In the meantime, hubby built me a WONDERFUL gift!! He constructed and installed beautiful open shelving for our ever-growing dish collection. Always a talented handyman, he crafted the brackets himself and also installed a copper pipe to serve as a rack where we can hang our pots and pans. This has freed up so much precious cabinet space for our larger stock pots and cast iron skillets - and I love having the pots and pans so accessible.
Our hutch used to stand in this spot, but I really wanted to open it up some for a lighter feel. What we decided to do was to keep the bottom portion of the hutch where it was and give it a fresh coat of white paint. The top portion we moved to sit on top of the large desk in the office- it is a perfect fit and gives us lots of extra storage in there for books and other items.
Here is the wall before the shelving:
Here is it with the new open shelving:
At first I wanted to go with all whitewares for a clean look, but since I own so many more pretty dishes that needed a home, I changed my mind and slipped in some jadeite, baskets, glassware and books on the shelves too.
In the last year I have implemented a new rule that any objects that are for decorative enjoyment must be functional as well. Otherwise they clutter the space up. All of these dishes get used either for daily cooking and serving or for entertaining. Even the wooden box tray underneath holds functional items: my harvesting basket gets almost daily use, a container for my seed packets, an old burlap peanut sack that I use for storing dried beans and peas, and a broken pottery jug for holding dried plants and herbs.
I used to be one of those decorators and bloggers who would display non-functional pretty items for a whimsical look (and even purchase things for display purely for a cool blog post), but not anymore. I can't stand my primary work and table-top surfaces being cluttered with things just for looks unless they are extremely special to me. The items that stay must do double-duty!
Someday I would love to take out all our upper cabinets and replace with open shelving. Someday......when we own our own place (instead of renting) I guess. Be sure to visit again soon, because I intend to show you the rest of my kitchen (gasp!) -- ugly unpainted stock cabinets and all :)