How to Arrange China Cabinets

Written by katherine kally
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Arrange your china cabinet to display your fine china, crystal and collectibles with these simple decorating ideas. China cabinets typically have an upper section with glass doors and closed storage in the base of the cabinet. The upper cabinet may also have lights and a mirrored back to enhance your display. Optimise any special design features your china cabinet may offer.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • China
  • Collectibles
  • Plants

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  1. 1

    Take advantage of the plate rack. Most china cabinets have a groove running along the back of the shelves so you can stand some of your plates as decoration.

  2. 2

    Stack the remaining plates in your set in front of the standing plates. Arrange them in low stacks, three to four plates high, across the top or bottom shelf of your china cabinet. Place cups and saucers in the centre of some of the plates and stack bowls in the centre of others.

  3. 3

    If you have room, place your crystal in front-to-back rows between the plate stacks.

  4. 4

    Arrange your cherished collectibles in the china cabinet alongside the china or as the primary display. Add more depth to your design by layering your collection. For example, arrange your collectable display with your largest pieces in the back, medium pieces in the centre and the shortest in the front. Stagger the arrangement so that none of the pieces are directly in front of the other.

  5. 5

    Arrange plants, ceramics or other decorative knick-knacks on top of the china cabinet to take advantage of the available space.

  6. 6

    If your china cabinet has a shelf space between its upper and lower parts, make use of it by arranging more collectibles, decorative serving pieces or small pots of fresh herbs planted in decorative ceramic planters. Coordinate the centre decorations with whatever you have arranged in the display part of your china cabinet.

Tips and warnings

  • Arrange a collection of colourful glass vases, bottles and decanters in your china cabinet as a complement to the colours in your dining room or kitchen. Make your own colourful glass by filling clear decanters with water and adding food colouring.
  • Balance the visual weight of your china cabinet by mingling large and small items together, rather than placing heavy stacks of plates on one side and a few glasses on the other.

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