In Breaking News

In Breaking News

 
white painted hutch

In super, exciting breaking news….

….we painted the hutch in the dining room white.

I couldn’t wait until it was finished.

In my mind it was going to be an amazing project.

You know.

The whole-see-it-be-inspired-dream-about-it-think-about-it-have-to-have-it-done-asap kind of project.

The kind of project you imagine and you just know it’s going to be perfect and you can see it finished before you ever even start.  I just knew I was going to walk by the dining room and see the hutch  painted white and sigh and look at the white dishes against my white hutch and all that beautiful neutral against the dark walls was going to make my heart sing.

Instead I think I changed keys somewhere midway through the second verse.

dining room painted hutch

Here’s the after.

I was going for calm.  And soothing.  And crisp.  And clean.  

Something neutral, but different all at the same time.

White dishes in a white hutch against that beautiful mysterious dark gray of SW Anonymous.

After the paint dried and I added the white ware, I just stood there and stared at it.  It was a little overwhelming at first….all that symmetry and tone on tone.

I kind of liked it.

But then I looked at it again and kind of couldn’t decide.

flower centerpiece

So I paused and cut some fresh flowers from the yard.  The crepe myrtle is just starting to bloom and I love the texture of it against the brilliant hue of the roses.

Now the flowers made me smile.

The pinks and reds and fuchias against all that white made my heart sing.

But the hutch?

roses and crepe myrtle

dining room flowers table

Maybe it’s the chairs, I thought?  So I switched the chairs around so you could see the gray stripe and the damask against the hutch.

And I stared at it and loved it.

And then not so much.

Arrrrrrrgh.

So I stared at the flowers again and pondered the situation.

knock out roses

Then I shook my head and rubbed my eyes and walked away to eat a bowl of Cheerios and noticed how cute my nails looked today.  I stayed away for 22 minutes and then I walked back to the dining room to look at it from a fresh perspective.

Again.  And again.  And again.

Maybe khaki?

Maybe distress it a little more to show the gray underneath?

Maybe add blue and white dishes?

Maybe another bowl of Cheerios?

dining room flowers

Can you help a random painted furniture owner out?

If you lived in a farmhouse in the middle of no where and you had a gray hutch that became a white hutch and sat against the wall in the dining room waiting for an opinion….

…..what would you do?

Inquiring minds want to know.

If I don’t here from you….I think I’m asking  Nash.  🙂

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Comments

  1. I am going with the Blue and White dishes… just a little “Pizazzz”!!??! 🙂 …. I like it white!!!

  2. I love the crispness of the white. However, if you are still needing bowls of cheerios to decide in the near future, you could always paint the inside a smashing color (like the grey/gray) and your dishes would pop more and you would feel more like you are still living in the same space and time. Wear rubber gloves though so you don’t mess up the cute nails. 🙂

    Nancy

  3. How about adding fabric wrapped boards to the back of the hutch in a contrasting color that you can change out seasonally?

  4. I love the idea and think the built in’s would be great with a subtle contrast. Maybe a tone on tone stencil on the inside back wall using a flat paint first and an eggshell second. I love your beautiful hutch either way!

  5. Hi Karianne, what about painting the back of the shelving of the hutch, the same grey as the walls…at this point…it’s ONLY PAINT..you can ALWAYS change you mind!!!! Have a great day!

  6. valerie scherrer :

    Hi there
    I would paint the back wall of the hutch the wall color. When I took the cabinet doors off of a few of my white upper kitchen cabinets I was excited to see my white dishes against the white cabinets. I thought it would look clean and crisp. It was flat and boring. Once I painted the back wall of the cabinets the wall color (Restoration Hardware’s Silver Sage) it was gorgeous! Just enough contrast and interest without becoming busy. LOVE

  7. I think colored dishes also. I am renovating an old house and also furnishing it. I had my husband paint the hutch white and I found the dishes at Dollar Tree. They are red, royal blue, lime green, and orange circles. What do you think about a white painted kitchen floor?

  8. I think it needs some texture. Paint the back of the shelves an accent color, wallpaper them, add beadboard, SOMETHING that will help the dishes pop. But, I do love the white!

  9. how about a subtle patterned wallpaper? something neutral but with enough gray and cream to make your beautiful white pop?

  10. I’m with Nancy on this one. Treat it like a bookcase for dishes. Test it out with painted poster board in your gray. See what happens. Nothing lost.

  11. oops! I meant to put on the back of the hutch shelves.

  12. Maybe add a bit of contrast by painting or papering the back of the open shelving? That way, the white of the overall piece would stand out against the gray wall, and the white ware would stand out from the hutch, even if you used a subtly different color or texture. The glossy white dishes are disappearing into the glossy white background. Just a thought, I’m certainly no expert 🙂 Whatever solution you come up with will be delightful, I’m sure. Love your style!

  13. Oh Boy!! You’re asking the wrong person here– you know the decor challenged. But I was trying to get inside your mind — did you feel the buzz?? And I could hear the wheels spinning and you were searching for that spot where you could hear your angel chorus. Well, I really love the dishes and the white and all your neutrals, so how about some silvery wallpaper with a kind of muted print on the back of the hutch. Something silver on silver. You would still have your neutrals but with some extra pizazz!! And I hear metallics are all the rage now. The silver would just be a reflection of all the neutrals. But, what do I know??!! I don’t talk to furniture or rooms, just to myself and anyone else who will listen 🙂 Have a wonderful day and I know you’ll figure it out!!

