My dish collection is growing

I reached critical mass in the china cabinet recently… I was adding some new acquisitions to the middle shelf and realized that I could feel the shelf straining under the weight of those pretty stacks. I stepped back to look and sure enough, the shelf was starting to bow in the middle.

Cue the “BWOOOOP BWOOOP BWOOOP” submarine alarm noise, time to do some re-organizing!

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with my built-in hutch. I’m absolutely grateful for the storage space it brings to my dining room, but in no way does it look “cottagey.” I would have to paint it, and I haven’t yet talked my hubby into making that change.

Here is the best I’ve got for a “before” picture – taken in 2012. It shows that in the previous arrangement my dishes were all in four stacks, on the first and second shelves on the right-hand side. (There are also a lot fewer of them in this picture – sagging in the middle wasn’t an issue!)



Because the  middle shelf was now starting to sag, I moved all the pink-themed glass from the lower left to the  middle-right, and moved the dishes from the middle-right to the lower left. Now I’ve got a nice row along the sturdiest shelf – across the bottom – of five stacks. I even see some room for growth in a couple of them in the new arrangement:






I tried to take a shot of the pink shelf, now on the middle-right – in person, the pink items all grouped together are really lovely. It was hard to get a shot showing the true color.



I’m sort of thinking now about ways other than painting to make the hutch look a little less mid-century and a little more cottagey. I’m thinking of maybe lining it with something that could later be removed. Contact paper maybe? Muslin? Your ideas would be much appreciated!

More soon,


6 thoughts on “My dish collection is growing

  1. Wow Janet! You have lots of dishes…:) Love them all along the bottom in stacks. I was thinking you might buy a roll of beadboard wallpaper to line the back of the hutch and sides inside the hutch and maybe buy oilcloth to lay on the shelves and cut a scalloped edge to overhang. I saw a cute craft room with oil cloth on shelves and fell in love. Let me see if I can find the link. I found it! You might not be interested at all, but you can see here:
    They make all types of oil cloth. is a great place to look. Just an idea…:) Have a blessed weekend….Vicky

    • Vicky, beadboard wallpaper is a really good idea – thank you!! I was definitely thinking about some sort of scalloped trim for the shelves – but I hadn’t figured out yet what that might be. I do like the link you shared and have Pinned it. Thanks for looking it up, and for visiting – as always!!

    • Hi Monica, thanks for visiting! Some of the blogs I read regularly are those of “tablescapers” – people who design and set fabulous themed tables. My favorite is probably “Between Naps on the Porch,” a). because Susan sets beautiful tables and b). because every Thursday she hosts a link party where other folks link up their own tablescapes. Here is a link to a post on her blog about another gal’s “dish room” – Now THIS is an impressive collection! LOL Regarding the details of old dishes – I know just what you mean! It still amazes me the level of imperfection – you can see pieces in my stacks that are decidedly “out of round,” which is surprising since molds are used to create mass-produced pieces. I think it lends an air of humility when things are not quite perfect. :)

  2. Hi Janet,
    I just found your blog and really enjoy it! Love all of the china pieces, especially the pink! I have a love affair with Pink and green is the theme in my living room. How about using some pretty crochet doilies under your china and let them hang over the edge of the shelves? I have even used stick on lace edging that I found to use along the edges of shelves you maybe could find it on the internet? The bead board wallpaper would look great too. Change the handles or knobs on the drawers and doors to glass or something ceramic and pretty you wouldn’t need to paint!
    Have fun re-freshing your built in and you are lucky to have it!!
    Warmest regards,

    • Hi Candice, thank you for reading and for the lovely ideas! I will definitely be using some doilies – I have tons of them! – and the adhesive edging sounds like a must-have! So glad you stopped by, thanks again! ~ Janet

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