My New Farmhouse Kitchen Window Shelves

“Remember, you hate to dust”…

     “Remember, you hate to dust”…

         “ Remember, you hate to dust”…

I chanted that to myself, as I decorated my new kitchen window shelves.

farmhouse kitchen window

My knees aren’t what they used to be, and getting up and down on a chair to clean the shelves above the windows is only something I will do…

when my mother-in-law is coming to visit.

But that’s only once a year, so I had to squelch the urge to stick every single little thing I love on the shelf, unless I wanted a bunch of dust and grime to accumulate there again.

I tried to think like a minimalist would, but I think minimalist’s brains function in a completely different way than mine does.

But I really wanted to be selective, so I thought about all the things I love,

and I looked at everything that had formerly been on the shelf,

and I pondered which things should make the cut.


And I ended up deciding not to put any of the things that had formerly been on my kitchen window shelf back again (except 1 thing).

Previously, I had a kind of potting bench theme on the shelf over the largest window (there are two windows that form the corner of my kitchen wall).

This time, I wanted something very simple, in keeping with the farmhouse style of the trim around the windows and the new shelves, so I pulled out 3 old canning jars that have a “grid” pattern on them, and I put them on the shelf.

vintage mason jars

How simple, how neat, how minimalist they looked!

But I also had several old jars with a “quilt” pattern on them.  I hated to leave them out, so I added them to the shelf also.

But what about the lightning jars that I love so much?

Yep…they got added too.

All that was left was my cute jar lifter with wooden handles and a meat grinder.

What the heck – I threw in the towel on the minimalist idea!

The jars look so pretty as the sun streams through the windows in the morning, and they are illuminated in the evening by the recessed lights above the sink.

BUT, they won’t look pretty if they get covered in dust and grime, which would be pretty obvious in the light, so I’m hoping…

really, really hoping, that I get more faithful about cleaning the shelves.

One can always hope.

A few of you asked whether I plan to sell any “antique” cutting boards, like the one I shared yesterday.

I don’t have any more of this “buggy” wood, so at this time I don’t plan to make more, BUT this one is available in my shop HERE!

farmhouse kitchen window shelves

In the corner between the two windows, I reattached the 2 wire fryer baskets that had been there before.  They aren’t just decorative – they are very functional, so they’ve earned their spot there.

wire kitchen baskets

Above the smaller window are just a few pitchers, a Poultry Feed Sign, and one of the milk bottles my son makes and sells.
open shelves

kitchen shelf

That’s about as close to a minimalist as I’ll ever get! 🙂

The shelves were made of very inexpensive pine boards, mitered where the two shelves meet in the corner, although that isn’t necessary.  The brackets are just triangle shapes cut from the same wood.

signature 2

See the rest of my farmhouse kitchen (before these shelves were added) HERE.

farmhouse kitchen table sidebar


  1. I hate to dust too, Angie and I find myself decorating lately with that in mind. I do think that your shelves are totally worth it though! Totally gorgeous! Besides, if you can’t see the dust, is it really up there? 😉

  2. ladyhawthorne says

    Your shelf looks fabulous! And I have it on very good authority (a friend with a Phd. who sells antiques and jewelry) that dust is a protective coating.

  3. Great job! I can’t think like a minimalist either. I love simple but I can never quite pull that off in an aspect of my life.
    I especially like the metal grinder on end of your shelf. 🙂 Beautiful!

  4. Angie,

    You are brilliant! The jars look so pretty on your shelf.


    PS I can never decorate like a minimalist either!

  5. Dust schmust
    Who cares when it makes you smile every day!

  6. Angie I love your home. Minimalist? Not in my vocabulary. It takes me forever to dust. I have an old wood cook stove in my kitchen that burns 24/7 all winter long. That thing throws out more dust than you can imagine. I always say if you write in my dust please don’t date it! ; )

  7. Christina says

    Angie, I adore your shelves… just want them lower (about the height of the shelf your plates are on) so to see light shining through all those gorgeous jars and such. Easier to dust there too. Would it be awful to have it lower and get rid of the super high shelf? Just my thoughts.

  8. Christina, the only way to lower them, would mean they would go across the window. We have the shelves just above the window trim. I love my big kitchen windows for the view, but they are high (when it comes to dusting shelves!

