hanging the antique birdcage

by | May 4, 2020 | All Things Home, Decorating, Living Room, My House, Room Makeovers | 57 comments

Even if decorating comes naturally and you have a great space to work with, there is still the possibility of getting stuck.  It’s just normal and a natural part of the creative process.  Some things come easily and others take more thought, time, and discovery.  Such has been the case with this corner in my living room.  I think this wall is a little tricky because it’s a fairly small stretch of wall between a doorway and built-ins.  Whatever piece of furniture that is placed there needs to allow for the doors to open, work well with the built-ins, and also visually balance out the piece on the other side of the doorway.  In my case, that is an antique hutch…

Shortly after we moved in, I hung a collection of ironstone plates over a wood dresser just to fill the space.  I always pictured hanging a mirror there that would complement the shape and scale of the top of the hutch.  I have hunted for one for well over a year…probably almost two…and I haven’t found one that’s just right.

A few months ago, I bought an antique basket and that got me moving things around again…trying this and that to see what might work.  I ended up moving the birdcage, that has been tucked in the “tv niche” in the built-ins, on top of the dresser and I really loved it there.  It gives a “hutch-like” look without being a hutch.

A couple of weeks ago, I finally got around to hanging the birdcage and I played some more.  I topped it with ironstone sugar jars and put a dough bowl filled with moss balls underneath.

And I finished it off with some antique blue transferware places.  As with all changes, it took me a day or two to get used to it, but I really love how it looks.  I love that the birdcage is a real feature and that I have spot for my dough bowl, which has been in a closet for two years!

The dresser was a $50 craigslist score.

I hung the birdcage by mounting a 1×2 into the studs and then hanging the birdcage on the 1×2.  I added one more 1×2 scrap towards the bottom of the birdcage to hold it plumb against the wall.  I was afraid it might stand out from the wall too much, but it doesn’t at all.  It looks very natural and it’s very sturdy.

Figuring out the places was a bit of a process.  I originally tried just white ironstone and then a mix of solid white and blue transferware, but the blue transferware plates looked best in the end.

There’s still more to do in the room and tweaks to make.  I’m going to work on the fireplace surround, add box beams and crown molding to the ceiling, and I think Jeff’s finally coming around on putting hardwood floors in this room.  It doesn’t look like it in the photos, but this carpet is really starting to look worn and I just can’t stomach spending the money to put in more carpet when hardwood would be so much cleaner and longer-lasting.

It’s all a process – putting things in place, getting stuck, getting fresh ideas, trying new things, dreaming of possibilities…


  1. Michele

    That dresser was such a great deal!

  2. Lynnett Ratchford

    Good job! I love the blue transfer plates in particular. They add a lot to the whole arrangement.

  3. beverlee lyons

    that birdcage is such a cool piece, it needed a place of honor, and you put it perfect. Of course!

  4. Jodi P

    That birdcage is just the perfect blue! Love how you style everything, and your couch is to die for! Love reading every single post.

    • Judy Sullivan

      Hi MArian
      I love your style! What a great idea with the bird cage.
      Just a thought…have you thought of putting in a shelf in the tv niche to add more display more of your beautiful collections? Could look cool☺

  5. Jeannie

    It looks great! The cage was pretty before but now it’s “standing up for itself” & quietly showing off how beautiful it is. Love it.

  6. Robin Bentley

    This looks so great! I love the bird cage hung up so much more than it sitting on the shelf where it couldn’t be seen for what it was, a great little piece of furniture above that dresser. It all came together nicely. And hardwoods are so much easier to take care of than carpet. Especially with boys. I raised 3. 🙂

  7. Jackie

    It looks great! Where did you find your moss balls?

  8. JoAnn

    Well done! It all looks amazing!

  9. Shirley Graham

    Love the bird cage & the plates look great with it. I always like that “faded” blue in just about anything!!

  10. Carolyn

    Serendipity! Balance of shape and color…so pleasing to the eye. The cage is a real piece of art now.

  11. Gayle Fansler

    I love your antique birdcage. I’ve never seen a square one. Where did you ever find it?

  12. Mary C

    I have a birdcage to hang, I’m still looking for the perfect spot. I saw on on Pinterest while scrolling through looking for ideas on what to put in it, and it had stacked old books, sorted by color. It was darling! That’s what I’m going to do with mine. I love the blue paint on yours! Mine’s just plain dark brown.

