Filling the Void

When I shipped the cacti off to school (check it out here), they left a big hole–or to be more exact five big holes–in our kitchen. I’m not into cactus and was so happy to see them go, but suddenly I had a lot of empty areas. With white counters, white cabinets and white walls, our kitchen needs a little color.

No problem, I have that giant blue bottle my father-in-law gave me, that gold wine decanter from my brother and sister-in-law, and those cool bottles from our first trip to Venice; we’re set. Oh how naive I am. These areas are huge.  I have been diligently searching for colorful cacti replacements for a few months now. And while the area over the refrigerator is still a little bare, I’m pretty pleased with all my treasures. Take a look.

Showcasing color, shine, and a little whimsy.

Let’s focus on just the alcoves.

We’ll take a closer look from right to left, just cause I don’t want to be normal.

This hurricane I found at Target for around $20. It was huge, and I was sure it would take up a lot of space in one of the large wholes. While it looked really big sitting on my kitchen desk, it became very small once the MR put it in place. Just putting items in place raised new challenges. There’s built-in up lighting in each space which is great from a decorative stand point, but it also means there’s a big light in the bottom of each area that you can’t set your stuff on. Adding to that, each area drops down about three inches. So while I’m trying to find something big to put up here, as soon as I put it in place, it becomes shorter–nothing a few bricks and boards can’t fix.

So here’s our outdoor hurricane up close and personal and a little slanted.

The glass inside the woven cage was originally clear and was just too plain against the backdrop of white. No problem, I have Gallery Glass  paint leftover from a project 14 years ago–I do save everything–and painted the sides blue and green. The great thing about Gallery Glass is that it simply peels off if you change your mind. So if somewhere down the road we decide to paint each alcove, I can always change the glass back to clear or paint it a new color.

Next is this collection of decanters, vases and bottles. We had everything but the vase to begin with. The blue bottle looked really big at our old house, but the scale is so much larger here. Adding the shorter (only 14″ tall), rounder vase filled out this space nicely.

I’ve mentioned that I was intrigued by painted vases in Thinking Outside the Box. The blue/green world vase is my attempt at a painted vase. I thought I had more light colored paints, unfortunately not; so I used what I had on hand. When the vase is lit from above, it is a lot more vibrant. I simply squirted paint into this cheap Target vase and swirled it around.

It looks much brighter from this angle.

For now, it will remain displayed with the bottles. I may have to find a brighter spot for it in the future.

In the center, you will find my first treasure. This lovely, copper garbage can came from the hardware store. I like its architectural shape, lovely sheen, and the sheer size of the thing. The little silver and black box in the bottom right of the photo is the doorbell.  I like to be friendly.

Next comes a pair of vases and another bottle from Italy. We liked the shape and color of the bottle, although the alcohol inside is vile. The vases are a fabulous deal. I pinned something from Joss & Main on Pinterest. Now someone I do not know liked my “pin”, joined Joss & Main, and bought something all unbeknownst to me. Out of the blue, I get an email saying I’ve got a $25 credit at Joss & Main because my friend so-and-so has bought something. Well, I’ve never heard of so-and-so, but I’m not going to turn down free money. Thank you dear; I’m going shopping. And this is what I bought with my credit for under $15 with shipping.

I like the magenta bottle sandwiched between the tall beige vases.

I stood on the counter to photograph these spaces, and they still look off, so here’s another picture at ground level.

Here you get a better feel for their color and the interesting texture on each of them. The smaller is 22 inches tall and the larger is 25 inches. You may have noticed each display area gets progressively taller as the roof line continues up. So I knew if my 14″ vase looked small, I needed to step it up in the outer areas.

Shopping for maxi dresses with Baby Girl, I checked out the decorator section at TJ Maxx and found this 2 1/2-foot tall plate rack. I figured it would be plenty big, but the jury is still out. I have some really pretty plates from my mother-in-law that sparkle like mad in the sun. I haven’t found the perfect place in the kitchen that catches the light; they look fairly plain when they aren’t enhanced by the sun. I thought this would be the perfect thing, but I’m not sure the sun will shine up that high. The area is as deep as a refrigerator; plates don’t take up that much volume. For now, they will remain, but I’ll keep looking.

So the void left by the cacti is being filled. I like the fact that each niche is filled with widely different items, but they all go together somehow. I also like the fact that none of them are alive, so I won’t be climbing ladders to water anything.

When the girls were little, I put away all the decorative items.  I didn’t want to repeat that phrase, “Look with your eyes, not with your hands,” at home. Now, we are well past that phase, and I’ve started adding in new things with this new house.

What decorative items have you been adding to your space? Do you have empty spaces in need of some beauty or color? Any ideas for the area over the fridge with the undersized plate rack?

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4 thoughts on “Filling the Void

  1. I love it all! My favorite is still the trash can! We began redecorating not quite four years ago (not by choice, although I love everything not being 10 years old – we had a fire), I still have a couple of walls and a few other little details that aren’t done. I have a framed painting that I love, but the matting doesn’t quite go with the new wall color. I still haven’t replaced it, so it sets on the floor next to the piano. I think I am going to put that on my summer list to get done! I would also like to add a vinyl saying to the wall with some of my photographs I had printed on canvas. They are water and/or mountain scenes from vacations. I’m thinking something about God’s created beauty.

    I don’t have a problem waiting for the right thing, I would rather have an empty space until I find the perfect piece. I have no advice except patience.

    • I have a soft spot for the garbage can, too. Sometimes I have a hard time waiting for the perfect thing.

      I can’t imagine the trauma of having a fire and rebuilding. I guess there are bonuses in everything.

      I’ve heard of people spray painting mat board to the right color…good luck with your plans.

  2. Oh such beauty you have created. So, how tall is that space where the plate is now? I too think it does not show up as ‘bright and shiny’ as well as the other ‘cubbies’ do. I have an idea from my home to yours, but it might be too tall. Do you have the measurements of that space above the fridge? It would be nice if it were at least.40″ As you know, I do have vases to spare.

    • So I got out the tape measure. The cubby is a tad under 41″ on the left side sloping down to a tad under 40″ on the right, not including the 3″ drop inside the lip of the cubby. That’s at the outer edges which also slope down as you move back into it, sorry I’m not getting out the ladder this morning. The cubby itself is about 30″ deep–it’s deeper than the sub-zero. Like I said, these decorative niches are gigantic. I think with a few extras, the 2 1/2-foot tall plate rack wouldn’t look so undersized. Still trying to figure it out, but at least there’s progress. Maybe Larry can make solid boxes to set the decorations on, so they’re not balancing precariously on bricks and sticks. The kitchen is not the place to be in an earthquake.

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