China cabinets can be a great way to showcase your beautiful dishes and accessories in your dining room. In this post today I’m going to share some tips and tricks for how to arrange dishes and accessories in your china cabinet that will make it both functional and beautiful without looking tacky, clunky, or dated.
Step 1: Choosing the Right China Cabinet for Your Space
This of course is a very important step in decorating a china cabinet – you want to make sure that you’ve chosen one that reflects the overall mood and atmosphere of the space. It’s important you choose one that is not too large or too small if it is free standing, as this can really make a big difference. Scale is so important in a dining room or kitchen space!
If your china cabinet looks like it’s from a few decades ago, there are a few ways to give it a fresh contemporary look. You can sand it and refinish it with a different stain color, or try painting it. Black, white, natural wood, and mahogany are all popular colors for a china cabinet in a modern and fresh dining room or kitchen.
Step 2: Deciding on Lighting
Many china cabinets have lighting installed. If that’s the case with your cabinet, great! If not, and you would like to add lighting, it can be done relatively inexpensively. One method is to use Battery Operated Cabinet Lights which allow you to quickly and easily add lighting to your cabinets without worrying about wiring or having an electrical outlet nearby.
Step 3: Start with a Blank Slate
If your existing china cabinet is cluttered and disorganized, clearing out all the stuff inside the display shelves is definitely the first priority. Sort through whatever you may have in the cabinet and decide whether it’s good for display, needs a new home, or could be donated.
If you’re not sure of what items to put into your china cabinet here are some ideas:
- Wine Glasses
- Tea Pots
- Wooden Signs
Many of these items can be found secondhand at thrift stores, flea markets, and other venues for a fraction of what you might pay at department stores.
Step 4: Place Largest Pieces First
There are a number of Plate Display Stands that you can order online to make it easy to display large plates in a nice way. Choose plates that match your color scheme and other accessories or coordinate well with the room. Other large pieces you may wish to place into the cabinet first are pitchers, stacks of plates, or large bowls.
Step 5: Creating Balance & Harmony Between Pieces
This is where everyone struggles the most, and that is finding balance and harmony between pieces. In most cases I recommend doing what I call “diagonal symmetrical” – place similar sized items symmetrically diagonally. So for example, if you have a stack of plates in the top right, you’ll also want a stack of plates in the bottom left. This works great and looks professional without even thinking about placement.
Of course, experimentation is the most fun part of the process, so play around with different combinations until you are satisfied with how everything looks.
Step 6: Decorating On Top of the Cabinet
The top of the cabinet can be a great place to store a basket, place a decorative wine bottle, or even some greenery or artificial flowers depending on your style and the theme of the room.
Step 7: Don’t Forget the Walls Beside the China Closet!
The walls beside the china cabinet are also very important. You may wish to hang a black and white photograph, or as shown in our picture above, they fill a shadow box half way up with wine corks, which is very unique and gives a great effect!
I really hope that these tips will help you in decorating your china cabinet and give you some ideas for placement and things to put into your china cabinet. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a contemporary beautiful room!
Do you have any tips or ideas I might have missed? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!