Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Decorating Dilemmas Party...Round 6!

Welcome to the Decorating Dilemmas Party! This is a spot for bloggers to link up a post detailing a design problem area OR to share a Solution they are proud of. Have fun!

I feel that I ought to preface this post by saying that contrary to what the following pictures might tell you, I am not a crazy doll lady who sits in her dining room talking to Madame Alexander dolls all day.

I'm just a girl who moved into her first house, got a little bit desperate to find something (anything!) to fill the empty space with, and made the unfortunate decision of settling on a very country looking curio cabinet. And to add insult to injury, I filled said curio cabinet with dolls and figurines that I received as childhood gifts. And then I left it like that. For several years.


If you have a sensitive stomach, you may want to avert your eyes.
It's not completely awful, it's just not the look I want to aim for. And the dolls aren't hideous. I just don't want them in my dining room.

My plan is to move the dolls and figurines to a shelf or two upstairs where my girls can continue to appreciate to them. They love to sit in front of the cabinet and get their sticky little fingerprints all over it.

The cabinet will move to another wall, as it presently sits in an area where there is room for a much larger piece. (I'm thinking a small buffet and accessories)

My Dilemma is: How can I update this piece a bit so it's not so Country? 

It's hard to take photos of this piece because the inside back of the cabinet is mirrored and the shelves are glass. The sides are also glass, as you can see from the first photo.

I was thinking of painting it white and adding a nice neutral "wallpaper" (scrapbooking paper) to the back to cover the mirror up. Should I leave the shelves as-is? Leave the sides see-through? How should I change the knobs?

Not sure what I'll put in there yet. Perhaps my nice dishes, or a collection of white pitchers/serving pieces, etc? Anything but dolls, right? {wink}

Okay, so enough about me...Let's talk about you.

I'd LOVE for you to link up, but I do ask that you please follow my guidelines!!

I hate to be all preachy-teacher-schoolmarm, but it keeps things flowing smoothly and it saves me time and hassle when everyone just reads the guidelines before linking up. Thanks!

1. When you enter your link, please enter the permalink to your specific party postnot your blog's homepage.
(You can do this by opening your blog, clicking on the title of the post that you want to link to, and then highlighting it to copy and paste here in MckLinky. If readers can't find the correct post on your blog, then you won't receive any feedback.)

2. *Please leave me a comment with a link to your post.*
This way, if McLinky hates me, dumps me, and ignores me, we can still all visit each other through the comments! Also, I like comments. And I need help too!

3. Please include a link in your post to this party (again, not my blog's homepage!) when you join.
Just add it in somewhere within your blog's party post before you link up. That way your readers can join in the fun later if they want to. If I don't see a link to THIS post, I'll have to delete your link.
4. It won't be a party if we don't mingle!
This is where I jump on my blog party soapbox for a moment:
Please try to visit at least one other link on the list.

This party isn't about promoting your blog by sticking your link up and then waiting for comments and visits to come rolling in. It's about offering genuine, thoughtful feedback to others, and receiving the same in turn.

If you can't get around to visiting right away, that's okay (really!), but please make an effort to stop by a blog or two by the end of the week. I'm not asking you to write an essay-comment for the blogs you visit, but please leave a helpful thought or two. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to see someone else's Dilemma and come up with all sorts of ideas.

If you notice you haven't received any comments, take a few minutes to comment on the other partygoers' posts, and be sure to tell them you are visiting from my party so they know to return the favor. That makes a successful blog party. Otherwise, I'm just hosting a big list of people's links, and that's no fun for anyone.

Okay...got that out of the way....

Have fun, everyone! Link Up Here, and please be sure to scroll down to help me with my Dilemma! 

In Other News:

Please take a moment to visit my Custom Blog Button GIVEAWAY if you haven't yet! It's open until Thursday evening. If you already have a blog button, consider thinking up a new blog party or blog award, and have a button made for it. There are loads of possibilities!

Link up in March to share your Progress on any of the Dilemmas you've linked to a Decorating Dilemmas party. 

I'll be HONEST--there's not been much progress here in the T house, but hosting the party is incentive to get busy. I count progress as anything from reading through your comments and making some design choices to buying some supplies and rolling your sleeves up to work! **There may be a GIVEAWAY for participants for this one, friends!**
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  1. Hey Amanda!
    I'm here! A little early, so can I help you get the food table ready? ;-) I'll be back to comment on your dilemma...



