Tips and Tricks For Styling Your China Cabinet

You’re brave for clicking on this post! Most of the time, china cabinets come with visions of Grandma’s dining room and rose speckled china and shepherdess figurines. That alone can make you shy away from a china cabinet of your own. But you have to admit, they are very practical pieces of furniture. If you have a set of dishes for special occasions, it’s a good idea to have a place to show them off. Thankfully there are a few tricks that will make your china cabinet into your favorite dining room piece. Here are 20 tips and tricks for styling your china cabinet.

Awesome Ways To Style Your China Cabinet

1. A Bright Coat Of Paint

Bright painted china cabinetView in gallery

Who says china cabinets have to be wood and mirrors? Paint yours a bright contrasting color that will make anyone who walks into the room green with jealousy. (via Dimples and Tangles)

2. Add A Patterned Background

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Sometimes the best background is a patterned background. Use fabric or paper to cover the back of your china cabinet and you’ll give all your trinkets inside an instant makeover too. (via Primitive and Proper)

3. Or Paint A Plain Background

Painted inside china cabinetView in gallery

Is pattern too busy on the eyes in your subtle home? Just paint the inside of your china cabinet a color complementary to the outside. It will help give some depth and interest without being a distraction. (via Confessions of a Serial DIYer)

4. Replace The Glass With Wire

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For the majorly rustic homes, you’ll want to replace the glass doors on your china cabinet with chicken wire. Even unpainted, it makes quite an art piece all by itself. (via Cedar Hill Farmhouse)

5. Go For A Rustic Style

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I just love the look of all white dishes. It’s so clean and simple. This look is especially appropriate for country styled homes and French styling and rustic styling. All you need is a rough would dining table to finish the look. (via Grand Design Co)

6. Purchase Patterned Dishes

Patterned dishes china cabinetView in gallery

If all white is too bland and plain for you, no one said you couldn’t have patterns galore. Pick some colors that will match with your home’s color scheme and then snatch up all the patterned dishes you can find. (via Domaine)

7. Place Touches Of Silver And Gold

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No matter what else you put in your china cabinet, metallics are a must. The glint of silver and gold will bring your dishes up to date and will make things look a little more modern for your dining room. (via Jersey Ice Cream Company)

8. Decorate For The Holidays

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Don’t forget to decorate! As you’re changing up your mantle and bookcases with the seasons and holidays, make sure you include your china cabinet. A well placed pumpkin or a bowl of ornaments can do wonders. (via French Country Cottage)

9. Don’t Be Afraid To Stack Your Dishes

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We’ve established that the real purpose of a china cabinet is storage. So don’t be disappointed if that’s all you can use it for. Go ahead and stack your dishes and stash your bowls. As long as the things you put in there are worth keeping, they’ll create a china cabinet worth looking at. (via Carrie Bradshaw Lied)

10. Use Your China Cabinet For Other Things

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Did you know that china cabinets aren’t only for dining rooms? Use one in your living room in place of a bookshelf. Or stack your linens inside to create a linen cupboard. Put one in your bedroom to hold frames and sentimental trinkets in style. With all the purposes a china cabinet can fill, there is no reason for you to skip it. (via Pencil Shavings Studio)

11. Place Things On Top of Your China Cabinet

china cabinet Place Things On Top of Your China CabinetView in gallery

Sometimes people feel as if they can only put their items inside their china cabinet, bypassing a large amount of storage space there is on top! You absolutely can put larger cooking items here, like a crockpot or fondue pot, or you can decorate it as you see fit. This idea does work best if the top of your china cabinet is flat, but if you do have one that has different levels, you can still make this work like they did in Round Décor, by placing non-breakable decorations on each level.

12. Replace The Background With Mirrors

china cabinet Replace The Background With MirrorsView in gallery

For those who have an especially small home, it can help to install a mirror as the background of your china cabinet. Not only will this make the cabinet itself seem bigger, but it will make it look as if it takes up less space as well! You can see this idea in action on BSC Insider to see if it might work for your home. Granted, it will require regular cleaning, but the sleek look it will bring to your dining room is worth it!

