DIY And Decorating : Small Space Display

November 7, 2011 07:07 by ehouston

Ever since moving in to our new home here in Richmond, VA I have been struggling with how to decorate the open space at the top of the stairs.  We have one long flight up to the second story with an open railing along the top portion.  It makes for a nice and roomy landing at the top before you make your way down the hall toward the bedrooms, but it also felt a little lost too.  At first we just put our old telephone table in that space, to have something there.  Although we never used it for holding our phone, this spot was quite fitting since it’s the only oddball wall in the house with a old school phone jack.  However, the last thing we wanted right outside the Little Guy’s room was an old school ringer.  Prior to painting the upstairs hallway I had two pictures hanging above the telephone table, but the arrangement was always off and too small for the overall space. 

I got it in my mind that I wanted to put a comfy chair here and a smaller table, but that did not quite make sense for the landing either.  Then after spying a couple of small and modern styled vintage dining room hutches at the local Salvation Army I got a whole different idea.  I thought it would be nice to have some vertical display, along with some lower extra storage.  I just thought one of these smaller hutches would do the trick of filling up the space without overwhelming it.  So, two weeks ago I brought one of those hutches home.


I love the simple clean lines of the overall piece and the fun graduated rectangle design on the bottom doors.  I also liked the lightness of the whole thing being up on thin legs.  At first I just planned to bring it home, clean it up and put it in place.  But, when I started the clean up process I found that the previous owner’s had left cup rings on nearly every shelf, and the top.  Those plus the other various scrapes made it a little more shabby than chic for my taste.  So, I dug up my leftover can of Minwax, Gel Stain in Red Elm from the bar project, and gave it a quick couple of coats. 




I also pulled the back off the upper portion and spray painted it bright, glossy white in an attempt to lighten it up.  After disassembling, painting and staining, then putting it all back together, I ended up with this.





It now has a smooth and slightly darker finish with a less cave-like display cabinet.  I also switched out the knobs for some simple round ones that started life as our ugly brass kitchen cabinet pulls.  All the hardware was removed and sprayed with Rust-o-leum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze.  Normally I would have opted for hammered nickel, but it felt wrong this time around with the darker wood stain.  I like how the darker hardware is noticeable, but does not pop out and smack you in the face. 

So far, I have placed some of my extra random pieces of mid-century pottery on display, but I imagine that down the line they will move on to make space for something more interesting.  I like the change up from the little table and couple of pictures, and the price was right.  I scored the hutch for $95.00 and the rest of the materials to complete the makeover were already on hand.  It has only been in place for a week and I am still getting used to something this size in that space.  I am not ready yet to say it’s not quite right and feel I need to give it a little more time before jumping to another idea.  Who knows where this guy will end up, but for now he has found a new lease on life and a comfy spot to settle in.

Kitsch Krafts

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