  14. I love a tone on tone look, but I think what makes it work is texture, and different shades of the same color. I was just going to suggest the same thing Nancy did, add a different shade to the backdrop…maybe even just another shade of white. But first try adding some color and/or texture to the dishes, just a pop here and there, not every section. But you can always just ask Nash to hang out up there, cats add interest to any space!

  15. Hi KariAnne,

    White is okay, it’s just that the layered look is missing. Add some texture to it and then decide. You can always go back, no shame in going back to gorgeous!

  16. Great minds think alike, I agree that the back of the cabinet needs some oomph. I would paint it 75% strength of the wall color, allowing for shadowing at different times of the day so it doesn’t appear too dark. Let us know your decision.

  17. I think I would do burlap on the back wall of the hutch. Beautiful texture and contrast to the white dishes!

  18. I love White! so I’m partial….I look at hutches as a blank canvas……its not the color of the piece; its what you put in it! With a white background you can put any color you want in it to make it pop……..whichever color I will love your hutch!

    Lois

  19. How about some wallpaper in the back! Mod podge it on. I just did a post today on a chair that i used modge podge
    on using a botanical print that i cut out of a botanical book. Just a little idea!!!

    Kathy

  20. I would recommend as others have suggested painting the back walls of the hutch a different color, adding beadboard to the back wall to add depth and texture, like the idea of possible adding fabric to the back of the hutch, lastly painting just the shelves to add dimension to it. Right now I think it is too white, you need some color to give you debth. Blue and white dishes sound beautiful however that also sounds expensive. Good luck, cannot wait to see the final reveil/decision.

  21. I too like the idea of some color on just the back of the shelf areas – but would vote for a zippy wallpaper. Not that I am a huge lover of wallpaper – but I recently looked at a few books of paper and thought….wow, wallpaper has come a long long way from when my mother used to hang it. Even a nice grass cloth paper in a gray would give you the texture you love. Then again, paint is cheaper!

  22. Fresh out of Cheerios this morning, but totally jazzed up on BPC…I’m thinking maybe adding a color to the back of the hutch? Maybe a deeper neutral that would help white dishes stand out? Or, fabric on back of hutch? I love the white dishes, though-you have to keep those out! They just, well…seem farmhouse-y!

  23. My thought was something on the back wall, then I read all the other thoughts, and it seems like it is pretty much what most of us think. I still like the ironstone, I think changing out for something with more color is not who you are (and you know who you are you little Cheerios eating red lipstick girl). I know whatever decision you make, it will wow us, as usual.

  24. Sarah Phillipps :

    I’m not sure when you painted, but I struggle with decorating changes a little. Its like when you get a new hair do, it feels so different that the shock is uncomfortable for a while and you instinctively “don’t like it”. Usually, I do not like our decorating change that was supposed to be so wonderful. So, now just know to think NOTHING for one week and just get used to something being near me that wasn’t there before. You may be the same, if its been one week and you still don’t like it, then you probably really don’t like it.

  25. Years ago I painted my kitchen cabinets linen white and added glass knobs. I loved the look at the time but when I felt the need for change (which comes on suddenly and will not be ignored) I decided to wipe them down with a glaze and add black knobs and hinges. The glaze stays in the recesses (and if you sand flat areas it will darken the wood beneath) and looks like distressing without the mess. I loved the results!

  26. I think the white looks great, but I’m not seeing it with the entire room. I like the idea of a poster board test. You could paint it, put fabric on it, and add it to the back of your hutch in a couple of places. Then go have some more Cheerios and come back and look at it. Yes! No! Still Don’t Know! Take some photos of your changes and ponder over them while you decide. Can’t wait to hear what you’ll do, but I know it will be lovely and that I’ll love it!

  27. If I lived in a farmhouse (my dream is a lakehouse!)
    in the middle of no where (on a crystal clear lake in
    New Hampshire or Maine!) and had a gray hutch that
    became a white hutch, and sat against the wall in the
    dining room (or kitchen!), I would paint the back of the
    shelves a color (probably a robin’s egg blue because we
    live on the lake!) so that the milk glass collection (my
    ironstone collection!) would pop! Good luck! xoxoxo : )

  28. Aw, Karianne, that’s a lot of work (and Cheerios!) to still feel like you have an anemic hutch! Personally, I’d have left it grey because your whites really popped against it. But since you didn’t… I’d paint the back of the cabinet in a soft contrasting color and keep your white dishes.

  29. I’m totally crushin on the white cabinet and white dishes, and love all of the suggestions the ladies have given you about paint/fabric/wallpaper the back of the hutch to make it pop. If you don’t want to alter the hutch, what about adding another neutral with texture? Maybe some wooden chargers layered in with those beautiful dishes? Fall is in the air (kinda, sorta, almost…) so what about pulling from those colors? Adding a few pomegranates (faux of course so they last longer), or some neutral cloth napkins rolled up and tucked about? Whatever you do, it will be fabulous!

    • I think out of all the suggestions, this one might be my favorite! I love the tone on tone white, but it’s a bit stark. I love the idea of adding texture – wooden chargers, cutting boards, wooden bowls, rolling pins – the ideas are endless! I also like the idea of neutral cloth napkins or something for fall that would accent the white dishes and bring them to life! Can’t wait to see what you decide……you always have it turn out “picture perfect”!
      Blessings,
      Lanita

  30. My two cents….Leave it all white, but mix in seasonal color dishes and objects with your white dishes that you can change out with each new season or holiday. Then you have an ever evolving palette that you can play with based on your all white foundation…no repainting necessary…just changing out the mix of dishes and objects whenever the mood strikes you! You can be in a serene, monochromatic mood one day, and a bright happy color mood the next, and accomplish the mood swing with just some strategic object/dish “dancing”! But at the end of the day, Karianne, anything and everything you do is spot on beautiful! Just keep following the dreams in your head, and it will ALWAYS be lovely!

