Design Hints

Kitchen Treasures

As Melanie Curl of Bolivar, Missouri, has learned, accumulating vintage kitchen utensils and cutlery isn’t the hard part of creating a theme. After all, they tend to be small and relatively inexpensive. But they’re also oddly shaped and often unwieldy, which makes displaying them a challenge. Here are some ideas to spark your imagination:
Kitchen Treasures
  • Find a frame: Create artful groupings using unexpected framing, such as Melanie does when she mounts round boxes or sifters on the wall and places smaller items, such as jugs, inside. Candy molds or other petite pieces can fit into the compartments of a typesetter's tray.
  • Fill a container: Arrange rolling pins or utensils upright in crocks or pack a breadbox with pot lids as Melanie did in her dining room and kitchen. You could also tuck in sprigs of dried herbs or berries and then wrap the containers with burlap or gingham bows for a textural touch.
  • Elevate the ordinary: The varied shapes and patinas of vintage kitchen goods make them utilitarian works of art. Include a wood-handled cleaver, cast-iron muffin pan, a pretty plate or an enamel colander amid more traditional wall decor, such as signs, prints or wreaths.
  • Be bowled over: If you collect bowls, seek out novel ways to showcase them. Set them on plate stands to serve as backdrops for smaller items; suspend one brimming with produce on a plant hanger above the kitchen sink; or use a large one to anchor a movable centerpiece.