Curating Shelves (what story do you want to tell?)

January seems to be natural time to overhaul my house. I decided to start with the living/kitchen/dining room. It is all open and screamed hoarder who doesn’t like to dust, not exactly the story I am trying to tell with my home. So, what story do I want to tell?

Tip #1: Utilize the power of paint to create light or drama.

I started with the north wall. A dreary grey wall that did nothing for the already dim space. Everything came off the shelves (including jars of produce that I canned that had imploded at some point and were decidedly stuck to the shelf. Ick.) Glossy white paint breathed new life into the space almost instantly. (My farm intern helped me paint the other three walls last summer the same color, but the north wall, with all its shelves, was way too daunting!)


I split up the ridiculous amount of home canned goods, stocked my cupboard and gave away the rest to our children and friends. I wanted a carefully curated artistic look that did not consist of random clutter and three years of dust.

I wanted to include my books, but every time I had done so in the past, I ended up trucking them back into the office because it didn’t look right. This time I did it differently.

Tip #2: Remove the dust covers of books.

Instead of all the books all together, they are split up into areas. The travel section, inspiration, homesteading, farming, wine, decorating, non-fiction, and fiction. Each section has a basket, or plant, or item from our travels.

I wanted to include my collections from nature. (I still need two more cloches!)

Any item that is present is from my grandmother or great aunt, something that reminds me of my great-grandma, or was a gift. Each curated section, with room in between sections, tells a story. Like the clay cats that one of my children made me while in grammar school set atop my collection of Cat Who books.

Tip#3: What story do you want to tell? What do you like? What are your interests?

The games would look better under cover, but they are not played if they are out of sight!

I wanted to set up an entertainment section. My records, record player, CDs, and a tray of cocktails and wine books, along with all our board games displayed encourage evenings with friends. Last night, Doug and I played a game of Scrabble whilst listening to great records. Definitely my kind of evening.

I had the piano moved and Doug hung the television on the wall under the shelves on a swiveling arm and I lined up plants beneath. The plants have to sit behind bars because of our four kittens and our Siamese!

It is always so nice to start fresh with a clean, painted space and create a different feel to a space.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. It’s looks more airy and light! I’ve liked those shelves ever since you put them up but as you say, without care, the ‘stuff’ on them can become dust collectors.

    1. Farmgirl says:

      I’ve never been a huge white paint person until I moved into a north facing house! I am going to try and keep up with dusting now!

  2. Oh, this is inspirational! I, too, do not want to look like a hoarder who doesn’t like to dust…but I love the laugh that phrase gave me!

    1. Farmgirl says:

      Never ending battle! Ha!

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