    • Marian Parsons

      I found it at an antique store in PA and I tell you, I could not pull it off the wall and carry it to the checkout fast enough. It was about $200, so it wasn’t cheap, but I knew it was a very special piece and worth the splurge.

  13. Cheri

    I’ve needed a push to change things. I’m hoping that painting the stairs (today) will give me the push I need to re-do our built-in shelves!
    The birdcage on the wall over the dresser is perfection!

  14. Michelle

    I think it looks charming! It’s always fun to move things around and refresh a room.

  15. mary m

    Seems to me I remember when you bought the bird cage. I too have a bread bowl in the basement. I know it has a authentic name but cant think of it right now, I need to think where I can put it……………Thanks for the inspiration.

  16. Addie

    Oh!!!!! How I LOVE that birdcage. It probably could go a million places. I like where it is now but it did look good in the TV hole too. The rocking horse and the plates looked good too. Love it all!!!!! Sometimes, after you move, you just know a perfect spot for a piece and other times you have to live it a while.

  17. Mary Ann

    Top notch decorating, Marion!
    Hanging the bird cage and adding the dough bowl with moss balls are just what was needed to make this space cozy and beautiful!

  18. judith

    You ended up with a nice little niche; I appreciate your showing us the process. I like it all, but I would rather see balls of yarn in that bowl. The moss things seem so contrived to me.

    • Alice Jane

      I would prefer yarn in the bowl too or at least take out the two top moss balls because they seem to crowd the birdcage which is the star of the show! Having said that it is a beautiful display and if you love it should remain just as it is.

  19. Trista

    Such a small thing, but the plates really make that arrangement. Great use of them to balance out the heavier items.

  20. Carole Prisk

    By George, I think you have it figured out. The birdcage looks great there.

  21. Kathy

    Wood floors would be stunning in that room. Tearing out the carpet and replacing it with hardwood was the first improvement we made after extensive patching and painting in our current home.

  22. Linda Dresselhaus

    This arrangement is absolutely wonderful…I love everything about it!

    • Bea

      I like your new arrangement. I find I have to live with a new arrangement for several days before I decide that I like it. Your dresser was a great buy! I have never seen a birdcage like that one. Was it that pretty shade of blue when you bought it or did you give it your special touch?

  23. joey ledlie

    Looks perfect. Hugs.

  24. Cyndi

    You explain all your steps and we’re here to listen. Thank you so much

  25. Kathy

    The basket you replaced the birdcage with looks identical to the one my Great Grandmother brought all her things in from a Denmark in 1912.

  26. Kate

    Do you have a milk paint in that bird cage blue? It’s odd that the cage is not open all the way around like most bird cages. I wonder why?

    Have you thought of hanging candle scones on either side of the cow painting over the mantel? Or putting topiaries there? Your cow looks a bit lonely and like she needs some color to keep her company. I just found some Victorian era piano scones on Etsy that I’m going to put above my mantel. They are not too ornate and will add just the right amount of architectural interest to a plain wall.

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, I will be working on the cow! I’m not doing anything big until we get the box beams in and then I’ll try some other things. I have a gold frame that I used to have it in that I might try again. I also have some faux boxwood topiaries on the way and a picture light. I may or may not use those there, though. We’ll see. One thing at a time… 🙂

    • Jen C.

      Perfect spot for your birdcage! Doesn’t it feel good when all of a sudden everything falls into place? I love what you put together. It all works.

    • Addie

      I believe the bird cage is not open all the way around for any one or ALL of these reasons:
      -Used for open air (flea market) type selling of birds. I have seen this.
      -Used for breeding birds.
      -Used for transporting birds.
      -Used for display at bird shows…so the birds would not see too many other birds and get anxious….this is the one I think most.
      I have been to many bird shows and have seen modern cages of this sort. I have 2 parakeets that I adore!!!

  27. Julie Olmstead

    Love it!!! Especially fond of the plates hung on either side of the birdcage!! Well designed sweet friend!!! I sure am missing the group!!

  28. Lisa P

    Thanks for walking us through your thinking as you moved things around. The new bird cage arrangement looks terrific!

    Moving things around is a fun (and free!) way to enjoy the things we already have with fresh eyes. All the best to you and your family.

