Birds and Porcelain...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Getting creative with a hutch display isn't always easy.  It takes some planning and thinking outside the box.  So often this traditional piece of furniture makes one want to line up matching dishes in a row...after all, that's what it's for, right?

When styling this display I decided to keep it casual and interesting by combining traditional porcelain with other more rustic dishes and working birds throughout the display.  Since fall is on the way, I tried to tone down the formality of the blue and white Lomonosov porcelain dishes with earthy green tones.  To make the display more playful, I included unframed abstract watercolor paintings on some of the shelves, books covered with rice paper, and a variety of bird figurines.  Now the hutch appears fresh, more spontaneous, and provides a rich and varied backdrop for the room's autumn decor.   
Here are a few tips for designing a non-traditional hutch display of your own:

1.  First, limit your color palette.  This display focuses on blue, green and orange tones.  The blue is the brightest and most noticeable color, the green is more neutral and the orange is used minimally as an accent to keep the display warm and earthy.  The white highlights the space and draws the eye while the dark brown wood forms the overall background and stabilizes the design. 

2.  Choose to create a mood not a theme.  Here, the birds are used repetitively, but each bird is unique and the mossy green colors, woodsy nest, and remodeled birdhouse (see The Great Birdhouse Remodel post), evoke a tree-laden naturescape rather than just showing a collection of objects that are the same.

3.  Use something formal with something unfinished.  In this design, the formality of the dark wood hutch and the blue and white Lomonosov porcelain contrasts the unfinished look of the paintings leaning up against the background of some of the shelves.  The green, blue and orange tones in the casually placed paintings unify the display.

4.  Arrange each shelf differently for more visual interest.  Since the color scheme and repetition of shapes provide unity, the arrangement of the objects can be used to create variety. 

5.  Experiment and have fun creating a unique and interesting display!  Remember, if you don't like it you can always make changes.


  1. What a great post! Your hutch looks beautiful, great tips too. Happy weekend,
    xo Lidy


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