    • I have an all white kitchen, this is exactly what I do. So fun to mix in blue for summer, rust in fall, and well Christmas is red everywhere

      • My thoughts exactly! Seasonal accessories will add all the color you need. Start with the crepe myrtle and roses, and transition into fall as the foliage changes. A can of spray paint can take any interesting accessory to a different level, especially metallics. They are still neutral, yet a totally different texture. Something natural is always appropriate in a farm house (bird’s nest, basket, etc.). I love the hutch as it is. What a wonderful foundation for a constantly changing array of accessories. Enjoy!

  31. Okay, here goes. Remember the custom cabinet I had built in our dining room? White. I do have different patterns of china displayed behind the glass doors, but my open center section had all white. I felt like you are feeling. So…I added a medallion to the back of the center main section, and placed some vintage crystal.

    I strongly suggest you stick with your vision of white. It is perfect. Now you need to take your own advice and add some texture – and maybe a touch of green. Stay with it, sweetie. Your fundamentals are solid.

  32. I like the white color on the hutch and dishes, but I also agree with the other comments that adding some color or texture will enhance the overall look. Try it out using poster boards.

  33. Girl…. I love the white hutch and the idea was such a good one but like everyone else commented, you need some texture on those back walls. Keep the dishes — yummy and so you! Keep the white – great idea and definitely crisp and clean like you wanted. And just make the back walls of the hutch sing. I love the idea of fabric but I’ve done that before and it’s tricky to get right. Best idea is to adhere it to something solid before attaching it to the walls (thus if a sudden desire to change occurs, as it often does, it would be easy to change… We girls need to be able to change our minds often…) Love that you have sudden urges to change things… I feel so much more human since reading your blog with all the beautiful ideas and wonderful comments, you are my decorating never-made-a-wrong decision-girl…. love that you shared with us underlings your dilemma.. I feel so important!) Let us know what you decide…. inquiring minds want to know…. thanks as always for a wonderful read.

  34. Jill Shearin Driver :

    Staple up beautiful fabric of your choice, in 3 panels or a whole piece, on the backboard of the cupboard. It can be solid or patterned, shades of white or colored, expensive or moderately-priced fabric.

    It’s easy to do and can be easily changed for the season or an occasion. Best of all, the choices are limitless!

    • Or check out Miss Mustard Seed–she put fabric on her bedroom wall with spray starch, which I think is brilliant.

  35. I love it. I think you should live with it before you do anything else. But I love it. It gives you the freedom to not only have the white dishes. It opens the door for all the fall, holiday and winter colors to come. I wouldn’t change it. I am slowly doing the same. Love it.

  36. I love the hutch. It looks beautiful. White is timeless.
    I agree with others who said it gives you a backdrop for many different colored dishes in the future.

  37. I love Betsy and Wendi’s ideas. What inspiration from all of you!! I have white built-in china cabinets in the dining room of the house I will be moving to soon and love both these ideas. The covered boards would be a great project for me and my Dad, who is teaching me to use ‘power tools’ (OOO, insert Tim Allen Grunt.. :):)) !! Kari Anne I love the china cabinet in white and love how the white on white gives dimension to the room and I love all the tweaks you did even if the bowls of cheerios haven’t helped you yet!! :):) Just Keep Crunching!! 🙂

  38. I’m leaning towards painting the interior grey as well but just one down slightly darker than the walls. Or perhaps a subtle print or toile – ?

    Love the white though, and you should have shared a pic of your awesome nails. :- )

    Hugs.

  39. Well….I love the white on white! It’s not to distracting, but Bee U T ful 🙂

  40. Natural elements may help. The hutch and dishware are both gorgeous, how about adding a natural color grass cloth to the back of the shelves? A soft camel color grass cloth might be the pop you’re looking for. And your flowers are beautiful.

  41. Love it!!! Beautiful clean backdrop against the table.

  42. I never ever comment on blogs……..but, today I must!!!!!!! Keep it!!!!!! Keep it!!!!!! Keep it all WHITE!!!!!! I LOVE It!!!!!! No more cereal, just white paint!!!!

  43. How about some nice silver trays in the back with the dishes in the front? A little bling to add some contrast? Love your super personality!

  44. I love it! It’s beautiful! I know if it were me I’d be looking for the perfect way to tweak it. I like the other suggestions to paint the back the color of the wall or to put panels in that can be changed out. Using a subtle pattern and color. Here is what I’d do while you try to figure out what you do or don’t love about it, I’d pop a few of those lovely blooms into a couple random dishes on the hutch and stand back and let it smile at you.

  45. Andrea saunders :

    I would put some stained wood planks on the inside of the upper part of the hutch.

  46. Love the transformation to the white!….you know me, I love color and love the idea of the blue and white, but then again, the hutch as it is is “you” . . .

  47. Hi. Just me but I would paint the back of the hutch, the area behind the dishes, a darker color. You would still have a white hutch but a darker backdrop for the dishes. It doesn’t have to be too dark just different enough to give a little contrast…and perhaps if you don’t want to paint, use spray glue to glue in some textured wallpaper or geometric patterned fabric for a temporary fix. You are better at all this than I am so I am sure you will come up with the perfect solution.

