Monday, April 25, 2011

Kitchen Cupboard Vignette

Knick-knacks, dust collectors, prized collections, figurines, kitsch, toys - whatever name you want to use, I seem to have a lot of them.

Which makes it hard when I see the "standard knick-knack shelf" picture like below - you know, beautifully set and coordinated vignettes?
shelf vignette
Gotta love a matching collection that look like it belongs as part of the overall vibe.

But then I step back and remind myself - why do I have such things in the first place? Because either a) someone fabulous and lovely gave it to me, or b) it was amazing and cute on it's own and I just *had* to have it.

So my "pieces" were not collected as part of fulfilling some overall mood or home vibe. No, they stand on their own. Sometimes a little too much. But for the sake of not creating mass clutter and chaos (the kind that makes Sak ask me to "hide the crazy" before respectable company comes over), I'll have to try my best to make it all work together. (And no, permanently "hiding the crazy" in a box down in the crypt is not an option, Sak.)

Anyway, we'll start in the kitchen, which has a little bit - but not too much kitsch to work with.

Here's what our corner kitchen cupboard looked like when it was staged-up for sale:

And here's what it looks like after I had my way with it, "pottery-barn-catalog style":

There's two compilation recipe books (which I admit I have not yet used, but intend to someday!) up top, one from the Monterey History and Arts Association (from my grandmother (who lives there)) and one from our church.
To the side are some glass cups, two of which are wedding favors from my college-gal-pals' weddings. I'm living proof that such favors are kept, and even cherished, so future brides - go ahead and emblazon your names on cups if that's what you want to do! The apple container I picked up at DAISO, and it holds one of my extra ribbon-pull ribbons, which I now use to tie up my bento box set.

I bought the bento box from DAISO as an escort card holder for our second wedding reception, but it's really proved useful in transporting snacks to church functions. Sak even wrote our last name on the bottom of it so it doesn't get lost with everyone else's dishes; I felt so official.
And the happy yellow squirrels are salt and pepper shakers that my brother gave me for Christmas! So cute!

There's more cookbooks on the second self, though I've actually used these (at least once or twice). The Williams-Sonoma book was given as a wedding present from my Bible study leader. Cooking Light was given by my aunt when Sak and I first moved up to the Bay Area (killer meatloaf recipe). And the Pillsbury baking book was given by my grandmother along with my Kitchenaid, back when I expressed some hint of cooking interest in high school. The Spritz cookie recipe in it has always been a crowd pleaser, and easy enough for me to handle.  And I can't forget Martin Yan and my wok.  I wouldn't have survived college without it.
The Keroro sugar holder was a souvenir from a college friend's trip to China. I think I squealed for five minutes straight after opening it. Little green frogs are such mood-lifters I tell you. The Piyo Piyo porcelean containers where from one of my high school hunting trips in SF's 2nd Chinatown (a.k.a. neo-Chinatown, non-touristy Chinatown, or simply Clement Street). There's a whole store practically dedicated to the cute yellow chicken, which is a must-stop-shop if you're into cute-stuff-that's-cheaper-than-Sanrio.

Then there's the orange octopus juicer, which falls under the category of "my-super-amazing-cousin-T". I have no idea where she found it, but it was one awesome Christmas present, I tell you.
The two glass candlestick holders and small candle holding glass rocking horses I suppose are classified as family heirlooms. My mother had them from when I was small, since as a baby/child my "thing" was horses. I actually had a real pony as a child. Doesn't that sound entitled. His name was Charlie Brown and he lived at my grandparents farm, though when my younger cousins were born I had to share him, so I'm not completely spoiled, I promise.

On the bottom there's a tea set I bought from Ranch 99 when we first moved to the Bay. I put the other two tea cups in the cupboard though, since it seemed too cluttered with all four. This set gets some serious use around our house. Ochazuke night is nearly once a week, and Sak and I could probably drown in all the genmai-cha we consume.

And of course I set out my taiyaki pan as well, because it's awesome and a great reason to have a gas-powered stove.

So how'd I fair on my first "vignette" (or at least that's what they call these things in the house blogs)?  I thought perhaps I'd have some color schemes for our house, but I don't think it's going to work with the rainbow characteristics of all our stuff. So for now, uncluttered-looking clutter will be the theme. Do you think putting some colored/patterned paper behind it all would help give more cohesivness, or would it be overkill?

(Did I mention I have until fourth of July to make this place look respectable before the entire family comes over for judgement? Eep Eep Eep!)

Does your "stuff" have a story? I think that's the best sort of stuff to have, afterall. :)


  1. Very cute!!! I love the green squirrels!!

  2. I love it. It is so Sak & Penga.

    When are you inviting me over so I can see your cool new murder mystery style house?

  3. Looks super!! All neat and organized! LoL Clement Street. :oP

    And yay squirrels!!! :]

  4. Love what you've done so far and it's even more awesome because there's a special meaning behind each item!

  5. Super cute!

    I went nuts buying home decorations after buying our place. I *heart* TJMaxx Home Goods. Then I realized I'm too lazy and OCD to have a fancy decorations. I can't stand dust and it takes foorevaaa to dust each item and rearrange them.

    Man, you make me miss SF. I grew up near New Chinatown.

  6. It looks SUPER cute, Penga!!! I adore your stuff. =) And I think one of the first times I knew I was going to spend the rest of my life with my North Dakotan now-husband was when I asked him what he wanted to eat for dinner one night, and he said, "Ochazuke." <3!


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