Have a hutch that needs a little facelift? All you need is a little inspiration, a few white plates and these simple steps to style a hutch.

Just in case you were wondering, this is not Extreme Makeover:  The Hutch Edition.

No laser wrinkle removing.

No hair extensions.

No facial reconstruction.

No dental implants.

Nothing drastic.

It’s just a mini refresh.  Kind of like when Kathy Lee and Hoda nab an unsuspecting woman off the street and take her into the studio and they change her hair color and give her a new hair cut and style and put some eye shadow on her and dress her in some Spanx and a really cute outfit from JC Penny’s.  And then she tentatively steps out from behind the curtain and her family gathers around her and is all like “You look incredible.”  And then she breaks into hysterical sobs because she realizes that she has finally left the 1970’s behind and stepped into 2019.

Not that the 1970’s isn’t all that and a bag of chips.

It’s just sometimes we all could use a mini-facelift.

Or a good pair of Spanx.

Whichever comes first.

Here’s one of my favorite hutches holding up the back wall of the kitchen.

It’s been all over the house. It used to be upstairs at the farmhouse and then it was in the playroom and eventually, one day, it made the arduous trip downstairs to the kitchen.

Where things are a lot fancier.

Much more uptown.

Much more the royal blue eye shadow and JC Penny spiffy dress crowd.

You can see it when I styled it three different ways here. I’ve had so many different things on its shelves and it’s survived all of them. But today? I wanted to talk about something different. I wanted to talk about seven simple steps to style a hutch.

So many of you send me questions asking how to get from here to there and today we are taking a trip.

Down mini-hutch makeover lane.

1. Take everything off the shelves

I know.

I get it.

It sounds counterintuitive.

But sometimes it’s really hard to see the hutch forest for the trees. You need a blank slate to help you figure it out. So let’s start our hutch styling with taking everything off the shelves. Then stand back and take a good look at your hutch.

Isn’t it so cute?

Pat your hutch on the back.

It’s about to get even cuter.

2. Change your hardware

This is one of the simplest things you can do to make your hutch even cuter.

Hobby Lobby and Anthropologie are two of my favorite places to find hardware that’s unusual and fun and creative and inexpensive.

Here’s a simple tip when you are replacing your hardware:

  • When you remove a handle (that has two holes) and you want to put in a knob (that has one hole) by process of elimination you realize that you have a hole left over.
  • I glue a piece of craft wood from the craft store over both holes and add the knob at the top hole.
  • You could also fill it in with wood putty and sand and paint it, too.

But the craft wood amps up the cuteness factor.

3. Add height

This is the first step I take whenever I style a hutch.

It’s just hutch common sense.

If you lined the shelves of your hutch with bowls and stacked plates and you never added anything to the back of the hutch it would look empty. This hutch is a little challenging because the back of the bottom shelf is so tall.

Here are a few simple tips for adding height to your hutch:

  • plate holders
  • simply add plate holders to the back of your plates and hang them up on the hutch
  • add oversized platters to the back of the hutch
  • line up plates against the back of smaller shelves

4. Stack it up

Don’t just think vertically when adding dishes to your hutch.

Think horizontally, too.

I add stacks of plates and stacks of bowls. The stack makes it easy to get everything at the right height.

When I first started decorating the hutch and I didn’t have tons of dishes, I just went to Walmart and bought two sets of white dishes and then stacked them all over the hutch. I stacked the coffee cups on top of plates and so on. Once I found pieces I loved, I didn’t need to stack everything because I had larger size pieces, but it all started with a stack.

5. Keep it odd

When placing things on your hutch, you want to add things in odd numbers.

Some people call this the rule of threes.

(total aside: but really—between us? Why stop at three?)

I’m not really sure why, but odd numbers just make everything look better. Shop your house for a collection of your favorite things and then add them to the hutch in uneven numbers. Add three bowls on this side and seven cups on this side.

6. Add an organic element

When I decorate the hutch, I shop the refrigerator and the yard.

