China Cabinets Buying Guide
It isn’t necessary to have a china cabinet in your dining room, but it certainly is nice. A china cabinet comes in handy, especially if you received wedding gifts of china, silver, and crystal, or you collect beloved teacups and want to display them. Less utilitarian than a buffet piece, a china cabinet offers panache. It shows off stylish wares, while it boosts your storage capabilities. Who can argue with that?
Types of China Cabinets
China cabinets vary little from one another. The cabinets perform one task—storing dishware—very capably. All china cabinets possess glass doors to show off the items on display. Beyond that, you’ll encounter a few other characteristics as you shop:
Because china cabinets store and display items, the glass doors on many cabinets extend from top to bottom so you can see inside the entire case. Cabinets may or may not contain glass shelves.
Some china cabinets house separate obscured storage below the glass case. The bottom storage may include drawers, a plate rack, wine bottle storage, or simple cabinets containing shelves.
When the central portion of a china cabinet extends out 2 to 3 inches from the side portions, the cabinet is called a breakfront (meaning there is a break in the continuous plane of the front). No functional reason exists for this design, it simply is a classic style appreciated by many people.
There are two things to keep in mind as you consider different china cabinets:
How much of your collection do you want to display? Is your collection nice, tidy, and organized for viewing? If showing off pretty items seems paramount, choose a cabinet with glass doors top to bottom. However, if you also need room to store awkward-shape vases, extra candlesticks and candles, and a stack of holiday-theme appetizer plates, you may want some spaces behind closed doors.
Many china cabinets contain lighting. Then you can highlight the interior and the displayed items at the flip of a switch. Before you buy such a piece, you want to know about the fixture, what kind of bulbs it requires, and how easy or difficult it is to change the bulbs.