Let me introduce you all to a little bit of the interior of my house. These very cabinets are on either side of the fireplace in my home. They are a lovely feature in the living room and to be honest, one of the things that first attracted me to the design of the house. They were also one of the things I thought would be the easiest to decorate but 3 years later, I still haven't really made the best possible use of them. One set has books...which I am actually ok with. I need to have my favorite books nearby and I love the way they look, filled to the brim with my classics. It is the other set that I just don't know what to do with.

So I am posing a question to you all...any decorating ideas? Themes? Possible purchases? In a word...help!

*By the way, I do adore my sister's wonderful cupcake paintings, but those can always be moved. You can hardly see them in there now anyway and that's just not acceptable for those cuties :)


  1. first off: love the cupcake paintings inside the cabinets and love the cabinet itself!
    OK: how tall is the cabinet? i can't quite see all of it so it's hard to tell... is it one of those tall ones or a half?

    I guess it's hard to "show off" cute knick-knacks when there are doors to cabinets, right? all the cute things sometimes gets lost inside...so I guess it's a matter of carefully picking pieces that are heftier in size/weight? this is all small stab at the cabinet situation...let me know if i'm WAY off the mark!!! what about alternating favorite books with cute framed photos...cute chocolate boxes or whatever else that's cute.....i also display my anthropologie finds (like those digit cups or cute tea cups... )
    question: is the hardware original? very cute.

    is this helping at all?

  2. This is awesome Ms. M!! Of course so helpful. See, I know I just need another eye because I have been looking at it too long and all I'm seeing are the problems. You are so right about the little doors...pretty but a bit of an obstacle. Small things get totally lost. I love the idea of books, frames and boxes! This might sounds stupid but I am also a fan of those medium size silk flower arrangements they have at Target. I have a few of them and while nothing replaces the real thing, they do add a nice bit of color.

    Keep the ideas coming if they hit you...you already put me on the right track!

  3. Oh and the hardware...I would say none of it original. I am sure the hinges and the little knobs are not. The house was built in 1920 so it is probably even a long shot that the cabinets are original...but I'm not sure. The woodwork throughout is all so similar, sometimes I think that is all original.

  4. i think your silk flower arrangement is a good idea...and what about changing out the hardware? that always changes the look of the whole cabinet itself... i love all the hardware at anthro....so many choices... you could always do a "color" theme. i've been toying with this idea...you always see people color coordinating their book collection... while that may be tempting i just couldn't do that w/ books because, like you, i have my all time favs that just has to be the centerpiece of my bookcases.

    also, how deep is the cabinet? just curious...

    here's another thing i've done for a small book case in my kitchen, which houses my "cute tea cups, cookbooks, etc"... i've "wallpapered" the backs with cute decorative wrap from paper source. it looks really cute and if you're going for a certain color scheme it works really well and gives your objects a nice background...

  5. Its funny you should mention changing the hardware because I have actually gone to Anthro. to look for new pieces! You are so right...such an inexpensive way to change the entire face of something like this. The shelves inside are probably 6 inches deep...not really super deep.

    You are really on to something with the theme thing because that's exactly what I am trying for. I spent the weekend scouring the blogs for idea because I know I've seen projects like this...but of course when you are looking for them...well you know the rest. But that is exactly it...a theme...be it color, or items or whatever. I would like it to be a bit coordinated and therefore more dramatic.

    Heading to the Paper Source site right now ;)

  6. look at the japanese washi paper collection.... i think they have some really nice ones...