Cabinet of Curiosities - The Bend Magazine

Cabinet of Curiosities

The china cabinet as we know it became a popular addition to homes in the late 17th century

By:  Katy Jones-Gulsby   Photos By: Rachel Benavides

I am a collector by nature and environment. Growing up, I was encouraged to cultivate collections, and this habit has followed me through every walk of life. These days, my collections trend towards the decorative – beautiful items that elevate our home and bring me joy. I display these collections on every available surface, but my favorite way to corral a collection is in a traditional china cabinet. 
Wooden cabinets of varying styles have been popular since time immemorial, but the china cabinet as we know it became a popular addition to homes in the late 17th century. Trade routes to far-off places were opening and decorative items from every corner of the globe were making their way to European homes. This idea of using the china cabinet to display beloved collections rather than the usual assortment of dinnerware is one I love. 

Displaying Your Collection

Repetition pleases the eye, so try to use your cabinet to display a collection of items that have a similar visual signature. These Nemadji pottery pieces are of varying shapes, but each one has a similar style of decoration.
Books with graphic spines are a great way to play with height. Stack them under smaller items and to fill in blank spots.

Small framed pieces of art or photographs work well in breaking up the negative space and adding visual interest. Think about the frame types — glass and crystal will reflect light, while elegant black frames give a graphic interest.

Don’t be afraid to paint the inside of your cabinet! A surprise pop of color behind the glass doors of a china cabinet is one of the easiest ways to bring an on-trend color into your home. Think about the collections you want to display and choose a color that will contrast.

Get the Look

Crystal Picture Frame
Coastal Closet
Ceramic Peace Sign
Chic to Chic
Vintage Handblown Glassware and Vintage Decorative Items 
Shell & Pine
Nemadji Pottery Vases
Author’s Personal Collection