Adding Vintage Decor to the Top of the Built Ins

4.19.2018

After sharing the refreshed great room recently I was standing at the kitchen sink and looking at the built ins in there. I used to display things on top of them, but after painting them a few years ago I left the tops bare. So on a whim I decided to place some of my vintage breadboards and a French market basket to the top of them and I'm still deciding if I like this change or not. Sometimes I like changes right away and sometimes they either grow on me or I put it back the way it was.
So I thought I would share the new look and see what y'all think.


Adding Vintage Decor to the Top of the Built ins
I layered three different shaped breadboards on this side.

I placed the French market or laundry basket on this side laying on its side.


You can see the built ins without anything on top here.

So what do y'all think?
With or without?


52 comments:

  1. I think I would leave them bare. I love the sophistication of the room with nothing atop.

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  2. I like them there as the color sort of grounds the room and ties in with the table. It does give the room and entirely different look. Without them, the room does look more modern. With them it gives a more European country look. I am not sure about the basket but I like the idea of something that color there. I do like the cutting boards where they are. It gives it a totally different European flair. Its all what you want to feel I think. The room is beautiful so either way you are a winner. But my first impression was , I liked it.

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  3. I love it. Gives some warmth the built ins and large wall.

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  4. Another vote for bare . . .

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  5. I could go either way - the items on top of the built-ins make the look a little busier, which I'm not crazy about but I do like how the wood tones of the bread boards look against the wall color. And they draw your eye up from the wood tones in the coffee table which makes you appreciate your high ceiling. I love this color combo - classic, cool & soothing. Could you tell me if your rug is from Pottery Barn? I've been thinking about buying that one but online it looks much more golden than in your home. I prefer the color it appears in your pictures.

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    1. Yes it is from pottery barn. Thanks for your input.

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  6. I like the look,not overwhelming. I think it adds interest.

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  7. Bare...it seems jarring.

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  8. I love the mixture of white and the color of the items on top. .. but... the weight of the basket and the weight of the TV battle each other. Have you tried flipping the items on top? It feels like the basket would soften the right side and boards on the left would draw your eye away from the TV. But I have no decorating degree to back up my suggestion! This is just how most of my days go around here....I try a million things and more often than not go back to my original inclination....

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  9. I really love it both ways; however, with the items on top, it visually draws your eye up so you notice your tall mirror and your lovely transom windows - your choice really, you have great taste!

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  10. I might add some green up there for Spring. The boards and the basket look a bit heavy. Or leave bare

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  11. To be honest I do not like the basket and bread boards where you placed them. Both are too large. A smaller basket might work but the bread boards seem a bit much for the space. I prefer the bare look really.

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  12. Bare. Too much going on. :) I will add, though, that I love everything you do and you have inspired so many ideas that I have incorporated into my own home!

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  13. I agree with Cheryl, leave them bare.

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  14. I think the wood tones of boards and basket look great. Think about homes in France - oh la la!
    Anything with "color" might look too busy.
    Love it!

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  15. ok, I am not going to be any help, I like it both ways lol.

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  16. I love the addition, it adds a warmth to the room. I would keep it all as is.

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  17. I like them. I agree with an earlier comment that it brings the eye up and makes you notice the transom and mirror.

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  18. Without. Less is more for me. It is your call though; your house is gorgeous! Love your style.

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  19. Well, I am going with bare - your shelves are styled so wonderfully, that the tops really don't need any decor. I have enjoyed watching this room evolve as your tastes and style have changed - it is truly a warm and relaxing space.

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  20. I feel that because it is spring, I would leave them bare, The decor to me takes away from the beautiful arches and detail of the shelves and your decor on the shelves. Maybe you could add a little more natural wicker mixed in with your white pieces like a charger, tray or small basket. I have similar shelving and it always feels too busy with something on top and detracts from what is on the shelves. Plus I feel breadboards look better displayed in the kitchen. Maybe in the fall try them again! Love your home and for sharing with us!

