  • wire one up for a pendant lamp as shown below

olive bucket as pendant light lamp

{image source: Driven By Decor}

I never quite answered the question posed in the title of this post. But I do feel like I know a little bit more about these olive buckets that have become a staple of farmhouse decor. Maybe you have something to add? I'd love to hear it. Leave a comment if you know something! Where did you first learn about olive buckets? Do you have one at home?

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