A china cabinet is a piece of furniture that has glass doors on top and cupboards on the bottom. Usually there are a number of shelves on the upper half. The average height is about 6 feet. Its function is to store and display china. There is no standard china cabinet; there can be just one panel, two, three or sometimes four. A four panel cabinet would be quiet wide and the corresponding room would have to be quite large. China cabinets can be stand-alone pieces of furniture or built-in.

There are many ways to decorate a china cabinet.  Firstly it is important however to always keep the cabinet clean and free from dust. This means having the glass panels sparkling so that your display of ornaments or ware remains the centerpiece and nothing detracts from the overall exhibit.

Arrangement Decisions

If you have collection of china you may want to put it on show. It is vital to have harmony and balance so the display is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. For example if you have a wide oval plate to the left, you will need an item with similar dimensions on the right. If you are putting tea-cups on show, remember to put the handles facing out on either side of the cabinet. These are the little details that provide the all-important harmony.

The position of the ware, if there are different sizes is also significant. You may want to have the largest items on the bottom and smaller ones above so as that there is gentle gradation of size. Or vice versa and have the larger ones on top, or make the central level the focus of the display. It is a good idea to sketch out your plans and see how the position of the items appears on paper.

Color is equally important. If your china or crockery is uniform in color and design then this is not an issue, however if you have different colors you will also need balance in the positions of the different items.

Decorating Your China Cabinet

You may have positioned your china so that it is permanently on display in a particular manner, but if you want to revitalize a little you can add flowers or candles.

Seasonal Touches

At Christmas you can add holly and tinsel to the shelves and on top of the cabinet; at Halloween, put a pumpkin with a candle on it and in the summer put a large bowl with seasonal fruits either inside or on top. Of course a vase of flowers is always delightful, whether you place it on the floor in front of your cabinet or on top of it. Depending on the season and the variety of flowers you prefer you can change regularly the decor for your cabinet in an inexpensive manner.

Mirrors & Candles

Candles on a china cabinet will add a soft ambience. You could add mirrors to the back of your cabinet which will create reflections of the objects or pictures that you have placed.  This would be another aspect to think of when you plan out the design. Candles and crystals in front of mirrors can evoke a special kind of mood, if you wanted to have romantic evening with a loved one it is something to keep in mind.

 Family Photos

Photographs are another excellent means of decoration. Sometimes cabinets are handed down through generations. They also continue to be made because they are extremely useful with their old world charm. Photos of relatives who have passed on can be lovely means to decorate, and also may create a link from where the cabinet came.

Practical Considerations

Decoration suggests that this work/display is something to be looked at and admired. A china cabinet is also a functional piece of furniture. If you have crockery on display that you use on a regular basis then think about whether it is easily accessible. If it difficult to reach, there is a greater probability of a breakage or some damage. Think about where you position your cabinet; if people walk past it all the time you will want to be certain that nothing will be knocked off and broken.

Online Inspiration

If you are short on ideas of how to decorate your china cabinet, you can do some research on Pinterest and YouTube.  The internet is a great resource for decoration ideas and also how-to demonstrations. In the local library you should be able to find books and magazines that will give step-by-step instructions.

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Also be sure to check out how the 'professionals' have designed their china cabinets -- primed to be sold, you may be able to grab a particular aspect and integrate it into your own cabinet.

Once you are happy with the decoration you have done, have a party or dinner to show off the final result!