Monday, July 16, 2012

Creating Display Space In a Kitchen

I don’t know about you, but I never seemed to have adequate display space in my kitchen. I have three long banks of cabinets and plenty of storage, but not enough open storage. I have a charming buffet area in the breakfast nook but it seemed like it was just a big bank of closed cabinetry. Oak wood everywhere!
A friend of mine cut the center panels out of the cabinet above her microwave and inserted glass instead. It created a darling little display space for knick knacks and cookbooks. We needed  a bit more than that would provide. I didn't want to go overboard with open shelving because, I like hiding/hoarding things away. I thought about ripping out our the stock bank of cabinets and putting in an antique piece, but I never saw anything that could replicate the amount of storage I wanted. It would also require patching the floor.
I looked and looked at it for years.

 I tried taking all four cabinet doors off, but it was too busy.
I did some creative maneuvering to get a look I love.

I got inspiration by looking at our church kitchen.
The church had a similar bank of cabinets but it had a double door cabinet in the middle and two small cabinets on the sides. 

I need that configuration!
I tried asking Bill to take both cabinets off and mount one in the middle. Then we could cut the other cabinet in half and mount one half on each side. 
He did not like that idea at all! 

I finally figured out that if I flipped the two center doors to look like one 
cabinet I could take the two end doors off and I would have it open on the ends.

See the complicated diagram above.
Take all the time you need to study my madness.
Unfortunately, I could see into the enclosed portion through the sides of the end boxes.

I was so happy with the amount of open shelving.

I had to think about what to do about the now open sides. Pine boards cut to appropriate lengths would require staining to match the oak. I wasn't sure I could get the color right.
I don't know if you do this, but I went to bed with the problem on my mind. When I woke up in the morning, I had my solution. I decided that I could use cheap Oak bookcases.
Get it here.
Big Lots had some that were a perfect match.
I got one $19.99 bookcase and cut the shelves to the height I needed.
They slipped right in.

 Trimming out the cabinets to make them look built in is the key. Otherwise it looks like the builder forgot to put the cabinet doors on. 
We got the molding at Home Depot. 

Double stick tape helps my plates to stay put.
I decorated it with my brown transferware collection.
I have collected this for about 14 years.
It is a perfect muted tone for different seasons.

 I am so happy I took some of the cabinet doors off to create open shelving.  It was easy and inexpensive.

I think it adds charm and breaks up the sea of oak.
It looks original to the house and gives the space more of a buffet look, which is exactly what I wanted.
It creates perfect nooks for seasonal decorating.


Valentine's Day

I've been rotating my collections of transferware since I painted the kitchen a nice neutral. This is Kilim Beige by Sherwin Williams sets off my Blue Willow or my red transferware.

 I didn't care for the front of the shelves so I glued a small piece of trim to the front.

If you have been around awhile, you know how much I love collecting. Sticking to one main color plus an accent color allows for more pieces in a collection. 
A multi-colored china pattern would be much busier and would require scaling back a large collection.

Red and White with a green or yellow accent is enough.

 I once heard that every room can take a bit of black. It grounds a space.

 Here is a sneak peak at our new breakfast room chairs. 

Years ago I remember looking at my friends custom buffet and thinking how much I wished they had done that to my house.
I had to wait a few years, but $30.00 and some thought fixed the problem.

Linking with:


  1. WoW... your such a great DIY... I never thought doing it by myself §;-)

    It really turnt out the best and I can see the perfect touch.

    Have a blissful Monday and a blessed week to come.
    /CC from Stockholm

  2. Katie,
    It looks super cute!What a great solution!Your vignette looks beautiful too!

    1. Thank you so much, Anne. I am so pleased you popped in.

  3. Dear Katie!
    Amazing what you did with the cabinets!! My mom and I loved it, she is right here beside me!
    I am now following you, too!

    1. Thank you, Claudine. I'm pleased you like it and flattered you are following. :)

  4. What a beautiful result you got with your open shelves! Your collections look wonderful! I love transferware so much. Especially the brown. You have a lovely collection!

    1. Thank you Jacqueline. I love transferware too. The brown is a perfect neutral for all seasons.

  5. Oh, my goodness! This looks wonderful and you did it all yourself - I'm very impressed. How lucky for you the bookshelves were the perfect match! No one would ever guess your cabinets weren't install to look like this! I love it.
    Be a sweetie,
    shelia ;)

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate you!

  6. WOW! I would have NEVER thought to do that! I am so impressed with your idea and your decorating style. Can't wait to show it to my handy husband and see what we can do with it! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I hope that you all can do something with a set of your cabinets. I would love to see what you do with it.

  7. Great idea! I'm rearranging things in our kitchen trying to display things so they are easy to use as well. Fun to see how you change it with the seasons.

    1. Thank you, Sarah. I love having an excuse to display more china. :)

  8. Great idea - looks fabulous with your seasonal decor, too. Thanks for sharing, I saw your link at Savvy Southern Style. Mary

    1. Thank you, Mary. I stopped by your blog. I admire your homeschooling. I tried it for a year. :/
      I tried joining yesterday. Friend Connect was acting so strange, I'm not sure it worked.

  9. Katie looks fantastic. You have so many gorgeous pieces! So glad you have a great space to show them off now! I love it!

    1. Thank you, Karen. I love that you go by what your dad called you. Mine called me Katrinka.