rearranging and restyling great room ledges

First off, I just wanted to say, thank you so much for your encouragement, insights, and comments yesterday!
I will keep the linky party going based on the feedback, and just know that it will be an intimate party in the beginning stages!  :)

I am so enjoying meeting so many of you who are new here, and seeing the great projects and finds you bring.  Thank you!
On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to help a friend restyle an area in her home.
Tiffany is actually more like family than just a friend- her husband and my husband are cousins!  So I'm not sure what exactly that makes us in the lineage of family associations (cousins in law???)
but either way, we had a lot of fun coming up with some new ideas for their great room ledges.

We used just what she had on hand and had a lot of fun in the process!
I asked Tiffany what she was wanting to use and we started digging through her cupboards, garage, and other rooms. We pulled things out that were favorite pieces, or had special meaning to their family.

Here's where we started.  This is the before:

And after:

The kerosene lamp was in a chest in the family room, and we used an old shoebox with some muslin draped over it to give it some height.  The vintage picture was a family heirloom, also tucked away, and we brought that into the scene.  The tall vase of flowers was from another ledge and added softness and height.  We pulled the baskets in closer from where they'd been previously.  The small rocker was in the family room and we used it to prop up some really cute vintage cookbooks:

A closer look at the vignette:

 Next, we moved over to the other side of the kitchen. 
I forgot to get some before pictures (drat!) but, previously there were a couple candlesticks, a decorative plate and teapot being displayed.

She really liked the tall teapot with the flowers, so we started with that, and made a grouping with two other teapots.
We added in the tray, vintage record box and clock:

Tiffany had a really neat silver platter in all of it's tarnished loveliness, and had it displayed right side out.  When I asked about it in our rearranging process, she flipped it over and told me that it was her grandmother's.  There was an amazing little bit of family history in the engraving- she went to
Beverly Hills high school! 
So cool!
 I suggested we display that side of it to showcase it.  The indentation of the design was still visible in the main part of the tray, so it truly could be used either way, and is so much more personal and interesting. 
The ledge is lower, so the engraving is still visible even though it's above the cupboards.

Before the clock was added into the mix, we had added the white vase...
But that fabulous old record box was hiding in a corner of the family room!  Loved all the international stamps and postmarks.  The box was her husband's grandfather's.  Now is has a more prominent place and to see and enjoy.

Next, we moved over to the biggest ledge.


The cradle and quilt were family heirlooms, but Tiffany wasn't necessarily loving the colors displayed in the quilt.  They want to move the room more to blues, yellows and greens.

The semi- after:

Because we needed a ladder and were running out of time, we focused more on the lower ledge, moved what we could on the upper, and brainstormed some ideas for the future.

These ledges that so many people have in newer homes are great places to display things, but my theory is that what is up there shouldn't be too distracting.  We focused on silver, clear glass, and whites for this area.

The vintage canning jars were a great incorporation into the scheme.  They look great now, but I gave the idea you see above, if she wants to play with it some more.

I loved the form of the silver plate holder. That, along with the mirror, adds a bit of sparkle without being too flashy.  The basket of lavender gives a textural element and hides the fact that the mirror is reflecting the top of the fan base.
We flipped the quilt over so just the white backing was showing, and the color was more restful to the eye.

This was where we ended.  We added in the black and white photos of their kids to the ledge.  Every room needs a little pop of black to anchor.

Tiffany's husband has a family history in farming, so he has a collection of the blue tractors.
Since they want to incorporate more blues into the space, I suggested possibly moving them to an area where more of them could be added as a bigger collection- maybe on top of their new entertainment center?

 We were working around our kid's school schedule so we did all of this in a couple hours. 
I gave Tiffany a few more ideas and possibilities for their great room, and we left it open for a potential return visit later on to do some more.

Tiffany's response?

Thank you for coming over yesterday to help me decorate. It was fun to wake up this morning to a new look.  :)

Thank you, Tiffany!!  And thanks for letting me blog about it!

It's great for me to get some experience in working with clients- I'd love to continue to decorate not just my own home, but others who'd like the help!

Happy Thursday!


  1. Did you have a party and I missed it??

  2. So much better! There is truly an art to arranging vignettes (which I do not possess, sigh) so I always enjoy getting inspiration. I love that cradle and little rocker! Cheers, Anne

  3. how fun to re-arrange houses....mine is done, so now i am helping my friends. i should take some pictures too like you.
    has tiffany thought about not centering the EC on the wall? it would help to break up the space a bit better, and she would have more room for a wall of art. if she puts an old window in the center of her family photos with a big wreath looped in a gorgeous ribbon on the window, then she could center that little round table with the lamp on it underneath the grouping. i think it would add a lot of character to the room.
    i just love off-centered rooms, and i think the EC would look great moved to the right. it would help to eliminate all the wall breaking up and floor space breaking up as well. hard to fill little niches sometimes. :)

  4. Nice job! Wanna come do my house next? :)


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