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Posts Tagged ‘china cabinet’

Showing Off – Displaying Collectibles to their Best Advantage

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Antiques, memorabilia and collectibles can be anything from a few treasured postcards to antiques to a hug (a collection of teddy bears). Sometimes though collecting can snowball, becoming problematic by taking up too much of your living space. Whether your collection is small or large, a “museum” approach is best; what you view in on display in museum is only a portion of its entire collection. By displaying only a few choice pieces and storing away the rest, you can showoff your treasured keepsakes to their best advantage. It will also give you the option, as in a museum environment, to change the display from time to time, according to the season, a special holiday, a specific occasion or just because you want to. Getting into the habit of rearranging your collection from time to time also helps to better integrate your “museum pieces” into your living space.

There are many ways to showoff your collections. A collection of teapots, decorative plates or antique jugs would be best displayed in the kitchen or the dining room on the shelves of a sideboard with a hutch like the Somerton Villa Madrid China Display Cabinet in Dusk Brown Finish

or a baker’s rack such as the Steve Silver Madrid Bakers Rack. Whether it’s a wood bakers rack or a metal bakers rack, bakers racks with open shelves are the ideal way to display and store collectibles or decorative items in a kitchen, dining room or even a family room.

Curio cabinets are cabinets specifically intended to showcase collectibles and other treasured keepsakes. Because of their unique design, a curio cabinet such as the Pulaski Chocolate Cherry 46 Inch Wide Curio Cabinet typically has mirrored back as well as glass sides, so that each piece in the collection can be viewed and appreciated from all angles.

Wall cabinets with glass doors or specially designed wall mounted curio cabinets like the Howard Miller Edmonton Wall Display Curio Cabinet are perfect for putting the spotlight on smaller collections of ornaments that might not require a standard sized curio cabinet but still need to be protected from dust and the environs (including curious little fingers).

Bookcases are another ideal way to make a special place for your treasured keepsakes. The Jesper Collection 16 L-Puzzle Shelf has a versatile and distinctive design. It can be used as a single unit on a tabletop or a sideboard or you can use two or three to customize it to your showoff your collection to its best advantage., trophies, a collection of dolls, antique jugs and other family treasures are important additions to interior design because they give our homes personality as well as a comfortable, lived-in look. Because no one else has the same collection, it also makes your home totally unique to you.

Contemporary Style that’s Black and White

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Etagere in Carbon Black

Decorating a room in contemporary style is a good choice when a traditional style living space makes you feel like you can’t relax and modernism has the same effect, but a different reason – it appears cold or bare to you. But what is contemporary style? Contemporary style and modernism are often mistaken one for the other or the terms are used as synonyms to describe just one style. As discussed earlier this month in my mini series on modern interior design, modernism has virtually no decorative detail; lines are angular; and profiles are typically geometric but just as often asymmetrical. While both contemporary and modern emphasize geometric forms and clean lines, contemporary furnishings incorporate decorative detail and profiles are more relaxed and tapered or curved rather than angular.

Today, we will design a bedroom, living room and dining room starting with what might easily be described as a typical modern color palette of strict neutrals – gentle beiges, well-defined grays or pearl whites but pairing it with black and white furniture. At first glance, it might appear too simple, but even though the lines and profiles of these pieces could be called modern, the look is definitively what I like to call urban contemporary. Urban contemporary furniture is ideal for apartments or condos because furnishing tend to be smaller in scale. And it’s all in the details; a mix of wood and metal paired with black and white for a look that is sophisticated yet truly comfortable.

The Urban Contemporary Bedroom

Black Bed

The Lexington Black Ice Graphite Panel Bed 5 Piece Bedroom Set in Carbon Black is perfectly suited to an apartment or condo bedroom. The platform bed, even though it stands low to the floor, is visually impressive because of its tall leather headboard with a sleekly polished nailhead trim. It actually makes the room feel larger. The metal decorative detail of the headboard is reinvented in the hardware used for the dresser, chest of drawers and nightstand. Look closely – the drawer pulls resembles filing cabinet hardware, giving these case goods a unique appearance.

Since the furniture is predominately black, we want to bring white into the room for contrast. Shag area rugs are making a comeback. A large white one will provide plenty of contrast as well as a cushy place for toes. Select bedside table lamps with a polished silver metal base and white shades. Tie the furniture in with the floor covering by choosing black and white bedding. Personalize this room with the accessories and finishing touches that are right for you and you will have created a bedroom a contemporary urban flair that will be a comforting as it is esthetically appealing.

The Urban Contemporary Living Room

Carbon Black

Urban contemporary is also exclusively suited to the open concept design that is becoming so popular in today’s living spaces when the living merges into the dining area and the boundary of the kitchen might be defined by a breakfast bar or counter. I like the crisp look and feel of the Lexington Black Ice Sapphire Leather Sofa in White and the spectacular effect it has in the room when it is matched with the Lexington Black Ice Tungsten End Table in Carbon Black. Although it doesn’t provide such a dramatic contrast as the silver nailhead trim on black, the metal accents lend this leather sofa a chic designer look. As mentioned above, it’s all in the details, and the tabletop’s polished silver inlay is proof positive. Brushed metal, highly polished metal or glass accents are a common characteristic of urban contemporary style.

