~ by Trenda
Cozy and cottage go together like peas and carrots and a way to add some “cozy” to your home is to display the things you love to collect. In my first chapter of The Cottage Series and also in The Cottage Series Part 2 I’ve shown you some of the collections inside the crooks and crannies of Cottage Green and given you some decorating tips on how to add the “cottage look” to your home. My kitchen cupboards display a lot more than just the usual dishes! Nestled and peeking out among the plates and dishes of my kitchen hutch, you’ve seen an assortment of things I love to collect … salt cellars, silver spoons, Staffordshire creamers, thatched roofed sugar bowls, miniature tea sets, and Boyd’s Bear collectibles.
I have a collection of “farmyard fowl” that all began after my mother-in-law gave me the rooster and hen set I’d always admired that she kept on a little shelf in her kitchen. My husband said “as long as he can remember” this rooster and hen were displayed in their kitchen. I love that she gave them to me and I now have them in a little cubby Richard made in our kitchen, that I fondly call “the chicken coop.”
The coloring of the smaller rooster on the right, matched perfectly with the antique rooster and hen my mother-in-law gave me, so I grouped them all together. I can never resist antique dishes in green and white and I loved this plaid plate when I saw it! Though there was only one and I didn’t know yet, how I would use it … I bought it. After Richard made my little “coop” I placed the plate in the back of the shelf and loved the bold background and the way it contrasted with the colors of the roosters and hen.
The middle shelf is anchored with a quaint coffee mill, another cherished gift from Richard’s mother. A music box we bought in Switzerland – is not something you would usually find in a kitchen (; It plays the sweet tune of “Edelweiss” and is wood carving of a young boy in overalls, holding his pet rooster in one arm and a pail of feed in the other … with a trail of chickens behind him. The music box looks perfectly quaint, centered on the coffee mill and right at home in the kitchen with some smaller hens, ducks, baby chicks and geese I’ve collected and “scattered” for company on the shelf. Another plaid plate propped behind the farmyard scene is another orphaned plate I found!
Make sure your shelves don’t appear top heavy or out of balance. Decorations on your top shelf should appear visually “lighter” and simpler than the items placed on your lower shelves. A French inspired hen by Villeroy and Bach and a Colonial Homestead plate by Royal China is a simple and sophisticated “finial” perched above the other shelves.
On the other side of the kitchen, Richard removed the doors from these cabinets so I could display my collection of antique green and white dishes and other cherished pieces. The dishes are a mixture of patterns … Currier and Ives “The Old Curiosity Shop” … Old Colonial Homestead … and Green and White transferware from England but they’re lovely “mixed together” all in the same shades of greens.
Stacking dishes in your cabinets not only creates visual interest, but also gives you more room … a double bonus! (:
More roosters, ducks, chicks, and even eggs are a punctuation point on each shelf and a re-occurring theme. Each season, I replace these accent pieces with different decor. Red, white, and blue Americana is getting ready to replace the hens and roosters … which will later be replaced by autumn decor … which will be replaced by antique Thanksgiving turkeys … which will be replaced by Christmas treasures.
A beautiful pierced aluminum antique ceramic casserole dish belonged to my mother and was a present, I was thrilled she gave to me. The beautiful matching brass-handled casserole dishes on the top shelf were a gift from Richard, 40 years ago. ❤ Sweet memories I get to look at every day that are easily reached and are practical and useful decor!
Visually uniting my cabinets to my counter tops, I placed a Fitz and Floyd platter on the counter top that matched both the French Country cabbage serving bowl and the storybook, goat-topped dish in my cabinets. The canisters match the sugar and creamer set and the ceramic colander on the shelves.
By the way, open shelves are easy to “create” in your home by removing your cabinet doors, filling in the holes left from the hinges with wood filler, and then painting. Though open shelves definitely add a “cottage feel” to any home, I also use these decorating tips “behind closed doors.” (; It is delightful to open a cabinet door and see a vignette made up of sparkling dishes, artfully arranged.
From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda
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