You’ve got an old china cabinet collecting dust in your basement—but have you ever thought about turning it into a focal point for your dining room?
China cabinets are large pieces of furniture, usually wood, that have storage shelves protected by clear glass, which lets you see in. You can use them to highlight your favorite pieces of china, porcelain, or glass.
But have you ever wondered exactly how to display china in a cabinet? If you’re ready to transform your home, keep reading to find our top tips for displaying all of your favorite items in a china cabinet.
Pick the Right Cabinet
Your first step is to find the right china cabinet, if you don’t already have one. There are plenty on the market, from contemporary to traditional, and you can also find them on the second-hand market.
When selecting a cabinet, look for one that matches the style of your home, is large enough to store all of your china, and will fit in your dining room, kitchen, or living room.
Or, Revamp an Old Cabinet
If you’ve inherited an older cabinet or bought a used one, you may think it looks a bit drab. If so, it’s not going to do your gorgeous china any favors—instead, give the cabinet a makeover first!
Like other pieces of wooden furniture, they can fade or weather over time, so sometimes you need to give your treasured pieces of furniture some TLC.
It’s surprisingly easy to restore a cabinet—it starts with a thorough cleaning. Then, you could add wallpaper to the back of the cabinet, to add some pizazz.
Or, refinish or paint the exterior, which can completely change the look and style of the furniture. It’s a fun DIY project that even beginners can manage.
Only Showcase Your Best Pieces
Once your cabinet is ready to go, it’s time to decide which china to display. Our top tip is to only display your most beautiful pieces, like your enamel dinnerware or crystalware.
A china cabinet is meant to be a vessel for showcasing your valuable china, so showcase items that are in great condition, are valuable, or are visually interesting. There’s plenty of room in the kitchen cabinets for your everyday dinnerware, so save only the best for the cabinet.
If you only have limited space, decorate bowls or plates placed on a stand can be a great focal point for your display.
Organize Your Items
Next, start thinking about china cabinet display ideas. You can display items however you like, so don’t be afraid to get creative!
One thing to think about is the weight of your items. Generally, you’ll want to place the most lightweight items on the top shelves, then add heavier items lower down.
This will help the cabinet stay balanced and will keep your delicate china from rattling in the cabinet.
You can stack items like plates and bowls, which saves you space—just don’t stack items too high, or you risk accidentally knocking them over when you open and close the cabinet.
Keep All of Your Entertaining China in One Place
Another top tip is to gather all your entertaining pieces in one place. The reason for this is that you aren’t likely to use it all the time, so it’s easier if it’s all stored in one place and out of the way.
You want to limit contact with your china, as they are fragile pieces that can break easily, so don’t risk any chips or cracks.
Mix It Up Sometimes
What if you have more china than you do space? This is a common problem, as many homeowners have several sets of china, glassware, and cutlery.
However, it’s important to remember that your china cabinet display doesn’t need to be permanent! You can mix it up over time, rotating your favorite pieces every few months.
One idea is to update your china cabinet for various holidays. In November, for example, you may want to display your Christmas or Thanksgiving-themed china.
Or, you could add a fake floral display or holiday figurines, helping your home get into the festive spirit.
Any china not on display should be kept safely in another cabinet or gently packed away, with layers of foam or padding between each item.
However, if an item does break or crack, it’s not the end of the world! You might be able to order a replacement piece to complete the set or try to fix the damage with superglue.
One more thing to remember about china cabinets is that they can gather dust easily. Both the interior and exterior can gather dust, so it’s always a good idea to wash your china before using it, ensuring that it’s free from dust.
You’ll also want to dust your cabinet regularly, as part of your normal house cleaning. Just take extra care due to the fragile nature of your china—a feather duster may be the best option.
Use These Tips to Learn How to Display China in a Cabinet
After reading the above, we hope you now know more about how to display china in a cabinet. It’s an elegant, classic piece of furniture and displaying china in your cabinet is the best way to show off your favorite pieces.
Get started today by using the tips above to reorganize your fantastic kitchenware—your stylish cabinet is sure to attract a few compliments from guests!
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