  2. Okydoky, Missy. The cabinet isn't that bad. I think you're on the right track in painting it white. I might cover the back with paper in the look you like. I'm not sure about the sides and the shelves; not sure what can be done with them. But it has huge potential, I think! Paint alone will make a huge difference! And I like your Beatrix Potter figurines! I have a collection of them; all the books, too. But I can see how your girls would love having them upstairs in their room.


  3. Here's my entry

  4. I think painting the cabinet white would be great...it's a very nice cabinet with good lines. I don't think it's necessarily "country" in and of itself, but that maybe the oak is what's making you feel like it is.
    I like the idea of scrapbook paper at the back, and if you painted it white, what about covering the open sides with that beadboard wallpaper? Then you could remove it later if you wanted to. Hmm, you might have to wallpaper both the outside and inside of the glass panel. Of course, a white cabinet with beadboard could be considered country too, but I think it would have a whole different flavor.
    I think the knobs aren't bad, and you could try spray painting them a different tone if you wanted change. Or take a look at the knobs at Hobby Lobby for something fun.
    Not sure about the shelves...maybe just wait and see how you feel about them once the piece is painted and the back papered.

  5. Please, oh please, don't paint that pretty wood. I think if you do, you may one day regret it. To me, the wood and the stain color is very pretty. Why don't you start your update by doing your scrapbook paper idea on the mirrors and maybe even on the shelves and see what you think? You may like it so much better just by doing that simple step and you won't have damaged the wood.

    This piece is just perfect for a dish collection or for showcasing something else that you collect. You could even rotate seasonally what you display!

    I don't think you've shown us this piece of furniture before. It is very nice!


  6. One more thing, I like how the front and sides are glass. If I were at your house, I'd like it because I could better see what you are displaying.

  7. Hi Amanda!

    First of all, your blog looks amazing!! I absolutely love everything about it! The functionality is awesome, and the design is just spot on perfect!

    So, here's the link to my partay post:

    And now on to your dilemma. As I was reading your post I was thinking you should paint your cabinet and paper the back and then you said the same thing! I think it would look great painted either white, black or dark brown. I would line the back of the cabinet, but leave the glass shelves and doors as is. I'm assuming the glass shelves lift out relatively easily? If so, it may be easier to line the back with one piece of fabric cut to fit rather than trying to piece together scrapbook paper. One thing you probably don't want to try is wrapping paper. I tried it and was surprised at how awful it looked because of the sheen of the paper. I actually kinda like the knobs, but if you want a change, you could paint them with oil rubbed bronze spray paint, or since it's just two knobs replacing them probably wouldn't cost much more than a can of spray paint! You'd probably have to stick to something similar in size though since b/c of where they're placed.

    BTW- are you shocked to learn that I am in possession of a similar collection of cinderella related stuff?! It's hard when you start a collection (or some other well-intentioned family member starts one for you!) and then you feel obligated to display every little piece!!

  8. i agree with paula. don't paint it. cover the mirrored areas up with scrapbook paper & then if you like that look, go the 2nd step of doing beadboard over the mirrors.

    another thing you might do if it's possible is remove the curved part at the top of each door.

    it's a beautiful piece. can't wait to see what you do.

  9. Well, if you really want to paint it, I say go for it. If you aren't sure, you might just stain it darker to give it a new look. I did that with my dad's super old twin bed frame and I put it in my son's room. It looks awesome!

    The glass sides are nice and make it just that much easier for everyone to admire what you decide to display there. Is there a way to remove the glass shelves and put in shelves that are solid? The glass shelves would be the thing I would really want to change. If you can't change the shelves, maybe you could line them with fabric runners or vintage hankies or something like that.

    It's a nice cabinet. I know you'll figure out something fabulous!

  10. I love painted furniture, so I'm all for it. :)

    I can't go through anyone's tonight since it's late--ick.. and i have to get up for work early--double ick! :) But I'll be back tomorrow night!


  11. Here's my link Amanda. I'll be back in the a.m. to comment on yours and everyone else's dilemma. Lovin' the new look, girl!


  12. Okay, first of all, I don't think the wood is so horrible, however, I know what you mean. It just makes it seem a little old fashion. I do agree with Paula on using a piece of great fabic instead of having to piece together scrapbook paper. You could wrap the fabric on a piece of mat board to put in the back for an easy to change solution.

