A sweet reader named Claire sent me a photo of the huge hutch she has in her kitchen and asked if I could do a little “presto change-o” action on it.
Her email said, “I have an awesome, but enormous, kitchen shelf area that I really need help coming up with a vision for. I would like it to be a mix of functional ‘storage’ for pretty dishes (that can also be display pieces) and just a pretty and decorative area in the kitchen. Thanks for considering!”
Here is the photo she sent me to work on:
…and here’s what I had fun coming up with!
As you can see, I pretty much stuck to a color palette of white, black, green and different shades of brown- for warmth and texture. I used a variety of inexpensive items. Everything from plates, bowls, mugs and pitchers- to books, faux fruit and foliage. I tried to create symmetry throughout the whole display. For instance,
- The stacks of books are in opposite corners. Top left and bottom right.
- The identical baskets are in cubbies across from each other.
- Most of the white dishes are in the center two shelves, and the items on the shelf above and below them are similar in color and texture, which gives that area visual balance.
- Notice how the black frames are positioned. None are directly below each other or on the same shelf.
Another thing to keep in mind as you accessorize shelves like this is that typically things look better if you cluster them in odd numbers. That’s not a hard and fast rule, and you don’t have to do it on every shelf, but I do think it helps create a nice, relaxed look if you can do it here and there. For instance,
- Notice the five items on the bottom (middle) shelf…and how the three on the right are clustered together as a group.
- Notice the three items (the framed photo, bowl and potted plant) in the cubbie that’s second down on the top left.
- Notice the three items (the “A”, “R”, and the stack of books) in the bottom right cubbie.
- Notice the one vintage kitchen scale in the cubbie that’s second down on the top right.
- Notice the three gray bowl stacked on the top (center) shelf. You get the idea.
I wanted to see what Claire’s photo would look like with a few more things, to see if I could help give her ideas on how to make that hutch not feel so much bigger than the rest of that corner, and here’s what I came up with:
I added a door that has taller trim and a transom window, and opened up the short end of the room with a large mirror. The door wouldn’t necessarily need to change, and they wouldn’t necessarily have to install a *real* transom window. They could stick with the door they have, and just use trim and paint to make a faux transom “panel” above it, like this:
Here’s link to the tutorial on Thistlewood Farms: How To Create A Faux Transom Window
I couldn’t stop there. I had to see what it would look like with a rug and table & chairs…
Doesn’t that hutch just look all comfy cozy in there now?
Even if she isn’t in love with/can’t use any of these extra ideas, I’m hoping the first photo helps her see how she might accessorize that hutch. I hope she keeps us posted on how it all comes together! Will you send me an “after” photo, Claire? 😀
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