When discussing china cabinets, most people are left with images of tacky, bulky pieces of furniture filled with equally tacky dinnerware in their grandparents’ dining room. But china cabinets don’t have to be relics of the past. Keep reading to learn how to style a china cabinet in your home and incorporate one into more modern design styles.
What is a China Hutch or Cabinet Used For?
Traditionally, china cabinets are dining room furniture used for showcasing fine china or special occasion dinnerware. These furniture pieces typically come in ornate wooden styles with glass or mirror paneling. Many people tend to put their finest porcelain dishes in their cabinets, but they might also include wedding-related silverware or glassware, cake stands, candlesticks, or even homemade pottery.
Are China Cabinets Out of Style In 2020?
Because so many people associate china cabinets with older interior styles or tacky china sets, it’s uncommon to see a china cabinet incorporated into the designs of younger households. But there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to make china shelves look stylish, clean, and modern! Look for furniture pieces that have clean silhouettes in neutral colors, like black or white. It’s also important to ensure that the items you fill your china cabinet with fit the design of the rest of your house.
China Cabinet Essentials
Regardless of the interior design style you have in your home, there are some staples that are standard in most traditional china cabinet displays:
- Your favorite set of dishes
- A set of glassware
- A set of silverware
- Napkin rings
- Chargers or placemats
- Cake cutters
Although there are standard items that people tend to place in their china cabinets, it’s important not to limit yourself or the design potential of your china cabinet. There are endless ways for you to decorate your shelves to best reflect your personal style.
How Do You Display China on Shelves?
Like all elements of home design, being intentional about what items you use on your shelf and their placement is essential to ensuring you achieve a look that you are happy with. Whether you want your cabinet to look eclectic or to create a more curated look, there are many different ways to start organizing china on the shelves.
Start with a good, versatile set of plates. White dishes are a great choice because they can be used interchangeably between casual and formal meals. You can stack them or, if there are particular items that you cherish or simply want to show off, consider purchasing plate stands to showcase them. You’ll also want to group your stemware and glassware together to give your cabinet an organized look. Use your silverware as accessories and arrange them to bring a bit of bling into your china cabinet.
Other items like pitchers, cake cutters, cake stands, and chargers can be arranged at your discretion in a way that shows off their style while maximizing your space. If you prefer to have a more modern, functional china cabinet, you can mix and match the colors and styles of your everyday dishes, as well as decor pieces to enhance the style of your home.
Repurposing Your China Cabinet
Perhaps you received a hand-me-down china cabinet from a relative, maybe you simply don’t have any fine china that you would like to display. You can still find a way to use your china cabinet that fits your lifestyle!
- Collectible display case
- Trophy case
- Picture or family memoir display case
- Music or movie storage shelf