Here are some of my favorite ways to add organic elements:

  • add a vase full of branches with green leaves
  • full a bowl full of apples
  • fill urns with fresh flowers from each season
  • layer in lemons in a decorative dish

You get the idea. Next time you go to the grocery store, add a bag of apples or oranges or lemons or limes and when you get home put them in a bowl.

Your hutch will thank you.

7. Decorate the front of the hutch

When decorating the hutch, don’t forget about the front. It’s an entirely different surface to decorate. Think outside the hutch box and add a little dimension to your hutch decorating.

Here are coffee filter flowers that I made and added to the front of the hutch.

You can see how I made them here.

I’ve also added a wreath to the front of the hutch for different seasons.

You could add a picture or even a decorative frame.

You got this friend.

Your mini-hutch makeover is just around the corner.

I know it’s 2019.

I get it.

But just between us? Sometimes all a makeover needs is to go old school with a really good eyeliner, some Aqua Net Hair Spray and little blue eyeshadow. 🙂

And now?

Here are a few of my favorite 20-minute decorating friends with some amazing tips of their own.

20 Minute Decorating series logo

Designthusiasm | Help-yourself Breakfast Bar

help yourself kitchen breakfast bar on the kitchen table

French Country Cottage | Simple Ideas to Decorate with Mirrors

French Country Cottage

On Sutton Place | Decorating with the Rule of Three

The Rule of Threes from On Sutton Place

Shabbyfufu | Decorating with Collections

collection of old bottles shabbyfufu

StoneGable | Easy Mason Jar Citronella Candle DIY


Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Louann Louann

    Where do you come up with your thoughts for writing? They are delightful and sometimes make me laugh! Absolutely no other online blogger can compete with your words! It is like reading my morning book!

    1. Image for Beth Y Beth Y

      I agree with Louann!! Your comparisons of decorating to a makeover by Kathy Lee and Hoda are hilarious and very, very true!! Those paper flowers make me smile!! Love them!!! This hutch also makes me think of my Nana and her milk glass collection. I have a few of her favorite pieces now.

  2. Image for Patricia A Nejmanowski Patricia A Nejmanowski

    Your hutch looks amazing and thanks for the tips. In one of the pics I saw the cutting board on wheels that I have been wanting to create since I first saw it on your blog. The problem is I can't find the wheels needed for it. The ones I have ran across are always to big. Please steer me in the right direction. Thanks, Tricia


    Fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Love your step by step approach to decorating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Never thought about adding decorative wood piece to hide the two holes from handles. Excellent idea which I will try!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Image for jean jean

    Karianne, Thanks for the tips for the hutch. I don't have solid white dishes but I do have some china that I'm going to try my luck with stacking. I love all you have to offer us and teach us everytime you blog!!!! By the way, the 1970's were good, good years!!!! I love the coffee filter flowers. I'm going to try my hand at that project soon. My hutch was my Mother's and the top has 3 doors across and it sits on the bottom part of the cabinet so I have a shelf that goes from front to back so I'll try and make me some vignettes with family pictures. Thanks so much for sharing. your blog friend, jean

  5. Image for Peg Peg

    Love this! I also love to mix textures...wood, ceramic, metal, cloth covered books!! It's all so yummy!!! xoxo

  6. Image for PJ PJ

    Hi, KariAnne! I found the perfect hutch for my small space at my local ReStore, the Habitat for Humanity store. It is the perfect home for my collection of blue and white plates, etc. I just love it, but while the top shelves have grooves for standing up plates, the bottom shelf has none. Do you have any ideas on what I can use to help those plates stand up on the bottom shelf? Thank you!

  7. Image for laura@everydayedits.co laura@everydayedits.co

    Karianne! You had me at the KLG (now Jenna) and Hoda makeovers! I miss KLG with Hoda. I love Jenna, but poor Jenna has a revolving door of co-hosts. I have a hutch. It has maybe 18 white plates stacked. all stacked. so boring. like oatmeal. Thank you for the inspiration! laura

Comments are closed.