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Organize & Style Your China Cabinet With These 7 Tips

Organize & Style Your China Cabinet With These 7 Tips

Your china cabinet is a work horse for storage and display of treasured china and family heirlooms. If you love antique dishes and creating tablescapes for holiday meals, this traditional piece of furniture can fill up and over run rather quickly with your collections. Then there is the added pressure to make the display section look styled and attractive.

It can be tricky to organize your china cabinet efficiently to store and protect your table linens, formal china, serving ware, and special mementos. Make it work for you with these seven tips to style and organize your china cabinet!

Tip No. 1: Make Use of the Entire Space by Layering

Use the entire vertical space between shelves as well as the depth of the shelf, layering china and other special collectibles. Prop plates upright to lean against the back of the cabinet. This will both show off your beautiful china pattern and save space. This technique then allows you to place statuettes or other tableware in front of the plates.

If your cabinet shelving lacks a plate channel use sticky putty on the edge of the plate to keep it from slipping or a plate stand.

Tip No. 2: Stack Assembled Teacups

Assemble your teacups in their saucers and then stack them one on top of the other like in this photo. This will protect the handles and rims of your cups from getting broken, and it looks attractively styled. The cups are also ready to be taken out and used.

Tip No. 3: Store Table Linens in the Drawers

Neatly fold napkins and other table linens in the drawers of your china cabinet. Fold napkins in half twice to form a square. This will keep your napkins free of wrinkles and ready to be pulled through a napkin ring or folded again to lay under flatware on the table. Additionally, this fold is thin enough to allow you to stack multiple napkins on top of one another.

Tip No. 4: Display Silver in the Glass View of Your China Cabinet

Let your silver collection bring shine and sparkle to the display part of your cabinet, but keep it protected behind closed doors. Storing your silver this way will help reduce the amount of tarnish it develops, which means less polishing sessions.

Tip No. 5: Protect China in Stacks

Protect the gilt detailing and painted patterns on your china by placing foam or felt squares in between plates in large stacks. This will keep your china from being scratched and will help reduce the pressure on each plate’s surface.

Tip No. 6: Group Large Tableware Pieces Together


Store large chargers, platters or serving bowls together in stacks on the bottom shelves of your china cabinet. Keeping these bulky items together will help you pull them out easily when it comes time to set the table.

Tip No. 7: Organize Party and Cocktail Napkins

Use a vintage toast rack or letter organizer to group and store paper cocktail napkins upright. This storage idea both looks pretty and keeps the napkins from being crumpled. You can also quickly see the different patterns and pull out the design you want to use.

With these seven tips you can easily organize and style your china cabinet to maximize storage and create a pretty display of the dishes and family heirlooms that matter to you.

Article and photos by Katherine Medlin. For more tips on styling and using antique china visit Katherine’s blog Pender & Peony!

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