  48. This is ALWAYS my type of dilemma ……I’m wanting to chalk paint my entertainment center white, and the back board a black….I think. You love those hot pinks and reds together as an accent, karianne. How about picking a color using those and painting some poster board to fit against the back. You could do some in gray also for when you tire of the color. Either way the dishes would pop. Even a deep green would be pretty for certain seasons…

  49. I think the white is lovely, but the color probably hides the white items inside…maybe add some rustic texture, wood, or color added to the items being displayed? You like the table because of the burlap and colorful flowers. Everything you do is so pretty, Karianne, but the hutch has to speak to YOU.

  50. Tack a swatch of your chair /pillow fabrics to your hutch … Subtle colors but delicious ones! Love those chairs!
    Perhaps that will bring out the best of them, as well as your whiteness!

  51. the solution is right in front of you…that red/pink color of the flowers on the inside of the hutch! As you say, it’s only paint and if you hate it, gray could be your fall back color (sigh).

  52. I would paint the interior back of the hutch the next darker grey on the card with anonymous. I think this would solve your problem. However, I love everything you do and think it looks great as is. Good Luck!

  53. I see what you are saying and I vote for fabric in the back. You could change the colors when need be. Your beautiful dishes would go with any color you choose. You are the expert and I know you will work it out to be beautiful. Don’t cry and don’t look back – always look forward. Change is good!

  54. I think someone may have suggested this earlier but how about wrapping some foam core poster board with burlap. You just cut the poster board to size and wrap the burlap around like a present. Then just push in on the back of each shelf. It’s easily removable when you need a change. Actually any fabric would work and wouldn’t be permanent. Otherwise I would just try mixing in some texture with the milk glass. Baskets, or Mercury glass might be pretty. I did the same thing a year ago when I inherited a large plate rack that was my husbands grandmothers. I changed that thing sometimes twice a day for a week till I got it looking the way I wanted. Whatever you decide it will be beautiful. I love your milk glass. My mother collected milk glass so I always enjoy looking at your collection.

  55. Nicole menard :

    maybe some texture would help in there? Some softness?

  56. Linda Kostelny :

    What about starting a new collection of colored dishes or pewter pieces . With all the fun trips you are taking you are sure to spot something….
    You know ,there is this wonderful collection of dishes that incorporate china and metal on the plates. I think they are from Italy. That is your solution ! You need to go to Italy for inspiration! If that doesn’t work how about Southeran France !!

  57. I really liked the grey and think your dishes looked great against that. I personally love the ironstone and wouldn’t change to blue/white. Reading through the comments, I DO like the idea of a patterned wallpaper on the back! Or painted beadboard.

  58. How funny, KariAnne, I JUST blogged about painting our hutch white and adding my milk glass collection!

    http://www.dagmarbleasdale.com/2015/08/hutch-makeover-annie-sloan-chalk-paint/

    I like all the white, but I think I’d add a very light gray only on the back of the boxes so your collection is seen more. It’s classic and elegant. I am toying with that color for our living room, which is white. Once we have crown moulding, I’d like to keep that white and a contrasting light gray on the wall.

    You got so many great ideas – I bet you’ll find one you like. 🙂

  59. Brainstorming thought……scrapbooking paper in the back of the cubbies in neutral patterns….not in every cubby, but a few…….or…..trays of wicker, silver or whatever behind the dishes.

  60. You’ve gotten so many great ideas to choose from and I can’t wait to see what you decide to do…..I know it’ll look beautiful !

  61. Orange or Purple. Those are the colors I would pick to add a splash~ maybe a folded napkin peeking out of a dish??

  62. I was thinking gray on the inside before I ever started to read the posts:) Love the white.
    Unless you have colored dishes or seasonal ones, I would not add to my stash unless you are a dish nut. It is more stuff to keep up with. I like the idea of fabric insets – something easy to store as well.

    Gorgeous flowers:)

  63. I like the white. You just need to add some color!

  64. What if you painted the back a slightly darker/different neutral to give more depth?

  65. I was so anxious to respond, that I have NOT read any of the other comments, and my thoughts may be repetitive. Excuse me, if they are. The hutch is a beautiful, clean white, and I love it. I love the white dishes, too. You could add seasonal “pop” with colored objects placed in your dishes to coordinate with whatever table display you choose to do. You have hundreds of options, and whatever you choose to do will be gorgeous. Just LOVE your blogs!

  66. Immediately thought what the others have suggested. The back of the cabinet needs something for contrast although it is really lovely the way it is. Like the burlap idea for some color and texture, maybe even some coffee sacks with just a touch of the graphics or lettering. Do you like music? Some old sheet music pages would be nice or French book pages…easy to decoupage on inserts you could change out. Anxious to see what you decide.

  67. If you get those foam boards and cover them with a light colored fabric you could cut them a little too big and shove them in the space so no staples (easy to take out.) Painting just the back of the hutch would be quite a job–yet doable. I like color and texture so that’s my vote!!!

  68. I’ve found in my own life that if I don’t get that “oh my goodness tingle” than I probably don’t like it as much I thought I would. I like the tone on tone but maybe just a few pops of color would make you like it better. It is so subjective, but I think I would put a few little things like a flower in a vase on one shelf or maybe a few flowers put around on different levels. Then you could change them out season by season. Just a thought. Good luck.

