I want to keep the kitchen light, so the black had to go. The gold trim didn't do it for me either. I also thought about taking off the back to open it up more, but was afraid that removing the back might make the little unit unstable. So, I decided to spray paint it white and thought I could just spray the fabric back and all would be fine. Let me tell you that spray painting old fabric is a BAD idea - every little thread and pill (that were not that obvious to start with) became "frosted" once the spray paint hit them.
Initiate Plan B - pull off the fabric carefully without removing the back and then spray it again. I assumed the backing was plywood. But, look what I found:
A mirror! Sweet! A mirror with some spots and a few scratches; the kind of mirror that makes a shabby chic-ster go weak in the knees. My little shelf came with a bonus!
Lots of digging out little threads, some serious sanding, more white spray paint and then some sanding to shabby it up a bit and my shelf fits in perfectly in its new home.
Love my new mirrored display space. Bow to the power of spray paint and mirror magic!