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Curio Cabinet Buying Guide

Updated on June 17, 2013

What's In Your Curio Cabinet?

Curio cabinets come in a variety of styles and sizes. While they are traditionally used to display small curios and knick-knacks, today's styles are contemporary enough to use to display anything from baseballs to paperweights. When I was a girl, these were called china cabinets, but these days you will find anything but china inside a curio cabinet! Here's a look at some things to keep in mind when buying a curio cabinet.

Determine Your Available Space

First, you need to determine the amount of space that you have available for the cabinet. If you are living in a smaller apartment you may be limited in choice to a wall mounted curio cabinet or some similar small cabinet. But if you have the space, a console curio cabinet can make an impressive display and certainly has the room for many more items. One of the all time favorite styles is a corner curio cabinet, as it provides a good deal of space, and will stand in a corner where the space was not that usable to start.

Other Features to Consider

Traditional or Contemporary Finish: Your home d├ęcor may dictate the wood or stains that you want to use in your cabinet. There are gold toned cabinets, some a golden oak, and cherry is a traditional favorite for these cabinets. One other quite popular color are white curio cabinets, which are a favorite in many formal settings. A more contemporary look are the black curios, which are often a much more minimal design.

Lighting: If the room lighting is not adequate, you may consider a lighted curio cabinet. Most cabinets have mostly glass sides and doors for display, and the reflections on a beveled glass make for a multicolored display that attracts the eye quite quickly.

Security: If you are choosing to display items of a high value, either monetary or of a high sentimental value, you may want to consider the security of the cabinet. You can find cabinets that are outfitted with locks, which in many cases may not be secure enough to discourage any serious thief, but is more than enough to keep small hands like grandchildren or simply the curious from accidentally causing damage. Alternatively many curios have small drawers and cubbies to keep valuables hidden when needed.

Curio History

As far back as the 16th century, this type of cabinet was used to feature art. Cabinets were crafted to fit the featured piece and thus began this practical way to display curio - a small decorative object that is novel, rare or curious. Usually made with several shelves, windows for viewing and often a mirror on the back for reflection, in the past they were constructed for a specific collection. Now you can find a cabinet vertical and tall or horizontal and long and in a variety of finishes.

A curio cabinet of any type will give you an attractive space for you to place whatever your heart desires on display in your home.

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    • jennifertaylor91 profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      Your guideline is perfect and quite useful to select match curio cabinets...You are best adviser...Thanks


      Corner china cabinet :-

    • RedElf profile image


      9 years ago from Canada

      Nice display of cabinets, johnr54, and nice to meet you! I look forward to reading more of your hubs!


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