  69. Denise Foster :

    Karianne,
    I am a white paint loving girl at heart, so I gotcha on the inspiration to go white and neutral, BUT . . . keep in mind the rules of design – your eye will focus on the most colorful or most contrast and pattern first. What do you want to be the focus in the room? If the hutch is a focus, then you need more than white on white and texture (especially with the other items in the space). Look at the rest of the room too, to see if something is hogging the limelight. Use the rules of design to direct your eye to where you want the attention. Then balance your design decisions by repetition in the space (more of the same of color, finish) in other areas that complement your main focus area. If that is the home for the milk glass collection, then painting the inside (back, shelves and sides) a color contrast (even a pale gray) will create more of a contrast and pattern. But balance in the entire room is also part of the answer to make your design look deliberate and designed. Good luck!!

  70. You dear sweet girl! I love that you shared with us that a project you could see so very clearly with your mind’s eye and LOVE, turned out to look quite different when the reality was before you. Please know that I don’t love that you’re kinda fretting, like “what do I do to make this work for me”. It’s knowing that you, my decorating guru, has those moments too where the completed project doesn’t quite sing the right tune. And here I thought it was only me that happened to!
    With all of the helpful suggestions you are receiving, I can’t wait to see what your next step will be to make your gorgeous hutch and your beautiful whiteware SING your favorite tune!!! Keep the faith Karianne, I bet it will be a quick “tweek”!!!
    BTW, I love your nails, they do look fabulous!!! (I can see them with my mind’s eye!!!) haha
    Enjoy your day!!!

  71. I love it!
    Leave it white…and add MIRRORS to back.
    (Use in stock mirrors from lowes/Home Depot and have them cut to size. If edge of mirror bothers u, add thin strip of painted moulding)
    This will make the room “dance” with the light reflecting off

  72. Add wallpaper, fabric, paint to the back panel. That would help break up all that white but still keep the rest of it white and crisp.

  73. I agree with the other readers – paint the inside of the hutch gray (maybe some headboard? paited gray). Will add some texture and come contrast to your pretty white dishes. You can do it! Go girl.

  74. The hutch is invisible. The same thing when my garage was painted white . Now I cannot find the door.

  75. UUhhh I mean beadboard – unless those shelves are fixed which would mean a whole bunch of cutting… then I would say just paint. 🙂 I’ll practice my typing later today..

  76. Oh yah!! some covered foam board… makes it changeable. And some wicker thingy things to stand up behind the dishes, etc. Wish I was around to help you 🙂

  77. It’s beautiful, KariAnne! You are just in shock. But I understand – I love so many different looks, it is hard to settle with one.

  78. I have always loved the beauty of white on any of my pieces of furniture that I paint. Maybe like others have said a beautiful gray in the shelving would make the dishes stand out! Just a hint of gray!! Your guests would look and say “Ummmm”, there is sometime about that hutch that bears examining further!! You are so creative and I always enjoy your blog! Grey is the answer to the question you posed!!!!!!

  79. I like it white but yes it needs a pop. Maybe a scattering of printed Platters as backdrops? Not in every compartment; just here and there; match your flowers or your toes….

  80. I think you are over thinking!!!! Why make more work for yourself,just change out the dishes for color. I think it looks nice as is.

  81. I love the classic look of the all white, but as others have said, maybe some color, subtle or bright, to make the dishes keep from fading away. Either paint the back of the hutch…or covered foamboard so you can play around with it easily! or mix some old silver or natural items, or blue and white 🙂 dishes….just something so you still have serene and refined, but not pale and retiring! Have you painted the walls yet? curious to see what anonymous looks like, and not much wall showing in this posting. Thanks!

  82. Change the wall color? It won’t take long to remove everything, prep the area, get the paint etc. 14 seconds in the blogging world. 😉

  83. Graham Campbell :

    You have musicians at your house, right? I used double sided tape (what if we ever sell!) to put up old sheet music on the back of my built-ins. I found them while “thrifting” (check inside piano benches) so they had a slight tinge of yellow. They’re very subtle and with your love of neutrals might work. They did for me. You’re a genius and you’ll think of something great!

  84. Kathy Schermerhorn :

    I’m thinking you have a little too much white going on there. I’d either paint the inside backs or start collecting blue dishes. 🙂

  85. Missy Elam Mangum :

    I cut out cream colored card stock and fitted it into the back of my dark antique corner cabinet. I did not want to ruin the value and it has worked beautifully. Why not pink cardstock or gray or orange or sky blue or….?

  86. On some of my great ideas, I have to say ‘oh darn’…. when it doesn’t turn out as I had seen it in my mind. Love your spirit, your writing, you make me giggling!!!!
    I bit too much white I’m thinking, even though I’ve started to collect white iron stone dishes after reading your blog.
    I’d paint the back with a few soft colors to see what I like the best, and maybe even a darker shade of gray than the walls to make all those dishes really pop!
    I can’t wait to see what happens!

  87. Blackberry harvest paper runner. 20″ x 50′ for $29. Just double stick tape it for a quick change
    that is not permanent. Put away that paintbrush!

  88. Um…heck, I dunno…I think Nash would probably know much more than I about this sort of thing…that’s why you are the designer and I am the follower…hehe! But I’ve been reading the comments and most seem to agree that maybe painting the inside or even placing painted and/or textured boards inside of the cabinet so that your beautiful dishes had something to play off of would work and I tend to agree with them. I mean, the cabinet looks lovely as is, to my mind, but obviously something about it is nagging you so you need to do what would ease your heart. I am sure that, with a little bit of time to sort through your thoughts and another bowl of Cheerios, you will find your answer! I can’t wait to see what you decided to do! Happy day, friend! Cheerio! (hehe…sorry, couldn’t resist!) 🙂

  89. Dont do anything drastic….add a little color to pick up what you have on the table. It is a lovely way to start a display all white it gives you the option to decorate for any reason or season.