  29. Mary S


  30. Teresa

    EUREKA….You finally won the battle of placement and styling! I saw several posts where you had rearranged this area and something was just “off’ each time. It didn’t look quite right sitting on the antique dresser and with one move you finally hit the right note.

    I cant tell you how many times something has stumped me or just didn’t look the way I wanted and then its like a lightbulb will go off in my brain.

  31. Diane

    I love the birdcage hung and that doughbowl. Oh my goodness the colors really pull you in.

  32. Antonia

    Love what you’ve done with the birdcage! I’m interested in what you’ve used to hang, first the ironstone plates and now, the transfer ware plates. It doesn’t look like you’ve had to patch holes and touch up paint. Please share your secret.

  33. nancy vande guchte

    I love the moss balls in the bowl…the grreen color pulls color from the cow picture, and the texture of the moss balls repeats a natural theme….I love the whole arrangement!

  34. Vallie

    I love how the blue in the bird cage and the blue in the plates balance the room with the blue plates in the hutch on the other side of the room.

  35. Teddee Grace

    This looks absolutely perfect in that location!

  36. Corrine Moore

    It all looks wonderful!

  37. Sandra Vigil

    I love it! Its beauty is much more visible on the wall. Anxious to see the beams and fireplace re-do.

  38. jennifer thornton

    Love it all!! Great job on adding unique touches to your home! Where can we find moss balls like that with the wood twigs around them?

  39. Maxime

    Your lovely room gets even better!
    I wonder if perhaps the heavy basket, although a most handsome object in itself, makes that corner look a little too crowded? If you need a functional container in that corner perhaps use a basket narrower in diameter that the drawers are deep.
    I do so enjoy seeing the changes you make and hearing your reasoning. Thank you so much for a great blog.

  40. Marylisa

    It looks so amazing! The birdcage looks perfect with the transfer ware. Everything ties together and each area has a wonderful point of interest.

  41. Debbie Nisson

    Oy. I love everything you do but I’m just not crazy about this corner. I’m not at all matchy matchy but with the white cabinets and oak and blue and dark baskets my eyes are bouncing all over the place. I think the plates are too small. Need something with more substance. Maybe try the antlers or some sconces? Also needs more height. I think I’m just not loving the bird crate. Too rustic for this room? Sorry!!

  42. Judeth

    Beautiful as always. Can’t wait to see more.

  43. cate smart

    you know what would be fun… is to change out the granite tile on the fireplace for something more in keeping with the rest of the room… something with smaller pieces like in your kitchen. You have sooo many ideas and that birdcage is awesome!!! thank you for this blog

  44. Betsy

    It looks beautiful! Add in a blue patterned plate and I’m sold. I have a questions. Have you thought of painting the cabinets that surround your fireplace the same colors as your wall so they blend in? I’m trying to get the nerve to do the same thing in my house. When we moved in the previous owner put in stock white Home Depot cabinets. No matter what I do to the living room they stick out. Everyone tells me to paint them the wall color so they aren’t so obvious or rip them out. The cabinets are a blessing to have in a small house so I hate to part with them. Thanks for your help.

  45. Carolyn Cooper Mustin

    I love it and love everything you do! Would you ever think about putting some cute topiaries (faux) in the birdcage?

    • Marian Parsons

      I sort of like the birdcage empty and letting the shape and color speak for itself, but I am very limited at what I can put inside. The only doors are the small ones in the front.

  46. Cindy Williams

    Can you tell me what color and brand of paint you used on your walls? It is a beautiful peaceful palette ! Thank you.

  47. Dee

    Love the birdcage hanging above your dresser…….perfect! I have my grandparents old pump organ and need to get rid of it. Asked a couple of gals locally what they would do as it is a sentimental piece (still works with original reeds still operating). The one said she would take the top only and place it on a wall and discard the remainder (keyboard/pedals, etc). I’m still contemplating, but your birdcage has me re-thinking I should go ahead and put the top of the organ on the wall………. We’ve downsized considerably and the organ as is doesn’t work for us any longer……..

  48. Tina

    ABSOLUTELY LOVE this!!! I truly love using unique different pieces for wall hangings. Adore birdcages, have never seen one like this!! Great idea!!! The dough board tops off and complete your creative design.

  49. Diana Risteff

    I would give anythng to find a birdcage like yours. It is fabulous. I hope someday you will paint that frame and return it to gold. I love absolutely evrthing you do.


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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