13.  Leave Your China Cabinet Mostly Empty

china cabinet Leave Your China Cabinet Mostly EmptyView in gallery

Have you been gifted a china cabinet but don’t have any china to put into it? A china cabinet can be a beautiful decoration piece, even its just left mostly empty! Check out this china cabinet on Timeless Creations. There are only three items placed in the cabinet, and two on top, but they are placed in a way that brings a natural, almost outdoors, feel into the room, while the owner of this cabinet still has a place to store coffee cups! This idea is especially ideal when you are renting a place that comes with a china cabinet but don’t have any items to use it for.

14. Group Items In Your Cabinet

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When you have a large variety of dishes that all need to be stashed in your china cabinet, it can be difficult to know how to organize them in a way that still looks great. And honestly, the best thing you can do is just group things together! This will give your china cabinet a flowy and sophisticated look, as well as make it easy for you to find items when you need them. I Should Be Mopping The Floor has a great example of this, and we especially love how a bucket of flowers was used to fill empty space on one shelf.

15. Build Your China Cabinet Into The Wall

Build Your China Cabinet Into The WallView in gallery

This next styling tip will only work when are in the middle of remodeling your home, but if you are, then consider building your china cabinet into the wall. This will give you more space, as you won’t have a cumbersome cabinet taking up space while still being able to store all the dishes you need. You can find this idea on Driven by Décor and use it to transform the look of the china cabinet in your home!

16. Remove The Doors Completely

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Installing open shelving can be a very easy way to upgrade a kitchen and modernize it without having to do a lot of renovation, and the same goes for your china cabinet. If you have an older china cabinet with glass, or a door style that you don’t think matches your décor, then get rid of them completely. You’ll want to remove the hinges as well, and fill the holes left behind, but after a fresh coat of paint you could have an amazing open style china cabinet.

17. Use Plants For Decor

china cabinet Use Plants For DecorView in gallery

Plants are an amazing decorating tool, and there’s no reason that you can’t use them in your china cabinet as well! Even if the china cabinet in your home doesn’t get much sun, you can still use silk plants to spruce up the look and balance of your cabinet. In this china cabinet styled by Making it in The Mountains, two green silk plants were strategically placed in an all-white cabinet. This gives the cabinet a farmhouse look without having to change the cabinet or the dishes.

18. Place Heavy Items On The Bottom

china cabinet Place Heavy Items On The BottomView in gallery

When you step back and take a look at your china cabinet, does it look unbalanced? This could simply be because of your item placement. Try arranging it so that your largest and heaviest items are on the bottom shelf, and your smaller items are on the top shelves like they did in Pender And Peony. This will make it look more even and less top heavy while also making it easier to access those heavier items without having to reach up to the top shelf.

19. Stand Your Plates Upright

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People often associate standing the plates up in your china cabinet as an old-fashioned decoration idea, but this isn’t true at all! Standing up a few plates in your china cabinet can draw attention to it, as well as let you know where stacks of certain dishes are located. This doesn’t mean you need to line your entire cabinet with dishes on end,  but take a look at this china cabinet on Domestic Charm, where 3 different plates were put on their ends to create balance and style for this china cabinet.

20. Use Beverages As Decoration

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Everyone knows that even when you may seem to have the biggest kitchen, finding places to store things food and beverages can be tough. Did you know that you can actually store sodas and other beverages in your china cabinet? Just line them up nicely with the labels facing out like they did in this example in Alice Lane Home Collection, and they will have your china cabinet looking great!  It is suggested you create this look with nice looking glass bottle sodas but arranged and stacked soda cans could look neat as well.

Still think china cabinets are just for the elderly? Hopefully, this article has shown you several ways you can transform that dreaded hand me down china cabinet into a beautiful decoration and storage space for your home. And whether you end up using the cabinet for china, or something completely different, like books, you will love the way your china cabinet looks so much so that you may just forget that you used to think they weren’t part of a modern home!