  90. What a riot! You always create beautiful vignettes and rooms yet we all think we can help so here is my two cents worth. I would eliminate at least half of the items on the shelves. I love the white on white, but would make it more interesting and sophisticated with fewer, larger, and more interesting pieces. You have given yourself so many options with all white that you can’t go wrong trying them out when the spirit moves! Have fun.

  91. I love the white, but would you consider painting the back a shade or two darker? Like a “dark white” but not grey?

  92. Rowena Philbeck :

    Love the white but I think its too much white does need something of color on the shelves. Maybe some greenery or cool family pictures.

  93. Hi Karianne – my favorite of all the above suggestions is to do the back walls of the hutch in RH’s Silver Sage paint. Such a soft and unintrusive color. Just enough to ‘pop’ the white dishes without making a big old statement of its own! I can’t wait to see what you do with it.

  94. Too much white in a flat way. I would first try a few colored dishes. If that is not enough then go with paint. I would try the gray of the walls first as a trim or just on the back. If that contrast is not enough go whole hog, all gray on the shelves. Smiles and no more Cheerios, they are full of sugar.

  95. Just another vote for painting the back walls. I did this with my open kitchen cabinets…creamy white with a brighter yellow In the back…with white dishes, of course!

  96. I was thinking you could put some flowers in the cups for now, add pumpkins, pine cones, etc in the fall and so on. No painting involved and more time for Cheerios or another cup of coffee.
    Lots of great suggestions though.
    All the best,
    Nancy

  97. Leave it white but use foam core board covered in a pretty fabric or paper as the background of each shelf. That would be super easy to change out every time you change your mind 🙂

  98. Just another vote for painting the back walls. I did this with my open kitchen cabinets. Creamy white with a bright yellow back wall…with white dishware, of course!

  99. My first thought was the background for the dishes needs to be different…..aged sheet music? rustic wood? grass cloth….painted a light gray for the white dishes to play against. Then I started reading comments……I wasn’t so original, many gave the same input. Look forward to whatever you do….I’m sure it will be smashing!

  100. Kristy Nelson :

    The hutch is beautiful and the white ware is equally pretty but together it looks a little stark. The pretty dishes seem to get lost against the white hutch. I like the suggestions of painting the back inside of the hutch.

  101. Some great ideas here. One of the suggestions was to add chargers behind the plates. I was in Hobby Lobby yesterday and they had burlap chargers. These would go well with your curtains (I constantly drool over them …. too stinking cute!) perhaps these would give you the contrast, and texture that would bring the room around to give you that happy feeling!

  102. I just won some wonderful chalk paint from another blogger and I picked Navy Blue. I have a white hutch in my kitchen and I bought some beige dishes from Crate & Barrel. I painted the back of the hutch Navy Blue and put the dishes in it. I also put red wooden apples in between the dishes and I love it. This hutch is very big – it holds a service for 10 – and I just love the way it looks. I love going into the kitchen now! Good luck!

  103. Darlin…..

    You know you need to do something to the back and you aren’t fooling me for one minute that you don’t know what it is……;p.

    Paper it….paint it…fabric…..maybe a combination. I’m sure you are working away at something as I type. Can’t wait to see.

  104. Maybe the back portion could be a deeper color to show off the dishes or some antiquing wax on the front. Everything you do is beautiful. Hugs

  105. How about a few colorful napkins stuck in your white ware here and there? Or how about making some back walls out of cardboard and colorful fabric. You can then change the fabric and color when you want. The easy way would be to add some colorful candles.

  106. I love the white on white. It’s just so simple and lovely. If it doesn’t have enough contrast I can highly recommend Sherwin Williams’ Urbane Bronze. It’s a deep charcoal grey and looks black from a distance. I painted the back of a few cabinets this color and it is a nice backdrop for my white dishes. I sometimes miss the white, I admit. There is something so dreamy about whiteware on white shelves.

  107. Keriann mcintosh :

    Hi karianne,
    Leave it white , try adding some tarnished old silver like a tea set with just a touch of fresh greenery from your pretty garden, I had this same feeling when I did mine, treat it more like a mantel and decorate the seasons!
    Love your work
    Keriann M
    From New Zealand!

  108. I liked the gray hutch, but the white is so pretty too! I think it just needs a punch of something…maybe a light gray on the back or a nice light shade of blue/gray. The dishes will pop. Or, what if you just highlight the bead board backs by emphasizing the lines in the boards with a gray, beige or blue tone in the crease? It might be too busy to do that for the entire piece but it would give the backs definition and also make the dishes pop. My two cents worth, good luck!

  109. Debbie Esparza :

    How about gray dishes???? Or painting the background gray, or even using the trefoil design stencil in gray? So many, many possibilities!

  110. I hesitated on giving an opinion based on the amount. I like the white but I think some contact is needed. I would either do fabric back that can be changed or paint the backs with a bit of distressing on the outside

    Cindy

  111. like many others, I think painting the back of the hutch a light gray would be awesome….you can’t get rid of all the white ware!!! just a bit of contrast….
    love, Linda

  112. What if before you repaint anything or change the color of anything in the room you use your “how to do neutrals” advice that you shared earlier this week and mix in some textural items to break up all the white and smooth porcelain? Let’s see you put that advice into real-life practice. Will this work? Of course it will because you’re a rock star…and so am I for suggesting it!