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  21. I like the color but I feel it might be a little busy. The white ironstone dishes are marvelous, so I might suggest a large platter in the center on each bookshelf. White ironstone displayed beautifully stops me in my tracks. I love your style and commitment to play until you get it right for your satisfaction..

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  22. I like the breadboards. Not crazy about the basket. Could you place a large wooden sign where the basket is?

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  23. Loving the vintage up top. I would vote to keep it.

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  24. I like the basket and breadboards. They add warmth and interest to your already lovely room. You have great taste...no doubt about that! ;)

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  25. I do like both ways. That is great . Your taste is so refined and excellent. I agree with the other comments about drawing your eye up and enhancing the wood tones in the room. I just did not notice your beautiful transom windows, before. So enjoy the best of both worlds! Leave it for awhile and change it later for another new look! It will always look great! Love this blog ��

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  26. I like the built-ins both ways, but it's personal preference. At our last house, I added a little cherub statue lying down with a big cow painting offset {I think... it's in storage so I can't just go look} on it above our smallish dining room dresser. It looked HUGE on top but in photographs, it looked cool! So I left it until we moved out. The juxtaposition helped balance the very high California ceiling in the dining area to the attached gallery wall display in the living room/middle of the room and then to the 7' tall round corner curio cabinet on the far right.

    It looks good this way! Fun for summer and you can always add a little more brown items down below,
    Hugs,
    Barb :)

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  27. bare. too much of a kitchen look for your living room. takes away from the sophistication of the room.

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  28. A famous decorator once said "a white lamp shade is a wasted opportunity" and I feel the same way about an empty shelf! Since you asked for opinions, mine is that perhaps the breadboards and the basket aren't quite the right items for those shelves and I would maybe try some of your larger ironstone or blue and white pieces that would be more in keeping with the displays on those gorgeous built-ins.

    Also, we haven't seen your beautiful kitchen in ages - ???

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    1. I don't want to put small items up there as that would get way too busy. I needed a place to put my breadboards, but will probably take them down and just lean them against the wall again. I haven't changed anything in the kitchen and did share a repeat post of the renovation reveal in one of the recent French country Fridays series post. It's very hard to photograph it certain times of year as it doesn't get much light. I will be sharing the breakfast room updates soon. Thanks

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  29. Kim--please share the source of the small table lamp that's next to your blue and white pot. Thanks!

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  30. I would have said to leave the items, but I like a busier look, anyway. It's not my house, though!

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  31. No wonder I was attracted to it. I really love their lamps, but they are pricey. I like their Trento lamp, but was hoping not to spend that much on a small lamp. When I was looking at their lamps, I didn't see the one you have. I will look again. Do you remember the name?

    BTW, I love your blog and I've been following you for years and years. You have an eye for detail and I love your style!

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    1. It's the Turon lamp and you can find it on Wayfair. I hated paying a lot, too, but bit the bullet anyway. Thanks so much for the compliment!

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  32. I like the bread boards but not the basket as much. I'm a symmetrical nerd, so the flatness of the boards versus the fullness of the basket may be throwing me off. Still beautiful!!

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  33. I like the shelves without the basket and boards because, in my opinion they detract from your great ironstone display. I don't remember what the shelves looked like before you painted so my suggestion may be something you have already tried with the white ironstone, but maybe consider painting just the back of the shelves to really feature the ironstone - just a thought. BTW I am loving the addition of blue in your sunroom!

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  34. I don't hate them but prefer the tops bare, at least for the summer months. I tend to add more in the fall and winter and subtract in the summer so that's probably why they aren't exciting me. Try it again in the fall and I'll probably love it.

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  35. I prefer bare, but I'm on a less is more kick!!

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  36. I love them WITH! It looks more European and French, perfect for you! I would keep them there!

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  37. I vote for without. It takes away from the pretty on the shelves. It just seems to be too much.

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