Today, I’m excited to share eight easy tips for styling a dining room hutch. As some of you may know we’ve been working to make my childhood home, Loblolly Manor, a retreat space for our family over the last few months.
Our goal with Loblolly has mostly been to give the house a complete refresh. We’re trying to reuse many of the pieces of furniture that were already there and simply update them with a new coat of paint. This was definitely the case when we decided to marry the hutch from the desk in my office with the buffet bottom that was in the dining room at Loblolly.
Earlier this year, I decided to take the hutch off of the desk in my office to give myself a little more breathing room. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated the shelves and the extra storage but after a while it started feeling a bit cluttered.
I kept the bottom of the desk in my office, removed the hutch and stored it in our garage thinking I might marry the two pieces again later. One day, way back in January during a planning session for Loblolly my Mom wished out loud she had a hutch to display her favorite pieces of ironstone and silver.
Well, guess who had a hutch in her garage that was just waiting for the perfect opportunity to be used again? Lucky Mom!
I painted the hutch with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen to match the buffet which had been previously painted in the same color. You can read all about that process here. You won’t believe what the buffet, which is actually a dresser, looked like before we gave it a makeover.
So, last week, we finally hauled the hutch to Loblolly and styled it all up with ironstone and silver. I gotta say, even I was surprised at how well these mismatched pieces came together.
I know some of you have beloved collections of ironstone, transferware and silver too so I thought I would share a step by step look at how we brought all of the details together to style the dining room hutch.
Tip One: Start collecting BEFORE you plan to style your dining room hutch – Unless you buy an entire collection at an estate sale or antique mall or inherit a large collection of your favorite items, it takes a long time to find great pieces.
We’ve been collecting these pieces for months but it was worth the wait.
Tip Two: Keep the color palette consistent – We knew in advance we wanted to use ironstone and to also use a few pieces of antique silver which really helped us to stay focused when we were out shopping.
There are a lot of great items out there and it’s definitely easy to get off track if you don’t know what specific colors or style you’re looking for in advance.
Tip Three: Buy items with varying heights – While you’re out shopping keep in mind you’ll need large pieces like tureens, mid-sized items like platters and smaller items like creamer and sugar jars so you’ll be able layer differing heights on each shelf.
Tip Four: Style the middle shelf (or the shelf at eye level) FIRST – I know it might seem like you should start styling the top shelf first and then work your way down to the bottom shelf.
But the truth is, it’s so much easier to style the shelf that is at eye level first. This will help to set the tone for the entire hutch given it’s the shelf you’re most likely to notice as soon as walk into the room.
Tip Five: Put a statement making piece front and center in the middle of the hutch – This will likely be your favorite or largest piece so give it a place of honor up front!
Tip Six: Place large pieces (like lidded tureens) on the top shelf to help add visual height – After you have your statement making piece in the middle of the hutch, create a “V” by placing two large pieces (like a tureen, pitcher, compote, cake stand, etc) on the top shelf to the left as well as on the top shelf to the right to create a bit of symmetry.
Tip Seven: Place a textural element (like the silver platter) in the middle of the top shelf and repeat it at least two other times on the hutch – In our case we used the silver platter on the top shelf and repeated it two other times with the silver pitchers on the bottom shelf to help anchor the hutch.
Tip Eight: Remember to incorporate a bit of nature like the warm woodgrain of vintage breadboards,
the vibrant green from moss or your favorite indoor plant in a small pitcher or vase.
I hope these tips have helped! Keep in mind styling a dining room hutch is like styling bookshelves in that it can take a while to find and collect the pieces you’ve envisioned.
It also takes a bit of maneuvering and playing around with different items, combinations and height variations until you’ve achieved a look you love.
Don’t let that intimidate or overwhelm you though, styling a dining room hutch is definitely something you can do!
See you guys back here tomorrow. I’ll share a super simple moss centerpiece we created for Loblolly that you’ll be able to use all year long. Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.