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China cabinets are items of furniture that are used to store and display special dinnerware and other decorative ceramics. In most instances, the cabinet is made from fine wood and is positioned in dining rooms or kitchens. The china cabinet is frequently found in two sections which are joined together to provide an upper and a lower part. Known as a ‘hutch’, the upper section is where shelving allows for the display of fine china and related home-wares.

The lower section is in many ways similar to the regular chest one would find in any interior setting such as a bedroom or living room. This section consists of drawers and cabinets with doors which give plenty of storage space for linens, silverware and other bits and pieces one would likely need for a dinner occasion. The design of these lower sections vary depending on the style of china cabinet you purchase.

The shelving of the hutch section can be found in a variety of different materials. Completely wooden china cabinets are popular and allow the ceramic plates and dishes to benefit from a natural backdrop. Other shelving materials include glass which means the items on display can be seen from below and above as well as catch the light from a myriad of different angles. The glass shelving of a china cabinet gives the illusion of the china floating in mid-air which can be appropriate in some decor schemes.

Many china cabinets also come with doors for the upper hutch section which protect the ceramic dinnerware from damage, dust and even sunlight. These doors are more often than not made from glass which allow for the decorative plates and dishes to be seen despite being closed in. Small plate stands can be purchased which tilt the dinnerware piece and allow it to be seen from the entire interior without the danger of it rolling across the shelf.

China cabinets can be purchased in a score of different wood types. Mahogany, cherry and oak are the three most popular and appropriate materials to seek. It’s probably best to stay away from pine wood cabinets if you want your furniture piece to last a long time and become a heirloom. Pine is a soft wood and dents easily. For darker décor effects, mahogany is a good choice, as is dark cherry which actually darkens further with age. Oak is my particular favorite. There are also more contemporary china cabinet designs which rely on an industrial combination of glass and metal.

Corner china cabinets are also worth a look. If you have a small interior or are seeking to fill an empty corner with something functional and formal, then these cabinet types are ideal. You can even buy a pair and put one in two corners of the same room. As well as ceramic dinnerware and precious china, you can use china cabinets for other objects such as sculptures, figurine collections, photographs and various hobby items one may like to display for family and visitors to see.