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Styling a Kitchen Shelf with Vintage Finds

February 4, 2015

Old kitchen gadgets and cookbooks can be fabulous things to use when decorating.  See how to use these treasures to style a shelf in the kitchen!

DESIGN + STYLE   |   Published February 4, 2022

How to Style a Kitchen Shelf with vintage finds |

When out shopping in antique shops and thrift stores, I seem to be drawn to items that have been used in the kitchen.  Old muffin tins, silverware, rolling pins.....they all call my name.  And unfortunately, I'm starting to get quite a collection!  What better opportunity than now to show you how to use these items for decorating?

An open shelf is the perfect place to display a collection of different items you love.  Whether the treasures are actually being used or resting on the shelf for purely decorative purposes doesn't matter.  What is important is that each item means something to you.  And it may be that the only meaning is that you enjoy looking at it!

Over the weekend, I shared a DIY project with you for making easy "art" for your kitchen walls out of cutting boards.  To start my styling, I hung them on the wall and then went around gathering some items that would compliment the wood and black.  This display is a mix of new and old, which is really how I love to decorate at any time.

Display on kitchen shelf |

My favorite Pier One boxwood were placed in the display first.  Every display should have some greenery or flowers to it, whether real or not.  They bring a little life to the space (Yes, even artificial flowers can bring life!)  In an ideal world, there really should be three boxwood spread over the shelf, but since I only have two we are all just going to have to deal!.

Then I added some of the vintage finds that I've old baking powder can, very rustic rolling pin, and metal jello molds (in a new wire basket).

Rustic wood rolling pin

Basket of metal Jello Molds

Flour sack towels are my new obsession, so I stacked some on an old cookbook and topped the pile with a white bowl....not ironstone but with much the same look.

Another flour sack towel was layered under the rolling pin.  Repetition is key in any display.  Plus, the white towel breaks up the look of the wood between the shelf and rolling pin.

Family recipe on kitchen shelf

The final touch was a stained and battered recipe card resting in front of the towels.  I'm thinking that this card might be pretty in a small frame here.  What do you think?

Styling a Kitchen Shelf | anderson + grant

Decorating in the kitchen from anderson + grant

As I finished photographing my shelf display, it dawned on me that maybe for some it seems like too much.  Some of you may be into more of a simple, uncluttered look.  Many times that is what I'm looking for as well.  So, I began undressing the styling and here is a cleaner styled look.  Which one do you like better?  I'm on the fence!

Simple kitchen display |

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