In this post: If you have pretty things like napkins, placemats, napkin rings, etc. and want to know how to organize a dining room hutch, here’s how to do it.
We recently gave our suburban farmhouse dining room a makeover, because it wasn’t functioning well for us before. To recap, the previous chairs were uncomfortable, the table extensions gave us grief and the shelves simply weren’t suited to storing all the dining room things we needed in the space. But now, we have comfortable chairs, a much more functional (and durable) dining table and plenty of storage for all the pretty dining room necessities like napkins, placemats, napkin rings, etc. We just needed to organize the space!
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How to Organize a Dining Room Hutch
I’m sure we’re not the only ones whose hutches needed organizing. Maybe you have a dining room hutch, but it’s not working well for you right now. Or maybe you need a new one. In any case, organizing a dining room hutch (or hutches) is much like organizing any other space and can be boiled down to just a few simple steps. I’ve talked about those general steps in this post, but I’ll include them here as they pertain to organizing a hutch specifically.
1. Empty and sort.
The first thing you need to do when organizing a dining room hutch, is to pull out all the things you have. That means, empty out drawers and cabinets. Gather all the things you want to store in this space too, that are currently elsewhere. We had items in the kitchen, living room and basement that really belonged in the dining room.
2. Purge, edit and eliminate.
Then you need to decide if there’s any items that you no longer want or need. If they’re in good shape, put them in your donate box. If they’re too far gone, throw them away or recycle them (depending on the material).
3. Assign everything a home.
Once you’ve decided what’s staying, you need to decide where you’re going to put it all. Decide which shelves and drawers (if you have them in your hutch) will hold what. If you have a combination of open and closed storage, you should strive to have the open storage look extra nice with some pieces on display, rather than just piled up.
4. Shop for bins, baskets and containers.
Whether you have open or closed storage, or a combination of both in your hutch, you may still need baskets or other containers to hold things like napkin rings and place cards. Either shop your house, like I did with these baskets, or go out and find some suitable ones from your favorite stores. Be sure to measure your hutch first, so you know your new containers will fit.
5. Label it and put it away.
You don’t have to get fancy here, a simple paper tag tied on with some string works. So does a pretty label cut out with your cutting machine. Or a plain label from a label maker. What you use to label your containers is up to you. After you’ve labeled everything, put it all in its place.
6. Maintain, maintain, maintain.
The trick to keeping an organized hutch (or any space), is to put things back when you’re finished with them. Put napkin rings and place cards away as soon as your company leaves. Wash and dry the napkins, fold them and put them away. Because I’d just been shoving things in drawers and cupboards while we planned and worked on giving the dining room a makeover, I spent hours (literally) ironing our napkins and table runners before I could even get to step three! Now that things are organized I shouldn’t have to spend more than a few minutes at a time on this space for quite a while.
7. Change systems if needed.
If you find that how you’ve chosen to organize your hutch(es) isn’t working for you, just change it. If the containers you bought just aren’t working, replace them. Or if you use something more often than you thought you would and it’s not convenient enough to access, move it. It’s no big deal.
More About Our Keswick Buffet and Hutches from The Brick
*Update: Unfortunately, it looks like The Brick has discontinued the Keswick buffet and hutches.
In the reveal post, I mentioned that when we first started looking at The Brick for the dining room makeover, the Keswick Buffet and Hutch caught my eye right away. It is like a piece we already have, but is slightly different in scale (which means it fits under our short dining room bulkheads) and includes much needed closed storage on the bottom too. Aside from the fabulous storage capabilities of our new Keswick Buffet and Hutches, there are several other features that I’ve fallen in love with.
Back in the fall, when we were beginning to plan our dining room makeover the hutch was only available in the original wood color (Natural Barley), which is lovely. But when we were finally ready to order new furniture, the Dovetail Grey version was introduced. And I was smitten. It just goes SO WELL with the undertones in the Calistoga table and the overall direction we were going in the room.
Oh, how I love the brass handles on these hutches. The long, tall latches. The detailed knob and escutcheon-style plate detail. #happysigh
The glass shelves
The upper, interior shelves are glass, framed in wood that matches the hutches finish. This makes for a stunning display.
The plate rails
Each of the glass shelves also has a plate rail groove at the back, which is perfect for safely propping up and displaying pretty plates!
The interior lights
Each Keswick Buffet and Hutch also has two LED lights built-in. With the touch of a hinge (yes, just touch the hinge!), you can have a low night light, a medium display light or a brighter display light. And because of the glass shelves, the light shines throughout the display shelves!
How cool is that?!