What to do with beautiful built-in china cabinet in dining room?
nnouza
November 17, 2012 in Design Dilemma
So, over the past few years this has ended up turning into a catch all. Any ideas on making this less cluttered and more classy? Driving me nuts and have zero solution. Also, open to painting the back wall....
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Aggie Purvinska
An easy and inexpensive solution would be installing opaque glass or mirror instead of the clear glass in the doors.
3 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 1:54PM
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houssaon
You could mount fabric on the inside of the glass in a sheer or pattern. Change the glass to mirrors: Project in Tiburon

Remove all books and only have dishes bowls and glasses in there. Elegant Traditional Dining Room with Custom China Cabinets

You could paint the back interior a color to compliment the dining room, like a dark grey or blue. desk
3 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 1:59PM
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Elyn's Library
Lovely to have that nice cabinet to play with. But I do understand how easy it is for stuff to accumulate.

First I'd suggest you clear everything out and put it on the table.

All your lovely cookbooks should stay on the bottom shelves all the way across on both sides, overflow can be stacked on their side on another shelf.

And it looks like you have nice set of matching china, with teapot and sugar? That could go on the next shelf up, plates and saucers stacked on one side and coffee set on the other.

Stemware on the shelf above on one side, and maybe the 2 pretty hobnail vases by themselves on the other side.

Family trophies can be considered a fun and important collection and should have their own display shelf.

The rest of the items could be displayed 1 - 3 items per shelf, and perhaps changed out seasonally.

It looks like these are important items for your family, although you may not want to display them all at once, they should be displayed and enjoyed.
2 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 2:47PM
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pcmom1
First thing is to take everything out of the cabinet. Then browse Houzz for shelves. Books really seem too heavy for this space. Keep it simple and clean as you add things back.
1 Like   November 17, 2012 at 2:50PM
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PRO
Kitchen Art of New England LLC
I would paint the inside sides and back a great bright color, take off the doors and keep it as a book case with a few pictures in frames... Keep the doors in case you want to put them on at some point.
0 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 2:51PM
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judianna20
I would replace the glass doors with solid recessed panels as below.

My friend, a very high-end decorator, solved that problem in her own house with shirred fabric on tiny rods inside the doors, just as houssaon, suggested. Looked quite elegant.

One of the issues right now is your shelves do not line up with the glass dividers which makes what is going on inside look even busier.
0 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 2:54PM
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nnouza
Thanks to everyone who assisted. The next day, I took your advice and emptied the cabinet, moved shelves, stored several pieces and here is the end result. Company that joined us for dinner commented on how the room felt more inviting and not so heavy. Many thanks to all!!
5 Likes   November 19, 2012 at 4:20PM
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Elyn's Library
BEAUTIFUL! It now looks appealing, attractive, organized and useful. Cookbooks, pretty dishes, glasses and stemware are nicely displayed and accessible. Plus you have space to showcase some special pieces. Just in time for the holidays. Well done!
1 Like   November 19, 2012 at 6:33PM
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ajnz833
Can I add that you replace the shelves with glass and add interior lighting that lights down and through all levels?
1 Like   November 20, 2012 at 12:06AM
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gumspring45
You'd pay a fortune to have these made today. I would say embrace what they are! I love the way you "edited" the contents. I have open shelves, and you know what happens there....any vertical surface is fair game for clutter! I have an antique corner cupboard with glass doors. I "arranged" and don't ever add more to it. I just looked, and the shelves line up with the muntins (?); it makes it pleasing to eye. Glad you did that to yours.
1 Like   November 20, 2012 at 8:06AM
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pcmom1
It is looking so much better, but I'd like to suggest just some tweaking.

On the bottom, where the books are, arrange a little more by height. And leave a little open space: some stand vertical, some on their sides, stacked, and leave a little "breathing" room.

Only other thing: try out some color to the second shelf. The china is beautiful, but perhaps have that only on the right side. To the left side add the gourd? or the shell and the two small pottery animals.
2 Likes   November 20, 2012 at 8:33AM
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nnouza
Thanks for more insights. I am going to get through the holiday and revisit these ideas. I do think the books need some thinning out. There are some cookbooks that I am passing along to my sister this weekend. I will repost the update-the book shelf makes my eye twitch! Too many!
I really am thankful for the basic suggestion of lining up the shelves with the doors. Never saw that one coming!!
0 Likes   November 20, 2012 at 3:27PM
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dcer
I do agree that the books need some thinning out, and organization- but it is vastly improved! Great Job, and Happy Thanksgiving.
2 Likes   November 20, 2012 at 3:57PM
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ajnz833
yes, thin the books, and add more pieces with vibrant colour. Seems that everyone agrees here! 8*) It's been fun - thanks for sharing!
0 Likes   November 20, 2012 at 5:19PM
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