Friday, July 6, 2007

Breakfront After (Sorry - no Before Photos)

Yesterday I discovered southernhospitality-rhoda's blog. Now I have recently found blogs of seamstresses, artists, people who like to cook, people who love their kids, designers, but until now I have not found a blog such as this... a lovely lady who likes to post about her yard sale finds, how she spruces them up and uses many of them to decorate her home. Her blog is about more than that, but that is what got me excited! Her latest post was a tour of her dining room and stories of various pieces. After seeing her wonderful arrangements, I immediately realized how stark and boring my breakfront is arranged. At first I panicked "I will never get this right!" I had previous cleaned out all the "clutter" and made it look very uniform with most vignettes being just a dinner plate from our china and the crystal I inherited. My most treasured pieces had been moved down to the bottom corner. After seeing Rhoda's arrangements, I decided it was best to proudly display the most important pieces. So now that perhaps you have an idea of how my breakfront used to look, here is how it looks now. (Still a work in progress - especially the top).

Viola. The whole thing (with flash).

Here is the "prized possession", an heirloom pitcher handed down through the FEMALE line of the family. How often does that happen? I don't know. It was originally passed down to the oldest daughter, or if there wasn't a daughter then to the oldest blood niece. I inherited it from my Great Aunt Marian Whiteaker. She had no children and no nieces! So I am the oldest blood great niece. Some history on the piece: It first belonged to Jane Vincent who got the pitcher around 1841 or 42. She gave it to her oldest daughter Jane Day when they left England in 1847 to head to the states and so on and so on and now it is with me. It was a commemorative pitcher with the wedding picture of Queen Victoria and Albert who were married on Feb. 10, 1840. It is decorated with different illustrations on front and back but all farm related and there is a poem about being a farmer and living the simple life. So anyway, it now has a more prominent position in the cabinet again. It is sitting on a cake plate Jason and I got for our wedding and surrounded by some "better" wine glasses. I also stuck a pewter mug in this section I got for Jason on our one month dating anniversary. He never uses it and I don't know if he ever liked it, but it says "One for the road to my heart."

Another "panel" has a dinner plate from our fine china (Wedgewood "Grosgrain" pattern by Vera Wang). I added one of our new dessert plates, since we don't use them everyday, the pretty little things are just sitting in a cupboard and I am so proud of them. I also added a crystal vase and serving piece that were tucked away in cupboards. The red and white urn was my paternal grandmother's, a Delft piece she got in Holland. In the right corner are little porcelain booties with my children's names, birth stats and dates. I never could find a good place for them, but they look much better in a collection of pieces, I think.

These pieces now take the "corner" space. I love them all, but we use them frequently (except for the serving platter in the back. They are all handmade and each have special meaning. They are a bit more modern than other pieces in this hutch, so I don't mind putting them a bit out of the way of the other pieces.

This is a glimpse of how at least four of the units looked, except now I have crammed half of the crystal in each of two units. I also added the dessert plates.

This is the top middle unit and in my opinion a little boring. I scoured my kitchen looking for things and found the square baker in the back. Pretty, but I never thought of displaying it. I also decided to put two everyday pitchers here because they allow the light to shine down to the heirloom pitcher below. Well, for now they are place holders I guess.

Here is the busiest unit. Besides the plate in the back, there is a German stein my paternal grandma got while she was in Germany with her husband who was there through the Army, a creamer and pitcher I got at Homegoods, a 3 unit serving piece I got through a direct marketing party, a crystal serving piece my mom gave me and a vintage pie server my mother in law gave us.

Ugh, now I need help with the top and the serving space under the cabinet on the left. I just bought the huge basket I have on the top, but not sure what to fill it with? Maybe some silk greenery? Any suggestions??

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