Decorating With Silver

If you’ve followed me even a little bit, you know I collect stuff. 
Lots of stuff. 
I need stuff to decorate with. 
Stuff to fill spaces on furniture, in bookcases, on walls. 
Stuff for indoors and outdoors.
I also collect stuff that is just for making more stuff.
I don’t apologize for my stuff. 
I don’t take stuff wrongly from others. 
I don’t keep stuff that I don’t use fairly often. 
I don’t spend lots of money on my stuff 
(at least individually…..honest honey…what can I say….he reads my blog….it’s impossible to hide anything anymore {sigh}) 
I give stuff to people all the time. 
I recycle stuff too.
And I find stuff to sell to people who aren’t good at finding stuff.

Here is some of the stuff I like to find when I’m out thrifting
beautiful fabric
beautiful trimmings
old books
clear glass
vintage anything
vintage clothes

Over the years I’ve collected quite a few pieces of silver.
Trays, urns, icebuckets, mint julep cups, etc.
Now, these aren’t great pieces mind you, but they work for me.
The most I’ve ever paid for a tray for example, is $12.
Silver reflects light, blends with any color scheme, 
and doesn’t have to be kept highly polished to be beautiful.
In a bathroom with toiletries, in a kitchen with jars and bottles, 
on the coffee table or sideboard with a small display…….
Remember the magnet board?
And my Valentine flowers?
Silver can be used anywhere.

Today I wanted to show you how I decorated 
those new bookcases in the living room using silver pieces.
It’s a look I will slowly add to and take away from as summer arrives.
I will change out some things and add shells for example.
Here’s a full look and then I’ll show it more closely.
My husband finished this unit around Thanksgiving last year.
It was 10 years in the making but, it’s finished now and we love how it looks!
You can see it here right after we installed it (and I finished painting it…whew!)
On each shelf, I made a small vignette.
Creating a vignette is an important part of successful decorating.
I look carefully at magazine pictures and store displays for ideas that I can use myself. 
Before we go closer, let’s look at the similarities on the shelves.
Silver trays, statuary, books, green pears, black, stone, white.
There are 3 rectangular trays and the rest are oval or round.
The only matching things are the two faux stone pieces on each top shelf.
The shelves are heaviest with items at the bottom and lighter as they move up.
Here is the left bookcase
 Books are stacked and used as pedestals
There are height differences in items.
Here’s the right bookcase
Here some books are stood up as well.
The bookcase vignettes don’t match exactly, they just “feel” similar.
Let’s look closer….
On the left above
And on the right below

White, silver, books.
Different textures too.
Wire cloche, faux topiary, iron urn, twine around the books.
Next set of shelves

On the left above
On the right below
Another thing to remember is the size of the vignette you are creating.
It should be in proportion to the size of the shelf…not the size of the whole unit.
I visually divide the shelf into quarters and use the center two quarters.
Technically 1/2 of the space available.
Unless you’re going for a minimalist look, you should have enough things to make your display interesting to look at but not so many that it is overwhelming and messy.
Think of the difference when you go into a small shop and when you go into a big box store.
Even a great big box store (like Home Goods or Garden Ridge)
 is more overwhelming than the little shop.
You want your viewer to look at your display…REALLY look 
and that happens when there are interesting items, attractively arranged.
Here’s the last set of shelves
On the left above
And on the right below
We’re getting near the top now, so I’ve tried to use less items.
I’ve still maintained varying heights, used books, silver, statuary, and some pears.
I have lights inside my bookcases but I have always used small tea lights scattered in my vignettes. On two of the shelves I have mint julep cups and they have tea lights in them.
I love tea lights because they burn for four hours and then go out.
I don’t have to go around blowing out candles, especially because put them in containers in strange places and I would have to lift them all down to blow them out.
Tea lights…that’s my sage advice today.
Battery ones are great if you want to put them somewhere a flame would scare you but you have to turn them off and that’s the part that annoys me. 
I want to go to bed not wander around trying to remember where all my candles are.
So if you don’t have lights,then put tea lights into containers 
and scatter them through your vignette.
Here is the whole thing again….

What do you think? It feels so good to finally get this done!
Spring cleaning really helps you find all your crap…..
I mean stuff…..

Sharing with
Savvy Southern Style
Faded Charm
Mrs Hines Class
Embracing Change
At The Picket Fence
French Country Cottage


  1. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!! that piece is amazing!!!!! 20 years or 20 — it was well worth the wait!!!! what a tribute to the two of you — his with his fabulous workmanship and love and your love and SILVER STUFF!!!!! it is simply stunning and it makes me smile!!!!! : ) thanks for sharing and sending much love to the both of you — you are a FABULOUS couple! keep on collecting!!!! : ) hugs!

  2. What a gorgeous shelving unit. By itself it is a work of art but your vignettes have increased its beauty. Lovely.

  3. OMGoodness, your shelving unit is GORGEOUS and I love the way you have displayed your love of silver. It’s funny, your list of stuff is almost identical to my list when I’m out thrifting. I’ve enjoy my visit and have become one of your newest followers. Enjoy your day, Gail

  4. That gorgeous built-in deserves to be filled with silver!

  5. LOVE it. the house we are in how I just don’t have any display space… I miss having all my silver out 🙂 Looks great

  6. OOOHHH!!! How lovely. I am bookmarking this for future inspiration!Love it, love it, love it!!

  7. I absolutely LOVE this display. The bookcase is such a great impact piece and the living room is stunning. I’m glad our friends at Show & Tell are going to get to see this beauty.

    Sharon @ mrs. hines class

  8. Love how it looks – amazing job. Whoo hoo- what a great unit to display all your wonderful collections!

  9. Love your old silver vignettes! Great ideas from your blog. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next. I’m your newest follower.
    Ladybug Creek

  10. Timely post for me Mrs. F.. I have been picking up trays and pitchers and don’t quite have enough for a display yet, but I love the look you have so will keep collecting.


  11. Hi! I am your newest follower. I am pinning images from this post too. I hope you will stop by my blog and visit, you will probably love my “Antiques Booth Favorites” post from earlier this month. I started buying tarnished silverplate to sell in my antiques booth but recently started bringing more pieces home to mix in with my ironstone. I absolutley love it and your post has made me want more!!!!!!

  12. Very pretty collection and very nicely displayed!
    Thanks for linking up this week!
    Stacey of Embracing Change


  1. […] then Lorraine opened her home to us to show us her beautiful silver […]

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