I hope you’re not tired of my turquoise kitchen because today I’m sharing a closer look at the kitchen open shelving!
It’s difficult to see each piece in a pulled back shot of the kitchen open shelving and I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what’s on those shelves now, so today I’m zooming in and sharing some stories, sources, and links to similar finds. So many of you love vintage and treasure hunting as much as I do, so I hope this is a fun little tour!
For new readers: back in 2014 I revealed my budget-friendly turquoise kitchen makeover. Click that link to see the oak ” before”. Because this affordable kitchen makeover was meant to be temporary(ish), I wanted to have fun with it and live out my dream of aqua cabinets. I matched the paint on the cabinets to my favorite vintage Pyrex pieces, which definitely brought cheer to the kitchen open shelving. I bought some things intended to carry over to the real renovation whenever we tackled it (like my Modernica stools) and, because I envisioned a walnut or white kitchen when we renovated for real, I ordered them in my favorite color. It was a lot of turquoise, but I loved it!
This makeover was intended to tide us over while we saved up for a kitchen renovation (plus we wanted to live in the space to best figure out what we wanted/needed). Well, it’s four years later and we keep draining the kitchen reno savings account, so this projects keeps getting pushed back. It’s okay, I really (really) can’t complain because we’ve bought some fun stuff, some practical stuff, and hey – the temporary renovation has been holding up quite nicely. Even though I’m cooking more now than ever, I still love the kitchen open shelving (I wrote about whether it gets dusty and grimy here) and the solid maple counters Hubby and his Dad built have obvious signs of love and use but they still look gorgeous. We did tackle one thing that really bugged me – those scratched vinyl sheet floors – and, miraculously, the painted vinyl floor is also holding up too, despite some pretty heavy abuse from the puppers.
So having to wait a bit longer for a renovation isn’t really a problem, except that I was starting to feel that renovation itch! I was craving a change, but what? I modernized a sentimental piece of art with a new wood burned frame and that’s what motivated my kitchen open shelving refresh. I just shopped the house! Basically I had my bake and cookware out, and my serving and drink ware stored behind cupboards, and I just switched the two – although I did leave some vintage Pyrex on the kitchen open shelving and I did add one or two useless decor pieces for color or texture. It’s a much more eclectic, relaxed and even muted vibe, with an emphasis on organic textures, which is the direction my decor is taking all over the house. I’ve been favoring texture over patterns and feeling inspired by all of the nature around us – not just the lake, which is why I’m introducing more earthy greens and wood elements. Here’s a closer look at everything on the kitchen open shelving and on my counters!
You might recognize the DIY walnut trivet we made for my Mom? She downsized and I nabbed it back – until she needs it again. A walnut cutting board is next on my wish list. On top is a set of vintage teak condiment bowls. I dreamed about a set like that (better than my usual apocalypse dreams haha), so finding them for $2 was literally a dream come true. I was always using my little teal VQ Hepburn radio in the kitchen, dragging it from its spot in the office, so I made it a permanent home here.
Adding more wood tones, especially teak and walnut, was definitely a conscious decision because although you won’t see me pair much orange or red (my least favorite color ever) with aqua and blues, I do love how wood warms up my favorite cool hues. Some of the pieces, like walnut salad bowls and the teak condiment bowls are practical, but adding a plant is totally useless! I just wanted to add a little life – although I’m not sure how long this fern will hang on. But I already had the Case Study table top planter and was excited to use it again after storing it for after my last plant died. The turned teak candlestick holders were a ridiculously good price (maybe $2?) . Wood candlestick holders are such a bad idea, so we only use them for dinnertime when we can keep an eye on them!
I moved almost all of the patterned Pyrex in favor of solid turquoise, but of course I kept my rare blowing leaves casserole on the kitchen open shelving – it’s my favorite pattern of all time! The atomic starburst is the only other patterned Pyrex I kept out – it’s one of my early finds. I have a gorgeous teal space saver in the Etsy shop right now, with a similar vibe and a gold wheat sheaf design. You can also buy this adorable starburst inspired embroidered tea towel – such a cute way to get the look because the starburst Pyrex is difficult to find.
