5 Simple Tips for How to Decorate a Dining Room Hutch

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If you’re looking for how to decorate a dining room hutch, here are five simple tips to get you started. The biggest thing I want you to take away from this post is you don’t have to go out and spend a bunch of money! You can do this using things you already have on hand and achieve a look you love.

A grey dining room hutch styled with white china dishes a shallow woven brown basket, greenery in glass vases, a gold picture frame and a white china pitcher with greenery in it.

Tip #1: Decide the Look You’re Going For

Are you decorating for a specific season? Are you trying to focus on a particular color palette? Are you working on bringing in a certain style? Take a little time to think this through and answer these questions. The more targeted you are, the easier it will be to discern what pieces fit and what ones don’t.

A grey dining hutch with a magnolia wreath on one side and 4 picture frames on the other. Hutch is against a grey wall and filled with books, a basket, a shopping bag and clutter

For example, this is how my hutch looked previous to decorating it with a new look. The thing that bothered me the most was just how…unfocused it looked (plus, a little clutter had started to stack up, which never helps!). I had thought for awhile I wanted to store books in it to make it look homey and cozy, but instead, it wound up looking cluttered and messy.

I was really inspired by a hutch styling done by Miss Mustard Seed recently that she shared on Pinterest. I don’t feel like I necessarily own a lot of interesting things to put in our dining room hutch, but when I saw the picture, I immediately thought of my wedding china. I have Lenox French Perle, a mixture of the Classic, Groove and Bead styles.

Close-up of a white china plate against a wood floor background
Close-up of a white china bowl against a wood floor background

I decided I would use those as my base and then add some gold accents. Miss Mustard Seed added jadeite green accents, which is also gorgeous, but I decided to see if I could decorate my hutch without buying anything new.

Tip #2: Shop Your Own Home

Which leads to my second tip. It’s certainly no crime to buy new things when you’re planning how to decorate a dining room hutch, but if you’re on a budget and looking to save a few pennies, look no further than your own home! You would be surprised at how many things you already own which will work perfectly for what you’re trying to do.

I decided to keep the greenery garland running along the top (it has tiny fairy lights woven into it), because it helps create separation between the hutch and the wall behind it (I have big dreams of putting this wallpaper on the wall someday, but that’s another project for another day). I also decided to keep the woven basket. I like having a “catch-all” spot for things and I love the woven look alongside the china and the gold accents. Warms things up a bit!

woven basket with a tan tablecloth and stack of grey washcloths sitting on a grey shelf with three glasses vases full of greenery in the background

I put greenery in three different vases (two of which are canning jars), so that was completely free, as well. The greenery is special because it was actually part of my bridesmaid bouquet from my sister-in-law’s wedding this last spring.

Three glass vases filled with greenery sitting on a grey shelf with a grey wood wall background

Tip #3: Let It Tell Your Story

This tip may sound kind of cheesy, but it’s worth considering when you think about how to decorating a dining room hutch. It’s nice to get a bunch of pieces and arrange them and create a beautiful look, but it’s far more special when those pieces actually have meaning and history and you didn’t just get them off a shelf at Target (but no judgment here for great Target finds!).

White china dishes and a white candle in a gold container sitting arranged on a grey shelf

For example, the candle on the top shelf was a gift from my mother-in-law. The gold-dipped candle set on the second shelf was a gift from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law one Christmas, and the gold picture frame on the lowest shelf was a bridal shower gift from my aunt. I already mentioned the greenery from my sister-in-law’s wedding, and the china itself has special memories because the different pieces came from different friends and family for our wedding.

White china dishes and white and gold candlesticks in crystal candleholders sitting arranged on a grey shelf with a grey wood background

So much of making a house a home has to do with the stories of your family and not just the “stuff” you pick up at some generic box store. My mom was always telling me stories when I grew up about the dear friend who knit this afghan for their wedding, or Great Uncle Jack who handmade these chairs, or Great Grandpa Cliff who made the wooden trivet we used almost every night at dinner. These stories root your home, and even though when it’s all said and done, things are just things, it’s never bad to treasure something because of the people and memories it represents.

Tip #4: Create Varying Heights to Give a Layered Look

As your hutch decor takes shape, make sure to create varying heights with your dishes or other pieces to give a layered look. Think about showing off particular pieces and building around some larger statement pieces through stacking, standing things up, or setting them in a mini easel like these ones from Dollar Tree. I have a groove running along the back of my hutch shelves specifically designed for dishes, so check and see if yours might have this also. Makes things really easy.

White china dishes and a white candle in a gold container and white and gold candlesticks in crystal candleholders sitting arranged on two grey shelves with a grey wood background

I don’t have many statement pieces in this initial setup, but my favorite huge platter only fits on the bottom shelf of the hutch, and I’m just not ready to put that within reach of the toddler. I opted for the glass vases and my pitcher instead (which is still maybe too risky!).

Grey dining hutch with greenery garland running along the top, white china dishes arranged on two upper shelves, and greenery in glass vases, a woven basket and a gold picture frame and pitcher on the lowest shelf.

Tip #5: Keep Moving Things Around Until You Like It

A big trap I think many of us can fall into with decorating is feeling like we don’t get it right on the first try, so we kind of give up. But actually, the best part of decorating your own home is you live there, so you can continue to tweak things until you come up with something you like.

In my opinion, decorating your home is kind of like writing a novel. There are very few novelists who write one draft of a novel and it’s ready to go to print. Like, next to none. Instead, novelists go through several drafts, tweaking each time, until the story is shaped just how they envisioned. Why should we not take this attitude with our home decorating? It’s a process, and it’s okay to go through several “drafts” before we hit on the look we originally intended (or perhaps something totally different, but just as beautiful and inspired!).

A close-up of a grey dining hutch with white china arranged on the upper two shelves and greenery in glass vases and greenery in a white pitcher, as well as a woven basket with linens in it, on the lowest shelf

I have no doubt I’ll continue to add to this hutch and move things around in the next few weeks. In looking at the pictures, I can already see I want to add a couple more small gold accents and figure out how to incorporate some greenery in the two upper shelves. But this is the beauty of decorating! It’s a constantly evolving process. 🙂


I hope this was helpful for you. If you’re scared about not knowing how to decorate a dining room hutch, the best thing to do is just to jump in and start trying stuff. You’ll learn what works and what doesn’t, and you’ll begin to sharpen your overall sense of style. Best of all, you can practice with things you already have in your home! You don’t have to break the bank to create a look you love.

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Top photo is a grey hutch cluttered with books, a tissue box and  stuff. Bottom photo is a hutch decorated with white china, greenery and gold accents

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