How to Display China With No China Cabinet

Written by linda johnson
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How to Display China With No China Cabinet
(Linda Johnson,

Your china is too beautiful to be stacked on a shelf where no one sees it. Bring it out and show it off. Don't worry if you don't have (or don't want) a china cabinet. There are many innovative ways to display china and make it part of your decor. China patterns are truly an art form, so put yours on display.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Open shelving
  • Wall racks
  • Plate easels/stands
  • Individual plate hangers

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  1. 1

    Use open shelving of any kind. In your kitchen, build long shelves. Line up plates against the wall at the back of the shelf. Place cups and saucers in front of some of the plates. Nest bowls in front of others. You can also stand smaller plates in front of larger ones. As you use your dishes, wash them and put them back, so your display can be ever-changing.

    How to Display China With No China Cabinet
    Fleur-de-Lis dinnerware from Horchow
  2. 2

    Hang a special collection of plates on the wall. Do you collect blue-and-white antique china? China painted with pictures of birds or flowers? Line up your plate collection around the wall of your kitchen like a wallpaper border, hanging each plate with an individual plate hanger. Or hang plates in an arch over a doorway or around a picture. If your kitchen cabinets are hung so that the tops can be used for display, use plate stands to show off a china collection there.

    How to Display China With No China Cabinet
    Arrange your display on paper on the floor, first.
  3. 3

    Use a wall rack or make your own to hang china vertically. A narrow wall rack made for displaying china makes a wonderful decorating statement. This is a good way to group a series of plates, or a mismatched collection of antique or heirloom china patterns. You can also hang the plates directly on the wall with individual plate hangers, using a long ribbon backing to tie them together.

    How to Display China With No China Cabinet
    An individual china hanger to hang on a hook
  4. 4

    Create a tabletop display under a pretty lamp. Put together a tea-party tableau, using a china tea cup, saucer, tea pot, and spoon. Add a book of poetry, a picture or a small vase with fresh flowers.

  5. 5

    Place plate easels anywhere you want special eye-catching displays. On an étagère (a piece of elegant, lightweight furniture with display shelves), stand a decorative plate on an easel, among other objets d'art.

    How to Display China With No China Cabinet
  6. 6

    Create tableaus with matched china serving pieces. Use various sizes of plate stands to display a large serving platter against a wall together with a smaller platter, sugar bowl and creamer, soup tureen, covered compote or pitcher. Stage this display on a single shelf, adding flowers or greenery as desired.

Tips and warnings

  • Mismatched or assorted china makes an interesting display. Matched china needs to be displayed with a variety of pieces.
  • Don't use just any shelf. Make sure the shelving you use can hold the weight of the china.

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