Relaxing the look of my open shelves was a chance to display an Iittala Solaris platter I scooped up at a yard sale years ago and my vintage Iittala Kuusi glassware with the trees. Iittala was always difficult to mix in with the retro 1950s designs of my Butterprint and other vintage Pyrex, but now that the emphasis is on texture and not pattern, I’m finding it easier to bring out and mix in my old favorites. The pottery pieces are the only new-ish things. I sold a McCoy Harmony piece in the shop (I was over the orange) and then days later I thrifted this pale green McCoy vase. Boomerang vintage! The green textured pottery piece is a little pitcher (perfect for maple syrup) that I bought on Mother’s Day this year, when my Mom and I made a day trip stateside to hit up our favorite flea market. (Here’s an equally gorgeous green pottery pitcher and a brown pitcher I have in the Etsy shop right now). That raku pottery bowl is something I just thrifted recently. It was made by a local potter in the early ’90s and my Mom has some of his work (she even made her own raku pottery bowl, in the photo with the pink peony). I was always fascinated by raku, so when I found this for $4 I scooped it up. Hubby says it’s ugly, but I love how it echoes the charred finish on my new kitchen art. Little details like that make me so happy! (Here’s a similar raku bowl and this turquoise vase is raku but a completely different look). That little grey piece is my only Russel Wright pottery – someone said it looks like a bed pan and now I can’t un-see that, but I wanted more pale grey up on the shelves and it’s a handy serving piece (here’s a similar serving bowl although this Beauceware planter I have in the shop has an even more similar vintage shape.
Speaking of pottery, I still love the pottery mugs Hubby’s aunt made and thoughtfully sent to us. Is there anything better than pottery in the mail? She no longer makes pottery, so these have become even more special. I used to “save” them and keep them locked away in a cabinet because I was too worried we’d break one, but that seems silly so now we use and enjoy them daily and I love seeing them on our kitchen open shelving. This pottery mug has a gorgeous chalky brown and pale aqua glazes – if you’re in the market for a cozy pottery mug!
The teal blue glasses are something else I inherited. My maternal Grandmother loved this shade of blue and so do I.
I’m always looking for ways to make storage pretty in my small kitchen, because it clears up valuable cabinet space and helps me eek out more storage. I bought this modern spice tower awhile back and I LOVE it. It’s such a small, unspecial thing but I also took a clear stacking glass container set from my grandparents’ house when we had to empty and sell it. I got sentimental about everything, but I’m glad I kept it because I recently put my three most used loose leaf teas in it. The exercise required to bend over and find my tea in a lower cabinet was too much, lol. I make tea a LOT, so why wasn’t it handier to grab? Read this post to find out how I squeeze more storage out of my small kitchen.
I’m up to my old tricks again and painted my knife block a pale blue chalk paint (left over from the cabinet I made over for the fish room makeover). I love my white kitchen knives but the matching steak knives got rusty, so I swapped in a vintage bakelite set (although I am now obsessed with this insanely affordable muted aqua set)
Here’s a reminder of the “before” – although I was always rearranging the kitchen open shelving a little. This is just the biggest change to date!
It’s amazing what this little kitchen open shelving refresh did for my contentment! I can definitely live with this kitchen for the next 100 years it takes to save up again. The new relaxed aesthetic and color palette (mint, turquoise, teal and forest green count as different colors lol) flows with the rest of the house so well now. I’m feeling really wild and crazy though, because I recently bought a Keurig and a new kettle and they’re both WHITE! What is happening to me?
And remember the before?
Sources (or Similar Finds):
I’ve been listing a lot of new finds in my Etsy shop, (like this blue stripe Cathrineholm Bowl) so if something you liked went missing from the shelves – it might be there! At the very least you can find a curated selection of vintage goodies, handpicked by me. It’s difficult to find identical links because so much of what I own is a hand-me-down or thrifted, but I’ve compiled some similar items – or things with a lakehouse vibe, below:
Sources (or Similar Finds):
Modern spice tower | Glass Stacking Jars Set with Lid | White Rosti Denmark Kitchen Utensil Holder | White Kitchen Knives and Wood Knife Block | Turquoise Knives with Knife Block | Large Glass Canisters for Dry Goods
CERAMICS & POTTERY:
Grey Ceramic Serving Bowl | Green Pottery Pitcher | Brown + Aqua Pottery Mug | Blue and Brown Pottery Mug | Turquoise Raku Vase | Brown Pottery Pitcher | Cream West German Pottery Vase | Mint Green Vase
GLASSWARE & PYREX:
Iittala Glass Cake Stand | Iittala Centerpiece Bowl | Iittala Drinking Glasses | Teal Drinking Glasses | Iittala Pitcher | Vintage Iittala Glass Vase | Bakelite Covered Glass Cake Stand | Teal Green with Gold Wheat Sheaf Space Saver Casserole | Turquoise Butterprint Pyrex Bowls
Teak Condiment Bowls with Spoons | Walnut Cutting Board | Case Study Table Top Planter with Walnut Legs | Case Study Grey Planter Bowls with Walnut Stand | Full Size Case Study Planter with Walnut Stand | Walnut Candle Stick Holders | Walnut Salad Bowls | Walnut Bowls
VQ Hepburn Vintage Style Teal Radio | White Keurig Single Serve | White Enamel Kettle | Turquoise Tray with Handle | Cathrineholm Bowls | Blue Stripe Cathrineholm Bowl | Krenit Bowl | Pyrex Starburst Inspired Tea Towel