    I also agree that you need to take it one step at a time and see if you are satisfied before doing anything you may be sorry for.

    Also, I kind of like the knobs, but it depends on which look you go for.

    Check out these curios for ideas. Some of them are really pretty. I love the black, cream and pretty green and they all have glass shelves and sides, but look up to date. http://www.theclockdepot.com/Painted_Finish_Curio_Cabinets.html

    BTW, we all have those collections. I have a cabinet full of teapots that I feel I must display because they were gifts. We've all been there.

  13. I think it would be nice painted white or cream ( whichever goes with your decor)and you could change the knobs to glass ones, maybe colored. Not sure if you like that look, but I love glass knobs. :-)
    The paper idea in the back sounds lovely.

  14. Well, I'm going to agree with you and say that I think it's horrible. Not the cabinet itself, but the oak. Man, I hate oak! What is with America and that oak color? I say paint it white. I'd also change the feet if you can. I have serious issues with those kind of feet. Maybe I have some suppressed childhood trauma involving oak cabinets with claw feet? Is it possible to just take the feet and bottom bits off? I think crystal knobs would look lovely if you paint it white.

  15. Amanda, I really like your idea of paint and scrapbook paper. For the paint, it may blend in with your wainscoting if it is white. Brown or black paint would help define it more. For the paper, it might look nice to put a plain (colored?) paper on the back and a coordinating patterned paper (facing out or double sided) on the glass sides. I would keep the glass shelves and the knobs as is. I like the knobs.

  16. I too love painted furniture...I say go for it!! White would be good! And I like your idea of covering the mirror with scrapbook papers or even some cool fabric. Leave the sides and door as is and maybe change the knobs out but to what I don't know. Sorry!

  17. Hey Amanda! I think that cabinet is a wonderful piece of furniture. I love the idea of updating it. Is it going to stay in the same spot? I think it's great to make it usable in any room. Cream, would be so beautiful, but if you want something dramatic why not go with a bold color?

    I am from Virginia and an Amanda, as well. I have linked up at:


  18. Personally I like the knobs and I think if you painted the piece they would look fine. I would paint it black b/c I think that would really pop off of that red and white in the background. I think if you paint it white it might kind of blend in. As far as what is IN it...I would take it all out and group them together in small groups according to their similarity and then kind of distribute them throughout the house. It's kind of overwhelming with it all together. You could leave some of your favorites in the cabinet and then add some other neat things in their like apothecary jars, candles, just some other little knick knacks. A bowl of decorative balls? You can do a LOT with this!

  19. I think you should paint the wood black or a dark chocolate color, especially if you're going to display white dishes inside. The scrapbook paper to cover the mirror is an awesome idea, just make sure to keep the paper more neutral, maybe with similar shades of color to what paint you pick and one other color....so maybe brown shades with turquoise for an accent, if you choose chocolate color paint for the outside...so the focal point is still whatever you are displaying.....I would leave the glass all the way around the cabinet, but maybe cover the glass shelves with paper that matches whatever paint you choose maybe the same shade or 1-2 shades different than the paint. Oh, and make sure you get new hardware to match, lol.

    My other idea, depending on your how wild your taste is, would be to do a faux finish on the outside with your paint and leave the glass panels on the outside but cover the mirror and shelves in plain paper the same color as the outside.....or do plain on the inside again with the mirror and shelves, leave the glass panels outside alone, but do a brown pattern on chocolate brown paint, or black exterior with dk grey or white or tan spots/pinstripes/ect. And new hardware again to match. Hope that helps!

  20. I don't think the cabinet is nearly as bad as you think! I love what you have in it...because it's important to you :) But...I think the cabinet would be so cute painted white. Maybe I'm partial because I love white cabinets though. Here is a link to a cabinet that I painted. It was the exact same color as yours. You have to scroll through to the middle of the post to see it.


    It was a bit of work to paint..but I thought it was well worth the effort.

    Also...here is the link to my decorating dilemma. I'm so glad I found your blog!


  21. First thank you for having such a great blog.

    I think you should paint it a light color, and cover just the back with the paper, and get some new knobs, maybe something with lenght.

    I am sure it will look great!!

  22. Thanks for hosting this "help" party! I could use a little help! My blog post is http://toileinthefamily.blogspot.com/2010/02/entertainment-center-help.html

    If that cabinet were mine, I would probably paint it black, line the back with fabric and paint the knobs a brushed nickel. It is amazing how black paint can update a piece in an instant!

