How to Display Plates in a China Cabinet

Written by willa dunn
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How to Display Plates in a China Cabinet
Showcase your beautiful plates. (Chinese plates image by Daria Miroshnikova from

China cabinets can be used to protect as well as display your valuable china. Your display can consist of a variety of china or a unique collection of plates. Some china cabinets have plate rails or grooves for displaying your plates upright. If your cabinet does not offer this feature, obtain plate stands in an appropriate size for the plates you are showcasing. It's a good idea to have the plate stands available anyway in case you decide to place smaller plates in front of larger ones.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Plate stands (optional)

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  1. 1

    Empty your china cabinet of all items, if necessary, to start with a fresh "palette." Determine a theme or style upon which you will build your display. This may be based on the style of your available plates. Plate stands are available in various materials and colours, choose your plate stands according to your theme. Gather the plates you desire to display, make sure they are clean and place them on a table for easy access.

  2. 2

    Place your plates on the shelf. If you have various sized plates, place the larger ones first to they will have the space needed. Organise the smaller plates in front or in between the larger ones based on the spacing available. Ensure that they are not crowded. You might want to place some staggered but forward allowing air between the plates. For larger sets of dishes, small plates can be stacked horizontally in front of a platter, for instance.

  3. 3

    Arrange the plates so that any varying colours, shapes and designs are balanced and pleasing to the eye. Adjust as necessary, moving plates around until you are pleased with the layout. Unless you have lighting in your cabinet, avoid using dark plates with a dark cabinet background, or place them accordingly with contrasting plates.

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