problem solving by making pretty

i have one major problem area in my house and its right here – this built-in buffet in our dining room.

this area is my “drop zone” – when we get home, we come in through the back door and everything gets dropped here.  bags go on the hooks, shoes get kicked off under the gumball machine, and whatever else is in my arms gets dumped on the counter.

(that pink bag is our beach bag.  this time of year we always have it ready to grab and go.)

after days and weeks of this happening, the counter is full of who-knows-what.

i decided that if the countertop was set up pretty that dropping my piles would be less enticing.  and for the last week or so it has worked!

the plates are about 10 years old, from ikea.  i have a whole bunch of them and they are great for parties.

the yellow scale was a gift from my mom.  the handkerchief tea towels were from kmart, the martha stewart collection.

these bowls are also from ikea.

this strawberry cookie jar was a garage sale find when i first got married.  the striped thermos was also a gift  from my mom.  i know, she’s amazing.

the turquoise drink container was a garage sale find.  the cake plates were wedding gifts.

this countertop used to by just plywood until we discovered how inexpensive covering it in galvanized steel would be.

this old fruit crate was a gift from my friend nicole.  it works great as a catch-all, holding a small basket of miscellaneous things, and a pile of vintage table cloths.

but then i was thinking that the bowls and plates made it look too cluttered.

what do you think?  do you like it better without?

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