restyling the dining room hutch

by | Feb 17, 2020 | All Things Home, Decorating, Dining Room, My House | 30 comments

When I restyled the shelves in the living room (you can find that post HERE), I ended up raiding the dining room hutch.  Doesn’t accessory or furniture shuffling always cause a chain reaction?  One thing gets crossed off the list and you end up adding two or three more things to the list!

Here is how the dining room hutch looked before I raided it…

Since I removed almost all of the antique blue and white transferware, I was left with white ironstone and some reproduction jadeite pieces I purchased at Walmart (links are below).

I knew I wanted to use those pieces, but mix in some other elements…perhaps wood, silver, or glass.  So, I started playing around, bringing in different elements and sitting them on the shelf to see what looked right to my design eye.  I wanted it to look harmonious, but collected.  I wanted these pieces to look at-the-ready to be used instead of on display, too precious to be used.

Here is a video showing my process…

And here is how the hutch turned out!

I’ve had this hutch styled a lot of different ways and this might be my favorite!  I love the flatware mixed in, the linen napkins folded at the ready, and my newly-made crocheted glass cozies adorning some inexpensive glasses.  I also love that I found a spot one of my favorite pieces – a vintage glass and pewter pitcher my mom bought when we lived in Germany.  (It’s on the top shelf.)  I’ve always loved it, but I haven’t had a great place to display it.  It works perfectly in this hutch.

I also mixed in some cafe au lait bowls and ceramic-topped bottles, both from France.  The small green bottles are Victorian-era ink bottles.

As I was working on this shelf, I realized that arranging things is more of an intuitive thing for me.  I don’t follow specific rules or guidelines.  I just do what looks right to my design eye.  That’s not very helpful, though, for people who don’t find it easy to style shelves.  It’s not intuitive to them!  So, for that bunch, here are three keys to creating a visually dynamic display…

one | group like things together

The objects used should have something in common, but they don’t have to all be the same.  In the case of this hutch, the elements used are tied together by a color scheme of green, white/cream, and silver.  And, aside from the ink bottles, these are all pieces that are used for serving and dining.  Simply put, they make sense together.

two | mix in a variety of textures and finishes

A display is always more interesting if there is some contrast…  shiny/matte, textured/smooth, soft/hard, etc.  To add some contrast to the dishes, I added in linen napkins, shiny silver pieces, and the crocheted glass cozies.  This gives the shelves variety and interest, which keep the eye moving.

three | use objects of varying heights

If you look at each shelf, you’ll notice there are pieces of all different heights and some are made taller by stacking.  The height variations also keeps the eye moving.  Now, I know you’re “supposed” to arrange items in groups of threes, but I don’t always subscribe to that.  I just place and scoot things until I like the way the space is filled and how the pieces relate to one another.

I’m going to share the tutorial and pattern for making the crochet glass cozies tomorrow.  I am so excited about them!

You can find the tutorial on the milk-painted hutch HERE.

In order to make things easy for those who might want to replicate this look or perhaps mix an element or two into your own home, here is a list of source links…

Mirror – Wayfair

Linen napkins – World Market

Antique Silver Sentiment Flatware – Pottery Barn

Antique White Ironstone – Etsy

Antique French Ivory Flatware – Etsy

Silver salt & pepper shakers

Jade Plate – Walmart

Jade Bowl – Walmart

Jade Cake Stand – Walmart

Glass Tumblers – Target

Cafe au Lait Bowls – Etsy

Vintage silver napkin rings – Etsy

Victorian-era ink bottles – Etsy

I also found a few specific items for those interested…

I thought THIS was a pretty set of silver napkin rings and a great price at $23.25…


HERE is a beautiful flatware set similar to one I bought this summer and it’s less than $20!

HERE is a sweet pair of silver salt & pepper shakers for under $30…

Well, that was a full post!  I hope you found something in there that inspired you!


  1. Nancy

    I love the green, white and silver combination. It looks like spring to me. I certainly need to be inspired here in dreary Michigan. Thank you.

  2. Connie

    Two of the things you pointed out in your story were the ones my eyes were immediately drawn to – the glass & pewter carafe & the green inkwells; I zoomed in there first for a closer look at those lovelies! And of course on your beautiful crochet glass cozies. I have many, many pieces of beautiful crocheted items in all shapes & sizes my Mammaw & mother made, but no glass cozies!

  3. Maria

    Just like dominoes!!! Change one thing, change everything. It’s always so nice to see how you will style your shelves. Thanks for sharing:)

  4. Anna

    My first thought was that you could set a really neat table just from there! BTW, love it!

  5. Janet in Kansas City

    Well it all looks so nice, I really love it, but my favorite thing is the reflection of it in the mirror! : )

  6. Brenda

    I love it! I’m going to say I’m a mismatched kind of lady. I never would have thought to put different salt and pepper shakers together. But I love it! Talk about a duh! moment. I’ve been collecting a lot of silver-plate lately as everyone seems to be getting rid of it. So pretty. I can’t wait for the glass cozies tomorrow!

