More Modern Tips for Redesigning Your China Cabinet

On August 12, 2015 by Brooke Chaplan

China cabinets are some of the most beautiful furniture found in homes today. They speak to historic and sentimental value, while showing off the classiest and most impressive pieces of art. The heirlooms that go inside them are often filled with stories or just plain good taste. To properly showcase both, requires thoughtful planning. Modern tips for redesigning these lovely pieces can make your most original furniture into a perfect conversation piece.

Type of China Cabinet

China CabinetStart by taking into account the type of china cabinet you own. For those with doors that open in the center, balance is the most important strategy to use. This means focus on the bigger china being used here such as platters, dishes, cups, and plates. Style the focal points to either side of the door seal allowing each piece an audience. With cabinets that have doors that open on the side, or do not obstruct the dinnerware, symmetry works perfectly. Placing platters or candy dishes in the center with supporting pieces to the left or right enhances the set’s decorative features.

Type of China

Beautiful China Furniture

Whether you are using inherited dinnerware, or you have been given your first personalized gift set, your china will play a big role in the display. Consideration should be given to what the set contains. For example, platters of all shapes make excellent focal pieces but there are others which make interesting focuses, including covered and uncovered cake stands, gravy boats, and covered soup bowls. Exquisite tea or coffee pots are the final items that would also make a statement.

Design Tips


When it comes to designing your china cabinet finding your focal point is the place to start. Placement of each piece will highlight the intricacies such as color, borders, and textures. Use the top down philosophy with bigger items such as platters on the top shelf, covered soup dishes should be positioned on the second shelf, and cake stands would occupy the bottom shelf.

Some designs have tea and coffee pots on the last shelf as well. However, most prefer to station them in the very back on either side, or in the middle. This is also true for multiple tiered serving trays. The rationale is to prevent them from blocking shorter items while still showing them off.
Use easels or display stands made for china. They will assist in securely holding each piece, although simply leaning them snugly against the back of the cabinet is commonplace. Stand dishes up while stacking extras in front of the main ones to save space. Or stack them on the bottom shelf with the cups and saucers. On all shelves cascade accenting items from the center out.

As you can see, lots of forethought goes into the design of a china cabinet. It gives owners an opportunity to share their beautiful dinnerware with visitors in their own unique style. A caveat is to include special pieces from travels or anniversary gifts that trickle in over the years in the cabinet and throughout the china itself.

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