Prior to moving into our house, I never had a place to display any of our china or crystal. As a southern woman, this made me sad! From pretty much the day we moved in (and maybe even a few weeks before 😉 ) I started searching for a china cabinet. I am a scavenger and a bargain hunter so I was searching high and low in every Goodwill, Restore, and consignment store in the Charlotte metro area. When I came across this little cutie, I knew it would be perfect for our space! At only $60 I snagged it right away and had it delivered the next day.
My parents came the week before we moved in and helped us clean and get the house ready for furniture. They brought me pretty much everything I had in their house from when I was a kid. I’m talking my high school graduation gown, old love notes (sorry, Dust) and pictures from my childhood. They also brought me something that is so, so special to me: my grandmother’s china. The pattern of this china has always been so pretty to me and is absolutely perfect for Spring.
As I was unpacking all of the beautiful pieces she left me, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I am so incredibly grateful to have all these lovely things, but I was so immensely sad that she would never get to see me use them or see them displayed in the house my husband (who she never got to meet) and I built. I know she would be so proud and I know she’s always watching over me.
Because these pieces are so special to me, I knew I wanted this cabinet to look perfect. I started by figuring out how many spaces I would need to style. Because my cabinet has 3 shelves and is partitioned into 3 columns, I settled on 9.
I started with the bottom shelf. I knew I wanted to display the silver platter and wine glasses there. I loved the way the decanters looked on either side and the plates in the back just add some color.
The key to having your cabinet look organized is to focus on symmetry. You want each side to be symmetrical, but that doesn’t mean they have to match exactly. The bottom shelf on my cabinet does match on each side, but the other two shelves have little differences to showcase smaller pieces and create an aesthetically pleasing look.
I knew I wanted to center the top and middle shelves around these crystal and silver bowls. Because they were the main focal points, it was easy to add smaller pieces on each side and, again, plates in the background. This time I mixed in the clear plates for some contrast. Also, how gorgeous are those coupe glasses?!
When I started to design the last four sections of the cabinet, I knew I wanted to incorporate more glasses and plate stacks. To keep each section interesting, I like to add contrasting materials. With the plate stacks, I didn’t want anything too overwhelming since that is kind of “heavy” itself, so the small glass elements add contrast and keep the entire row looking symmetrical. The middle row might be my favorite! I love the look with the silver pieces in the background, the crystal wine glasses, and finally the dainty little teacups. The arrangements are simple, but the different elements add complexity.
I hope y’all find these tips helpful because I definitely enjoyed writing them! I love the way my china cabinet turned out and I love that I get to display something that means so much to me. I hope to be able to pass down this same china to my children and grandchildren one day as well. Do y’all have anything that you have had passed down to you? I’d love to hear about it!