  113. So, if you don’t want to paint, add colored dishes or live with it for awhile. But if you don’t mind painting then I agree with the rest – paint the backs of those shelves…it will make your dishes show up. 🙂
    Frustrating, isn’t it when a project doesn’t match the vision in your head? I.feel.your.pain!

  114. Do you need a pro/con list, a list where you don’t write down any “cons?”

    Your goals of crisp and clean lines have been met; is it just the change in itself that has you second guessing your paint choice?

    I think the hutch with the white dishes is beautiful!

    Maybe a single rose in some of the dishes on your hutch placed randomly will give you a break in the white.

  115. Well, I don’t know what YOU’RE going to do, KariAnne, but I now have a TON of ideas about whether to display my ironstone or milk glass against one simple white background or another! And if needed, I have a fairly sizable collection of tarnished silver. That’s oh, so easy to attain ~ for a nice contrast! Thanks for posing this awesome question!!!
    But since I’m not one to leave without expressing my opinion: I’d use chipboard to add an “ever-so-slightly-darker-than-the-walls” grey, a few scattered pieces of silver (tarnished or not), and as a nod to the latest trend … some gold, too! I think your white dishes would then visibly pop right out of those hutch shelves!

  116. P.S. I always love what you do, KA … and find the white shelves just beautiful as they are!
    You are the ultimate designer, so let us see what you decide, please!

  117. You asked for advice and you got it, girl!! Maybe all of your friends wanted to give you back what you give us everyday!! 🙂

    I agree…changing out the inside of the cabinet will give you lot’s of joy!

    Jane x

  118. I would maybe paint the back of the hutch in a different color to make your lovely dishes stand out. Something light and airy like turquoise or elegant like gold.

  119. I’d paint the inside back of the hutch one-two shades darker than the wall color❤️❤️❤️

  120. LOVE IT – exactly the way it is! So calming and elegant. What color/brand of white did u use?

  121. I love the all white hutch, that being said, if it were my home. I would either use Blue & White Dishes to make a statement, I love blue & white dishes so for me that’s a no brainier. Another option would be to take foam core board cut to the specific size of each shelf back, find a fabric that would coordinate or accent your dining chairs, cover foam core board with fabric. Hang with Scotch Brand adhesive (Velcro like) mounting to back of hutch. I recommend Scotch Brand because it doesn’t damage walls or furniture. If you go with the fabric option, you could change it seasonally with your pillows if that’s something that would be of interest to you. Good Luck, love your blog.

  122. Lisa Mothersead :

    Add ivory dishes. (That’s what I did! Sorrento Ivory stoneware.)

  123. I’m a fan of the white bead board in the hutch, but the texture is not showing up well on my tablet. Since fall is coming, I can see a faux wood paper like you’ve done before or switch it out with a medium or dark gray painted bead board paper.

  124. Me? I would paint it a bright blue behind all of the shelves. However, I know you’re a neutral, kinda gal. So, I would probably suggest a medium blue jean color. You know… that shade of blue between the “typical” blue jean and that grayish blue color. 😉

  125. You’ve been doing over your home bit by bit. If you go backwards to paint the backs a different old gray you used what’s the point? Did you gravitate to white dishes before the gray or was it always on your radar?
    If white dishes are your thing, you of all people always layered in other objects. Maybe you do want a clean slate? And the vivid flowers only confused you. I wonder if u are close to turning forty. At that age I wanted to go plain everywhere. Take stuff off walls. Painted all neutral before in style. Papered my bathroom in tone on tone white. It felt refreshing. I bought new drugstore white Christmas plates ( still no chips!). No. I did not stay all white. But it felt good then. And if you take out bright pink and be honest, you had been thinking this for a long time. And it can always be redone if when you hit 55 and get wild. And go for color. Is it that stage of busyness of life I wanted calmness in my things???

  126. Wow…took me a long time to get to the bottom of the comment form…ha! It’s lovely as is…but for me…not enough interest. I’m sure this has already been suggested…but you could paint the back some beautiful color….or put in fabric panels, my personal favorite…so that you could change with the seasons, or your nail polish…which ever you prefer! I’m sure you’ll figure it out! 😉

  127. Jennifer Ross :

    It’s pretty but I would like to see the hutch white just a touch different, like a little ivory. Not much, just a little, so that if you removed the white white dishes, the hutch would look white. But together there is a little difference. Make sense?
    I started collecting milk glass and LOVE IT. Funny thing is, I have three bookshelves in dated dark wood that I want to paint too. One day..

  128. I agree you need a little contrast. What about aged wood in
    the back ? The barn wood grayish kinda thing ?
    Or just paint it ? I am a neutral lover too !! =)

  129. I love the hot pink!! But truly think of it as more of summer color. I love blue and white always classy and would pop against that white. But mind you I do not have enough
    Guts to
    Put any paint on any
    Kind of furniture! Good luck!!!

  130. If it were mine, I would put some seriously blue and white pieces in it…..I will love whatever you decide to do.

  131. I think it looks fabulous and high end, classy and understated. I think the play of light and shadows will provide contrast and be interesting as the light changes throughout the year. I think it would be much easier to add “pop” with blue and white dishes or Christmas dishes and greenery seasonally. Think about the elegance of art galleries and museums…. I scrolled the comments and am definitely in the minority but I like it as is!! I think it sings 🙂 – It’s own song.

