The Wilde Olive Blog: Creating an Open Cabinet Display + Shelf Styling


Creating an Open Cabinet Display + Shelf Styling

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Since we bought our house new but finished, we have slowly been making some custom changes to make it more ours and add in a little interest here and there. One thing I've wanted is some open shelving in the kitchen. In our old home, the dining room had two full walls of built-in open shelving and it was one of my favorite parts of the house! It was A LOT to style but I think I did okay. I loved moving things around and changing it up over the few years we lived there. 

Moving into our current home, with no build-ins anywhere, has caused it to take a while to find places for some of my favorite things. One day in January, I was tired of waiting for the day that we'd decide to do this and I just climbed on the counter and took the door off. This cabinet is over our bar, so I can't really reach anything in it anyway, so even though it's really not visible to the open areas of the house, it's like a little secret that POPS when you walk around the corner to the kitchen. 

Don't look too closely because I still need to do some touch-up painting, because it seems the inside of the cabinets is not a top priority for the paint crew. Also, behind the hinges I removed was not painted either. I have to say though, that even with the needed touch-ups, I'm 100% happy I did this!

At first, I wanted to do all white dishes, platters, vases and a little milk glass, but once I started I just loved the idea of the pops of blue glass!

This project gave me the perfect opportunity to display some of my treasures! This cabinet allowed me to use my wedding china. It does have a design on it but using it in stacks, the design isn't visible and I'm okay with that. I, of course, didn't use all of the pieces but the dinner plates, salad plates and even the little saucers that go with the teacups/mugs are stacked to give this display height and depth.

The blue jars were found when cleaning out my great aunts shed after she passed. I was so lucky to get some true treasures from that experience years ago. More recently, I was given my paternal grandmother's plates. There are just a few of them but I have two displayed on the wall and a sweet little you can see on the bottom shelf and to the left side. The blue plates and large white pitcher belonged to my husband's grandmother. The rest were gifts from my Mother-in-law or little finds I've found at HomeGoods, thrift stores, and what-not.

I have already added a new piece of milk glass and taken my salt and pepper shakers to the table for a little Spring display. That's my favorite part of this little shelf, the things are still usable and accessible PLUS I actually remember that I have them because I can see them!

One more little secret, okay two, but first I wanted to tell you that I love the smooth lines of most of the pitchers and vases, but at least three items are turned backward so that you can't see the cute little design on one side. The designs are cute and when using the pieces individually I like them but in this large display, too many little details started to take away and make it feel too busy!

The other last thing is that I felt lost when I first started trying to style this little nook. It took me several hours to get it just how I liked it. I also spent a lot of time during those hours looking at Pinterest and googling "how to style shelves." I went to some of my favorites like Cotton Stem, Emily Henderson, Layla at The Lettered Cottage and just glanced at photos of shelves on Pinterest. You don't have to know what you are doing when you start, but take it from me and don't wait two years to do something you wanted to do the day you moved in! 

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