What do you do when you don’t have enough cabinet space? Our grandmothers used china cabinets to store away their seldom-used dishes, serving pieces and linens. It was a great solution to a common problem.
Today china cabinets are old fashioned and represent a by-gone era. Many of us don’t even have dining rooms any longer. They’ve been converted into home offices, dens or playrooms. But storage space is still an issue.
Solution? Open shelving. If wall space permits, wall mounted shelves can provide that much needed storage as well as adding interest to a bare wall. If you don’t have wall space consider purchasing open shelving units and using them as a room divider. The trick it how you display the stored items so they enhance the kitchen or dining room while not distracting from its décor. The type of shelving unit you select will set the tone for your display.
A brightly colored unit is playful so make your display fun and eclectic. Opting for a more traditional, wood tone shelving unit will demand a more conservative display. Units with wood shelves instead of glasswork better because they can hold the wait of dishes and books.
Remember our goal is to provide additional storage space for all our extra kitchen and dining gear. Taking items from behind closed doors and displaying them on shelves frees up space for more unsightly items like food, pots, pans and small appliances. Consider coordinating baskets to house linens, flatware and baking supplies or bar utensils. Baskets also make it easy to store larger items like baking sheets, cutting boards and trays under shelving units. Wire baskets work well for organizing like items that have visual appeal.
Colorful storage units provide great storage solutions for kitchens. Photo courtesy of Stanley Furniture.
Mix the items you display. Cookbooks, flower vases, pitchers, trays and even artwork make for a much more interesting display. To keep items from looking too conflicting try working with three or four complimentary colors and white. White and silver metal objects break up the impact of all that color and provide tranquility to the display. If you opt for the drama of a one-color display remember it can be very hard to maintain unless all your dishes, servicing pieces and additional items all happen to be the same color. To overcome these issues consider covering boxes and books with the same color paper as your dishes. Stemware and silver or gold trays mix well with monochromatic displays.
Can’t bear to part with your grandmother’s china cabinet. Update it by removing the doors, painting the outside or at least the inside of the cabinet an interesting color that matches your space and use it as you would open shelving. If it has a mirrored back you can use decorative wallpaper to cover the mirror.
Granny would be thrilled to see how creative you are when it comes to storage solutions.