  132. Wait! Art takes time. So does creativity. But you already knew that. 😉
    And then take time to lay on the couch or other comfy place and pray for inspiration. The greatest creator EVER will be delighted that you asked. My best inspiration comes in the quiet, on the couch, with my eyes closed… Grand events have been spelled out, dramatic themed environments for kids have been devised, and even simple projects that are stuck have been given new freshness and direction. Hmmm… if it works so well… why don’t I do it more?
    I look forward to seeing what comes of the hutch, KariAnne. It will be amazing… actually it already is. [[hugs]]

  133. Sharon Huling :

    I LOVE the white! I like the idea of using a few seasonal colored dishes with the white. It so easy to change out bowls, vases, etc. It’s beautiful.

  134. Love the all white! Just live with it for a week or so and you’ll settle into it. Such a clean, classic look. Maybe stack up some green apples on a plate or bowl ocassionally. Maybe tuck in a small fresh green plant like fern or boxwood in a white cachepot from time to time. You’re good.

  135. I’d paper the back using some kind of neutral print on removable paper. That way you can switch it out! I love the white! Looks fresh and crisp.

  136. I may be jumping on the bandwagon late, but I totally agree with those who say to paint the insides or backs of the shelves a color. I love the idea of all of the white-on-white, but it might need to be broken up a bit for the eye to see the beautiful details. And, actually, I’m secretly voting for something a little racier than gray 😉

  137. I love the bookcase you did with wood shims in the back for contrast. I think that same technique would be perfect here.

  138. Sherry Fisher :

    I would also try something in the back for contrast…. maybe temporary, just to make sure you love it!

  139. mcgrathinnola :

    Natural elements with white = natural beauty.

  140. Well, I definitely think you have plenty of ideas here:) Not sure if someone mentioned this, because I didn’t read all 158 comments. You do have a beautiful collection of plates, and you can’t really change that. Someone mention wrapping fabric around boards and switching them out with the seasons, or when you get bored with it. THAT’S A FANTASTIC IDEA!!!! It brings another element into the hutch…if you paint it, it’s just more paint. That’s not a bad idea at all, but bringing fabric into the equation takes it to a whole new level! Either way though, you’ll make it look good:D And definitely ask NASH!

  141. Well. I was going to say paint the back board gray, but I think 1l,000,000 people are already pushing for you to maybe paint the back board gray……….lol

  142. Deborah Deaton :

    I absolutely love the hutch painted white! However, I do feel that you could make your collection even stand out more by using burlap and tacking it to the foam core board with silver thumbtacks around the edges, then adding vintage pieces of silver throughout your white collection. Adding a large silver tray under the white flower arrangement would tie it all together especially with your burlap table runner and drapes. Just a thought! All the suggestions I have read are so great so I am sure you will have plenty of ideas Karianne to keep you busy! Wishing you the best on your project! I just love your blog! You are so cute and make me smile always! A red lipstick girl of my own heart!

  143. I like the white hutch, but as many of your bloggers have stated you need some pops of color otherwise it just fades into each other. Mirrors on the back or paint or some lovely paper would make everything stand out more.
    I am sure you will make the right decision as you are such a talented decorator.
    Hae a great weekend.
    Mary

  144. I like the white hutch but I believe I would add color to the back of the hutch so your dishes pop. I saw quite a few ideas for adding color and any of them would work. I would use foamcore and that way I could change it out seasonally. If you have blue and white dishes stashed somewhere now would be a great time to unearth them and see if you like them in it. You can always pack them back up if you aren’t happy with them and add contrast with backing.

  145. Hi Kari Anne, I like the hutch white, but I loved the hutch the way it was before. It had a lot of character and warmth. I am looking forward to see what you will do next!

  146. Karen Willoughby :

    I’m reading all the comments and they are echoing my first impressions. Your dishes are so beautiful and you want to show them off, but they just fade into the background. My first thought wast to paint the back and then my second thought was to use foam board and cover them, or paint them. If choose that route, then you could mix and match patterns if you wanted in the various sections. And, as all above had said, you can change them out without much time or mess:) I might also add a couple of blue/white dishes to the mix (or my choice of color would be black..haha). Can’t wait to see what you decide.

  147. Cindy Ellicott :

    Hi, so fun seeing your painted hutch & reading all the comments! Lots of great options and I’m sure you’ll ponder a lot of them. I read many of the ideas but not quite all so don’t know if this one has been mentioned, if you paint the backs of your shelves the same color as your walls, the hutch will look backless. It would look less like a piece of stand alone furniture and more like a built in. Just depends on what you want. I think it will be beautiful whatever you decide. Change can surprise us though. I just painted the backs of a wood bookcase and now love the contrast. Can’t wait to see which idea you try first:-) so fun to work on our homes!

  148. No no no!! Kerri!! not pure white, it’s too stark and harsh, I like the idea of removal panels. Such fun to change them out whenever the mood takes you. However I am confused?? I have been following your website for a while now from across the pond in the UK. Really admire your talent by the way, and your energy! However your home tour on the site shows a wonderful dinning room with gorgeous wood table, and lovely wood furniture etc. how come now in the pictures the table is white, so are the chairs, did I miss a makeover in there??
    Have been making over our family home inside and out for the last 2 years but, it takes a lot of time doesn’t it.

  149. Rebecca Turner :

    I think it needs a little contrast, but if you don’t feel like re-painting, why not use tray baskets behind the pottery, or else thin wood inserts painted, or covered in wallpaper scraps, or maps. These are just a few suggestions but I bet you come up with your own marvelous idea.

  150. Why not paint the back of the shelves another color. I have done this with book shelves. Hope this helped!

  151. Using some paint or fabric on the inside back of the hutch seems easier than changing out all your dishes. Plus I love white dishes!!