  7. Beth

    Loved your linen tea towel post but found the price high.
    Today in my in box came a connection to FABRICS.STORE.COM and they were featuring what looks like the same fabric for under five dollars a yard.
    Seems like a good possibility for DIF
    Love watching what you’re doing to your house.

    • Marian Parsons

      Yep! That looks like the same fabric. You could definitely sew your own or just use raw pieces of linen.

  8. Pat

    I l o v e the green used in restyling the dining room hutch!
    Most every March Madness, I bring out the green within my dining room, as well!
    Thank you for such an inspiring and motivating post!

  9. Helen

    It all blends in beautifully with your wall mural……I didn’t realize it was so “blah” until you worked your magic! You certainly have that magic touch….❤️

  10. Carole Prisk

    I am so glad you removed one thing from your cupboard that just did not go with the jadite, ironstone, or silver….the cat. Aren’t they the most inquisitive pets?

  11. Mimi Matthews

    I like this one even better! It’s clean looking and spring-y.

  12. Cherylan

    I enjoyed your process to compose! The trial and error dance to associate the contrast in height, texture color, shape ! Even though it is winter in Minnesota, I would like to tuck some greens into the top of the plaid bowl stack. Some other outdoor texture into the jadeite bowl stack. What?

  13. Jeanine

    Love the change up. I have shelves in my gathering area by my fireplace at the end of my kitchen and you have given me inspiration! Thanks for all the great links where we can shop too!

  14. Donna

    I adore the vintage silver napkin rings in the ironstone mold, they are a weakness of mine. This post has caused me to rethink how I display my corner cabinets. The old pewter is the best. I esp. love pewter from Norway and France, the form is so unique of some pieces. Ok, I may be rearranging tonight after my family is in bed. It sounds odd, but gives me pleasure. Thanks for the source list, Etsy is super fun to browse. I have never made an Etsy purchase but now that may change.

  15. Jenn Anderson

    It’s lovely! I like your way of displaying!

  16. Kathie B

    Love this!!! I was waiting for the domino effect post. I think displays just for the sake of it, can be pretty but often lack soul but this is personal & purposeful and just so beautiful.

  17. Charle

    Too much stuff in each shelf..the eye can’t decide what’s the focus

  18. Gail

    This looks much more cohesive without the blue and by adding favorite and family pieces, it pulls it over the top!

  19. Vikki Jo

    I really like both of your cabinets better now. The one in the living room has a warmer look and the one in the dining room looks less cluttered. I love what you have done to both. Makes me want to restyle my hutch.

  20. Betsy

    Loved the video! Step 1: remove cat from hutch. Have you found you do anything different in your styling with cats in the house now? One of our cats clears my desk daily, climbs book cases, and frequently strolls the mantel. Anything I wish to display has to be behind glass doors!

  21. CarlaS

    Just beautiful! I love your collection! I’d say this kitty loves to be around you and should be promoted to assistant decorator.

  22. Amy

    Looks fabulous, Marian! I am cracking up because I have lots of jadeite combined with TARNISHED silver and my mother just cringes! “Do you want me to polish that silver for you?” Hahaha! For me, there is a charm in the patina.

  23. Christie

    Love your display! What is the piece called that is holding your napkins?

    That combined with the display of napkin rings is my favorite part! Never would have thought to display either but love it

    • Marian Parsons

      It’s an ironstone casserole or vegetable dish with the lid removed. You really use any kind of dish, bowl, or basket. Just try a few different things to see what works. 🙂

  24. Beth B

    I absolutely love the updates you did. I have an ironstone punch bowl that I display my grandmother’s aluminum cookie cutters in on a shelving unit my husband made for me in the kitchen. I add a touch of seasonal greenery or ribbon tied around one of them for each season. It’s so inviting and cozy when you display things that don’t get used on a regular basis. I couldn’t stop staring at your pictures!!!

  25. Wendy York

    Love what you did with both sets of shelves! The added colors and textures in each one really make the ironstone more interesting, and the colors go great in the rooms 😀

  26. Donna

    I love how it turned out…so pretty with the vintage green in there. Apparently I am anal…but I would love to see a spoon in that tureen in the bottom shelf on the right-hand side, just oi “finished off” the look. So inspirational!

    Today I am reorganizing my kitchen pantry removing and creating a small baking center in a little chippy/white cabinet I bought yesterday. I live in a 1,200 sq. ft. condo and space is always at a premium, esp. when you cook three meals a day from scratch!

  27. Alisha

    Your styling and creativity is truly a gift from God. Wonderful job! I love browsing your site for decorating inspiration.

  28. Maison De Witte

    The styling is exquisite. But I am distracted by the lovely color of the hutch. The hutch use to be a darker blue. What color did you paint it? It is wonderful.



  1. restyling the dining room hutch - Miss Mustard Seed | Dadne - […] Original Source […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


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…


Subscribe today

and receive a FREE e-version of my planning sheets!


Articles by Date


our sponsors

Bliss and Tell Branding Company