The epitome of form and function, the hutch has stood the test of time for good reason. But what exactly is a hutch? Read on to find out more and learn helpful tips for organizing and styling this unique piece of furniture.
What is a Hutch?
Traditionally, a hutch looks like a China cabinet on top of a sideboard or credenza. The bottom features drawers, shelves, and cupboards for storing everyday items you use in the dining room, such as tablecloths, silverware, and napkins. The top is more formal; glass-paned doors create an enclosed space to display fine China, crystal, or decorative dishes.
How to Organize a Hutch
Because of its dual nature, there are a few steps to follow when organizing your hutch.
1. Sort Everything
Empty all drawers and cupboards and clear off shelves to take inventory of your belongings. Like buffets and sideboards, the bottom half of a kitchen or dining room hutch should be dedicated to storing dining room necessities, such as spare dinner plates and napkin rings. If an item doesn’t belong there (say … a pad of stationary), relocate it elsewhere in the house where you’ll remember to use it. As for your display case, hold on to items that are special to you and donate or sell the rest.
2. Set-Up the China Cabinet
While a hutch isn’t the same as a China cabinet, the same rules apply for arranging formal dishware and décor in the display case. Whether it’s grandma’s fine China, expensive stemware, or an eclectic collection of teacups, this space offers a fun opportunity to show off your favorite pieces.
Start by arranging large platters and plates against the back wall of your hutch. Some designs feature a built-in ridge for this exact purpose; if not, opt for plate holders to hold pieces in place.
Once you’ve established a back row, finish the display with stacks of dishes, bowls, and teacups. You can stack like items together – i.e. salad plates in one stack, bowls in another – or group items by place setting.
If you don’t collect dishware, there are plenty of other ways to utilize your display case or china cabinet hutch. Fill with decorative accents, artwork, or other cherished belongings.
3. Organize Drawers & Cupboards
The best way to prevent a cluttered hutch is to keep its storage space organized. Once you’ve decided what to keep in your hutch, invest in a set of storage baskets, boxes, or drawer organizers to keep things neat. Label boxes with lids so you know exactly what is where with a simple glance.
How to Decorate a Hutch
The amount of space for hutch décor will depend on its style, but most designs feature a flat surface on top for adding your personal touch. When in doubt, follow our tips for decorating a shelf: place items in groups of three, experiment with height, and pay attention to color and texture. Style your kitchen or dining hutch by hanging a piece of wall art and flank with books and a pair of vases. The top of your hutch is also a fun place to arrange seasonal décor, too.
Alternative Ways to Use a Hutch
While traditionally kept in the dining room or kitchen, the hutch can also be used in other rooms. Hutches with open shelves make chic bookcases – perfect for the living room or home office.
One final note: if you live in a small space, a hutch can serve up additional storage space, so keep that in mind when planning your home’s interior design. It’s a smart piece of accent furniture that will add style to your space and keep belongings in one place for you to enjoy.