  23. I think your cabinet has tons of potential. I would suggest painting it, not sure what colors are in your dining room, maybe white or black? You can switch out the two knobs for some cute ones (cheap but goes a long way). Not sure how handy you are, maybe you could cut wood shelves to replace the glass ones or you could mod podge some paper on the glass ones. I can't wait to see how this turns outs. Your Little Birdie just redid a china cabinet and it looks amazing, here's the link http://yourlittlebirdie.blogspot.com/2010/02/craigslist-china-cabinet-reveal.html. Good luck!

    Here's my dilemma, http://allthingscherish.blogspot.com/2010/02/dilemma-yeah-ive-got-one.html

  24. I agree with what you're already thinking - paint it out and paper the back of it! Depending on how busy the area it lives in already is, adding the wallpaper to the sides {facing in & out} would also add some pizazz... but might be overkill if there'a already a lot going on.

    I'd keep the glass shelves, or at least the top ones. To keep the cabinet from becoming dark and heavy inside.

    Here's my dilemma: http://designedbyrj.blogspot.com/2010/02/frosted-windowpanes.html

  25. Good morning Amanda! Okay, you seriously had me cracking up at the crazy doll lady reference! I have a friend that has a similar curio with Precious Moments figurines in it and it's in her dining room too. She hates it! I poke fun all the time! *but I'm sassy like that!*

    Okay, your doll infested curio...
    I love the idea of painting it WHITE. I would leave it see through. Looks like it has pretty clean lines (it could have been much worse with like heart cut-outs or something!)

    For the handles, I would go all-out since the piece is pretty linear. I'm sure there are some Etsy shops that would have great stuff, and I know Anthropologie has beautiful handles (a little pricey though)

    For the paper backing, I saw another post somewhere about adhesive backed wrapping paper at Hallmark. Go on their website and you can see the prints available. She said it made the job of covering the backs of some cabinets SO much easier. This will add that pop you need since the piece is white.

    What to fill it with? Simple, but I just love china. You can layer pieces and play with the arrangement. Maybe pull in a couple of vases or objects d'art (ooo, I'm so frenchy this morning!) just to add some pizzaz!

    Show us pics when you're done with it! So do you feel the dolls staring at you when you are in the dining room? Ha! Only kidding.

  26. Sorry, here's the link to my post about my SAD PATIO in case Linky goes haywire.


  27. Okay I like the cabinet -- cept for the mirror. I would just cover it with paper or fabric. But if you do paint -- I think white would blend in too much with the surroundings -- if you are leaving it there. Dark chocolate brown or black maybe?
    And my entry is here:


  28. OK Amanda~ once upon a time I too had a curio cabinet in the dining room and it was filled with beanie babies! YIKES! That was a long time ago, former house, former lots of things....in any regard your cabinet is/was much nicer than mine. :-)
    I love the idea of painting it white and adding some wallpaper on the inside. I'm getting ready to strip and paint the server in my dining room now (you saw it in the photos from my party last weekend) and I can't wait!!

  29. Thanks for hosting this great party! It's my fits time participating...thanks for inviting me! I added the link to my candle conversion. Hopefully it can be a solution for someone:

    As for the cabinet. It looks like a nice sturdy piece. I'd try staining it a darker brown. Maybe a walnut stain. I recently added textured wallpaper to the back of my entertainment piece that has glass doors on it and it made such a difference! I'd leave the glass shelves alone.

    Can't wait to see what you choose to do!

  30. Amanda...I was gonna say paint it white! And I LOVE the idea of dressing up the back with paper, or fabric or something.

    I'm a big fran of oil-rubbed bronze for the nobs, or just replace them altogether.

    I say leave the sides clear.

  31. Forgot my link: http://this-istheyear.blogspot.com/2010/02/awkwardness-craftiness-and-party.html

  32. Yes, paint it! I say, a slight off white or even black (I think the mirrors bounce off enough light so that black won't be too dark). I love the glass and the mirrors so I don't see a need to change them. To me, the shelves are screaming for some plates/ serving pieces (that can be rotated out throughout the seasons). For the knobs, go with a colored glass (green, blue, yellow?)... Anthropologie has a great selection.

    I'm still working on my last dilemma, but I'm excited to link back up for your progress party in March!!

  33. I think painting it and changing the knobs will make a huge difference just doing those two things. Papering is a good idea but every time I paper I'm sick of it in a couple of months. lol You could paint it white and then take some sandpaper to it and shabby chic it up if that's your style. :)

  34. Here's my dilemma http://suburbangnomes.blogspot.com/2010/02/blank-walls.html

    Now, it's all about you :)

    I think the cabinet is nice, and should be an easy update. I don't know about painting it white...it just seems a bit predictable, and with such a small amount of painting, I think you could easily try a color - and then paint it white if you don't like it. I'd buy a nice chunk of decorating fabric to cover the back mirror, just use heavy double sided tape to stick it up, it would add some nice texture. For the knobs I think I'd either go silver/chrome/ brushed nickel or get cheapie wooden ones and paint them to match the cabinet.

    Put your china in there, but display it, don't just stack it up soldier style. Use some easels to show off your pretties, add a few pictures or loved family objects.

    I'm actually really excited to see what you do - I have a similar piece that I'm planing on painting soon!

  35. Hey Amanda! I'm finally here! I'm not fashionably late; I'm REALLY late. But i made it. Please let me know what you'd do with my barstools! Here's the link: http://impartinggrace-richella.blogspot.com/2010/02/decorating-dilemma.html

    As far as your curio cabinet goes, I think you're absolutely on the right track. It would look great painted white. And since there's all that lovely wood under there, you could achieve a beautiful "distressed" look very easily. If I were you, I wouldn't worry about the shelves or the glass sides. Is the cabinet lighted? If so, the glass shelves are a plus, since they allow the light to filter through. I think wallpapering over the mirror in the back is a great idea--the piece will look so different. And pretty dishes or a collection of pitchers or whatever will look great on the shelves. Then you can find some great knobs--and since you only need two, you can splurge here and go for some really pretty ones. I would get knobs that are about the same size and scale as the original knobs. A little bigger would work fine, but tiny ones or huge ones would be glaring, I think. And you could always add a fun tassel to one of the knobs!

    Thanks for hosting, Amanda. You are a great party-giver. And I LOVE your soapbox remarks!!!

  36. Painting it would definitely be the thing to do. White or Black would be attractive...and maybe you could keep the mirror...it wouldn't look bad once painted.

  37. I see it painted black with a black/white toile fabric or paper inside the back. Then stock it with white ceramic pieces. Ooh La La!!!

  38. I hope some of you precious creative ladies will help me out with my fireplace, as I have NO idea what to do with it.
    Thanks so much. Creative...I am not.

  39. I love your ideas for the cabinet. Painting it white, nice. Kind of distressed, perhaps. I really like the knobs a lot. Paper on the back with a punch could be nice. Perhaps a black and white toile look or scrollwork. It would look gorgeous with the red and white in the room.

    I'm not expert. Of course.

    I did try to link. My first time. I'm sorry. The first one didn't work. I did it wrong. You'll see two that are the same. "No, please sit down". The first one is a bust.

    Here's the correct one:

    I'm sorry if I'm doing this wrong, too.

    trying to get my bearings,

  40. Oh, don't you just hate people like me who don't know what they're doing??

    Here's the correct link:



  41. Hi sweetie...your blog makeover is so cute!!! I would do exactly as you said and maybe get some funky knobs at Anthropologie or just some pretty glass ones. It will look great when you are all done:)

  42. I am linked up http://lovethedecor.blogspot.com/2010/02/decorating-delimma.html

  43. I'm in the camp of painting or staining it darker. For knobs I would use nickle or maybe ones that go with the mood of the room. Before you cover the back, I would put the items you are going to actually keep in there to see how they "play". I think some clear colored glass items would look stunning in there with all of the light bouncing around. Good luck!

  44. I linked up my post http://blackkatsdesign.blogspot.com/2010/02/decorate-color-crossroads.html about my Decorating Color Crossroads in my living room.

    I think your cabinet is cute and not really country. I'd paint it (black or a fun accent color) and wallpaper/scrapbook paper the back. Replace the knobs with something fun. Hobby Lobby carries great ones for little $$.

  45. Hi! I say paint the glass sides with chalkboard paint. Then, use it as a cupboard. And, that way no sees the mirror in the back.


I love to hear your feedback! Please feel free to leave comments...just don't send me spam asking me to buy stuff off your website! I've got three kids and no money to purchase your magic weight-loss pill or bust enhancement, or whatever else you might be selling. Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you! :)

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