Style: Tips for styling a cabinet – The Detroit News
Dan once joked to an acquaintance that on my days off, I could spend the whole day puttering around my house, tweaking each display, ârotating everything a quarter of an inchâ until it was just so.
I would have given him a nudge in the gut for that, if it wasnât a tiny bit true. I do love crafting intriguing displays that help tell the story of our home and our lives, especially in a large cabinet like a bookcase or hutch. These bold, beautiful pieces of furniture are a statement all by themselves, but when you fill them with head-turning displays, they make the room. Now sure how to style your cabinets? Here are a few tricks we use.
Mix up the content
In what room does your cabinet reside? Let that begin to influence its content, but not dictate it. If you have a hutch in your dining room, style it with some beautiful serving pieces, dishes and glasses. Similarly, a bookcase in your library should include volumes of books. But donât stop there. Stretch beyond the practical and include a few unexpected pieces, because this piece of furniture shouldnât just work hard, it should provide some eye candy, too.
Tuck in artwork
Intriguing cabinet displays are kind of like a one-act play. Youâre telling a story using a few carefully chosen props. So start your drama by creating a backdrop. A piece of artwork is a perfect pick. Prop up a framed print or plate in an easel.
I think the best displays in cabinets spotlight interesting treasures. They may be photos of your family, mementos from your travels, pieces of a collection or family heirlooms.
Vary shapes, sizes
To be visually interesting, displays need to pull together items that are different sizes and shapes and finishes. Try using a cabinet for stylish storage of dishes and serving pieces. The collection of different types of dishes, pitchers and glassware can work together to create visual artwork that draws you in.
When I style my cabinets at home, I do it step by step over several days. I start by gathering the pieces I think I want displayed together and experiment until they are grouped in ways that please me. Then, over the next few days, I go back and tweak them, sometimes replacing items, sometimes adding, sometimes subtracting. Remember, the only person you have to please is yourself!
Add some light
If the cabinets are so dark you canât see a thing, it doesnât matter how beautiful your displays are. My friend Cynthia propped a small lamp in her dark wood bookcase to add illumination. As tacky as it sounds, you can also bring in light using adhesive-backed battery operated lights. We learned this trick during a photo shoot for one of my books. We were shooting a cabinet that just faded to black in the photos. So we had a lightbulb moment: tuck in some quick lighting. It worked beautifully. You can also brighten the shelves by painting the back, or sides, tops and bottoms of the bookcase a light color, like cream or soft gray.
This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrityâs blog at nellhills.com. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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