As we hunker down doing our best to “flatten the curve,” long hours at home have me deep cleaning and fluffing to bring beauty and light into this otherwise uncertain time. My most recent project has been my kitchen. Teeming with cookbooks, gadgets, collected serving ware and more, the space has long begged for an impactful storage solution.
A few months ago I spotted a clean-lined, two-piece cabinet that perfectly fit a spare wall in the kitchen. For a reasonable price, I had the cabinet stripped of its red-orange stain, waxed, and restored back to the original pine finish to better suit our home’s aesthetic.
To help make sense of the new cabinet of curiosities, I called in friend and prop stylist Becki Griffin who recommends starting with a good edit. We gathered china stored in nooks and crannies, small serving pieces lost in cupboards, kitchen linens tucked in drawers, and cook’s tools. We placed bulky appliances — the blender, mixer, and Instant Pot — in the cabinet’s closed lower section. On the glass-encased top shelves, we mixed materials and objects of varying scale. We didn’t fret over stacking entire sets of dishes, but rather fit what we could and let the pieces style themselves. According to Becki, "Good styling is a process of adding and taking away. Keep it loose as real-life decorating should be functional with a bit of whimsy and personality."
Mini demitasse spoons, used each morning for coffee, sit beside Capula Mexican pottery. Vintage spongeware bowls (these can dress up any table!) nestle among stacks of plates. Piled atop pasta bowls are our most-loved cloth napkins. With my storied wares newly visible and ready for use, I find joy as I reach for them every day.
Shelf Styling Tips
- Edit. Becki suggests eliminating pieces you no longer need or use to make space for the good stuff ...and don’t be afraid to use the good stuff!
- Mix textures, sizes, materials, and colors to create interest.
- For shelf styling, Becki starts with a larger anchor piece like a platter, bowl or vase and layers from there.
- Dish sets don’t have to stay together — divide them so they have room to breathe and store the extras elsewhere.
- Nestle and scatter small pieces and trinkets irregularly. Display items that are special to you and tell a story.
- Consider leaning framed artwork or an heirloom photograph on shelf backs.
Below are a few of my favorite pieces from the shop that would make for a beautifully styled cabinet and come in handy on a weekly basis: