Style at Home: How to decorate above your stove
Some spots in your home are easy to decorate. Others ... not so much. One of those problematic places is the empty space above your stove. Many of us have a blank wall there, begging for a creative treatment, something to make us smile while we’re slaving over the hot stove. But what? Here are some ideas and inspiration from my cottage and the homes of a few of my friends.
When Lisa renovated her kitchen a few years ago, she spiced up the space above her stove with a beautiful tile pattern. She added to the charm with changeable displays on the shelf above the stove, and on either side.
My friend Tammy has a light, bright, airy kitchen. She had the great idea to layer a mix of thin wood cutting boards behind her stove. The boards pick up the tones in her exposed brick walls, adding to the natural warmth and bringing in a bit of organic pattern. The variation in the sizes and shapes of the boards adds to the visual impact.
When my friend Paula bought her home, she loved everything about it, except the kitchen. A complete kitchen remodel was not in the plans, but that didn’t stop Paula from revamping the look of the space. Paula is a very clever decorator, who has a home filled with beautiful treasures. So when she spotted a box filled with copper kitchenware at a garage sale (for $20!), she snatched it up. She installed a pot rack above her stove, then filled it with the copper pieces. It totally changed the look and feel of her kitchen.
When Nancy renovated her little cottage, she wanted to decorate it with her family heirlooms and antiques. She had picked up a piece from beautiful cast-iron stove at an antique store, and was just waiting for a place to use it. The space behind her stove seemed like the perfect spot. That was before she tried to pick the darn thing up. It weighted a ton. In fact, it was so heavy, her ever-patient husband, Don, purchased a hydraulic lift just to put it in place. If it had been my husband, he would have given me that “Are you crazy?” look when I asked him to make these accommodations, and the poor antique would have been drug to the garden, leaned against a stone wall, with a plant stuck in front of it.
You don’t have to look very hard to tell that my stove never gets used. I can’t help it: I am allergic to cooking. Since I don’t have to worry about the stove’s functionality, I can go crazy when decorating around it — nothing will ever be at risk of catching fire. Right now, it’s home for an oil painting done by my great aunt.
As I have decorated the little cottage next door, where my mom lived at the end of her life, I’m finding it a great place to put the extra furniture and accents I cannot fit into my own cottage. Case in point: this set of Limoges fish plates. I spotted these beauties when I was treating myself to my annual I-survived-the-holiday-season-working-retail splurge. I didn’t have room to put them up in my cottage, so they got moved next door to mom’s. The spot above the stove was perfect.
This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity’s blog at nellhills.com.