  9. Once, my MIL asked how long it took me to dust. I responded “Oh? You’re supposed to dust?!
    Your shelves look fabulous and give you pleasure. That’s all you should care about.

  10. Angie, I adore your farmhouse kitchen! It is my inspiration for our 100 year old kitchen. Someday! I loved the door shelf but so understand the need to be able to “wipe it clean”. And I’m hearing you on those knees. Those canning jars melt my heart.

  11. Terry de Boer says

    Well, it looks like we are all in good company! I too, hate to dust, but just can’t seem to do the minimalist thing. When we bought our house 4 years ago, I tried to go more contemporary in my decorating, but it just wasn’t me, so I’ve gone back to country.My problem is that I like so many styles! I’ve gone kind of farm house meets primitive I guess! I have lots of old canning jars and a few things that I collected from my grandparents, and I love to look at them so they are on display in my kitchen along with a few chickens that I just can’t bear to part with. ( I tried!)
    Here’s a hint to at least make dusting your shelves a little easier: lay down a sheet of waxed paper and when its dusting time, just replace the paper!
    I love what you did with the grinder. I have one hidden away in a cupboard. Hmmm… now where can I display it…?

  12. Getting older has an advantage! I don’t see the dust! Ha… but in the end, I’d rather have the things I love out so I can enjoy them. Besides house cleaning and dusting are highly over rated, I’d rather be out junk picken!

  13. Sandy Park says

    Hey Angie, love your new shelves. Totally understand the dirt/grime situation. Above my cabinets, I have my big pieces of Fiesta, but they are over the stove and not the sink. They get really gross. I clean them when they aren’t shiny (sad to say about once a year). So enjoy your stuff and don’t worry about future dustings.

  14. Minimalism is overrated, anyway! I love your new shelves and the items you thoughtfully placed on them…I wouldn’t have been able to leave any of those beautiful and unique jars off of the shelf, either…they deserve their proud place up above your gorgeous kitchen window! Love those fryer baskets, too!

  15. Annette McPeake says

    What would people have to look at, and comment on if your home was minimalist. I tried the minimalist look and it is just not me. Slowly, all my treasures came back out of the cupboard and on display. My husband would say oh is that new, or where did that come from. His theory to my non-minimalist look is “Happy wife, happy life”.

  16. I love your jar collection, and can’t do minimalist thing either. I wonder if a grabber (like you use when you can’t move the dresser to get what dropped behind) could pull the jars down and then a swiffer could dust the shelf without getting on a chair. Otherwise if you have a daughter or even a son who ask what you would like for your birthday…the shelf cleaned please.

  17. What a perfect place to show off you collection! I’d think it would have to get pretty dusty up there before it would start to show, lol. This reminds me that I have some dusting to do on top of a cabinet in my laundry room.

  18. Your shelves look wonderful, and I love the big windows. I’m with you I hate to dust so I keep my things to a minimum. I’m no minimalist by far but less things means less dusting, lol.

  19. They look wonderful – and the way to get around hating to dust is to not consider them things to dust, but more display territory (and places to stash stuff so you need more room to work).

    You have a lovely, sunlight-flooded kitchen and fun things and incredible creativity to share. Dusting is like painting – just a necessary step to be taken in order to wow your fans/followers.

  20. Angie, It is the practical side of you (open shelves in a kitchen will collect dust and grime) versus the “I want to decorate” side (the jars and pitchers will be so pretty on display)! That is me, too. So I give in and put things, but not too many, on display. I once walked into a large and expensive kitchen with an abundance of baskets and paraphernalia above every cabinet; I mean, it was way overdone, but that was the trend at the time. My first thought was how much dirt those baskets would attract and how often they would need to be cleaned. Ah, so practical (trying to save myself extra work, you can be sure). Your kitchen is lovely. I love, love, love the antique stove. Would like to have one someday, but am happy with the Hoosier cabinet I finally acquired last year (it came with the old farmhouse we purchased). It needs some TLC and will get it. I enjoy your site so very much, thank you.

    • No matter how I try, I just can’t do the minimalist look, Michele! I start out thinking I’ll only put 1 or 2 things on a shelf to display, and before I know it the shelf is full!

      I’d love to get a Hoosier some day! My antique stove belonged to my husband’s grandmother, so I’m thrilled his dad gifted it to me.

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