Your China cabinet can be a work of art and the focal point of a room. Or, if done incorrectly, it can be a cluttered piece of furniture. Being creative and neatly organizing your China cabinet is the key to showing off your best China.
When planning the design of your China cabinet, use a complete place setting, a few other pretty or special plates, Crystal and any other pieces of your China set you would like to display, such as a tea pot, creamer and sugar bowl. When designing your China cabinet display, you should visually divide it into the left side, middle and right side. Most China cabinets have three shelves, and it is important to coordinate each shelf with similar groupings of China.
Before beginning to fill your China cabinet, make sure that it is dusted and that any mirrors and glass doors are cleaned. Once the China cabinet is full, cleaning it will be a big chore that should be done once a year. Also, be sure that all shelves are secure and will handle the weight of approximately five pounds. If you live in an earthquake prone area, you may want to secure your display pieces with museum wax.
Many China cabinets have a light that can be turned on to illuminate your display. It is usually located above the top shelf, which makes that shelf the perfect place to display any crystal you have. The light reflects off the crystal and adds an extra dimension to the cabinet. If you have several types of crystal glasses, such as wine, water and flutes, use eight of each glass for display.
Group eight wine glasses on the left side of the top shelf, eight of the flutes in the middle and eight of the water glasses on the right side. It looks neat, crisp and opulent. If you do not have a variety of glasses, create one grouping of eight glasses in the middle of the top shelf. Then, display one or two pretty crystal vases or bowls on the left and right side of the top shelf.
The middle of the second shelf is the focal point of the China cabinet. Here, you should display a complete place setting of your China. Stack a dinner plate, salad plate, bread plate, saucer and cup neatly in the middle of the shelf. Many China cabinets have a groove towards the back of the shelf for displaying plates standing up. If you have this grove, it is the perfect place to display an accent plate or pretty platter behind the place setting.
The left side of the middle shelf is a great place to display four of your cups and saucers, stacked, as they would be served at the table. Complement that display, by displaying your China coffee pot, sugar bowl and creamer on the right side of the middle shelf.
On the bottom shelf, display some of the key pieces of your china such as, a gravy boat, salt and pepper shakers, bowls and platters. Do not display more than four or five key pieces across the bottom shelf. Too many pieces make the cabinet look cluttered and unorganized.
By following these simple steps, your China cabinet will be the highlight of the room and the perfect way to show off your China and crystal.