The Urban Contemporary Dining Room

7 Piece Dining Table

The Lexington Black Ice Platinum Dining Table  7  Piece Dining Set in Carbon Black is everything you want dining furniture to be – practical, functional, comfortable and beautiful to look at. The china cabinet has beveled glass doors with a chic “X” groove for that perfect stylish touch. The dining chairs are leather with tapered backs and legs and backrests that have silver nailhead trim. This tabletop also has a silver inlay, while the reflective surfaces of the table legs add another dimension to this urban contemporary design.

The emphasis of urban contemporary is on functional furniture that is cleverly disguised as chic and contemporary. The result is furnishings that reflect an urban lifestyle that demands flexibility and practicality with a metropolitan flair.

Modern Interior Design – The Dining Room

Friday, November 27th, 2009

 Round Baby Crib Bedding Set

Today we’ll start off a new series on modern interior design talking about what modern style is and how to apply it to a dining environment. It is often used as a synonymous term for contemporary style but modern in a class all of its own. Modernism emerged in the second half of the 20th century as a celebration of the new technologies, materials and philosophies of the Machine Age. Furniture, often asymmetrical, with sleek and polished surfaces, is used to define interior spaces. Profiles are geometric and color palettes are adamantly neutral. Modernism can be simply be defined as form is function.

Since metal, glass and acrylic are common construction materials for modern furnishings, people tend to shy away from this style, fearing that it will make the room appear too stark or cold. When wood is used, lighter colors are favored over darker ones and grains are exposed while finishes are smooth. If the clean lines and uncluttered feel of a modern dining room appeal to you, but you’re afraid it will turn out too austere for your tastes, you can warm up the décor by introducing shots of bold color and including different textures into your design plan.

Chandelier in Brushed Steel

Lighting is very important in a modern style dining room. Lines are supposed to be clean and rectilinear or uniquely angular. The lighting fixture should possess a distinctive outline; it could even be sculpture-like in appearance. It should be minimalist in design while providing the maximum amount of light.

Chandelier in Brushed Steel

Modern style dining tables have a futuristic vibe to them that brings energy into the room. Other materials for modern dining room and accent furniture include vinyl, melamine, Formica, plywood and fiberglass. The Fusion Reflecting Silver Square Glass Table has no decorative detail but its simple, spare design is brought into focus by the reflective pedestal base.

Back Side Dining Chair

To bring in more textures into our modern style dining room, we’ll choose the Grand Rapids Chair Valencia Wood Back Side Dining Chair. While in keeping with modernism’s preference for sleek lines, smooth surfaces and metal construction, these dining side chairs add some color to the dining room.

5 Modern Display Cabinet

Choosing a china cabinet made of wood, like the Modloft Amsterdam Modern Display Cabinet, accomplishes two things. First, it adds another layer of texture to our modern interior design dining room. Second, it increases the room’s functionality, giving you somewhere to store and display your dinnerware. The stainless steel accents and glass doors of the china cabinet tie in visually to the dining table, while the wood cabinet repeats the material used for the backs of the dining chairs. The glass is frosted, adding yet another texture to our dining room.

6 Area Rug Pattern 5030

The area rug is the ideal opportunity to add a final splash of color. The colors in the Abbyson Silhouette Himalayan Area Rug Pattern 5030, while bold, are not overpowering. They will be reflected in the table’s base.

When considering modern interior design, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that one glass-and-metal dining table is much like any other glass and metal dining table. But that wouldn’t be doing modernism justice. Modern design is an innovative mix of lines, shapes and materials utilized in minimalist and unique ways, letting you express your individuality in a dramatic way that no other style will allow.

China Cabinet Savvy

Monday, October 26th, 2009

A few years ago, I inherited my grandmother’s china cabinet. Come to think of it, I also inherited most of the china, minus her formal dinner set (which went to my mother and is now owned by my sister).
Lifestyle California Caneel Bay Buffet and Hutch

Before you get all excited with visions of an antique cabinet or at the very least, some type of collectible, the china cabinet that once belonged to my grandmother is actually neither. Frustrated that she had nowhere to store her china in the cupboards of her small apartment kitchen, she coaxed one of my uncles to drive her to a furniture store and bought the most economical china cabinet she could find. 

Stanley Furniture Beau Nouveau Walnut Wilshire China Cabinet

I highly suspect that it’s made of particleboard or at best, MDF, but I don’t care. I wouldn’t part with it if you paid me a million dollars – literally. It possesses a simple, transitional style and includes a built-in buffet, glass doors on top and wood doors on the bottom. While the top half of the china cabinet could be called contemporary, the bottom half (and this is where the transitional part comes in) of the cabinet has doors comprised of raised squares with ornate, antiqued pewter door pulls. It doesn’t have any extra features like interior lighting or a mirrored back. Friends that know of my passion for furniture have often wondered why I haven’t upgraded. But there’s something about this piece of furniture I just like (no logical reason necessary). 

Standard Urban Oasis China Base and Top

It is deceptively roomy, as I recently found out after my mother’s own 10-place setting dinnerware was shipped to me. For two days after receiving the shipment, every flat surface in my apartment was covered with dinner plates, breakfast plates, salad plates, soup bowls, tea cups…well you get the idea…waiting to be washed and placed inside the cabinet. I already had my own smaller sized “company” dinner set and the china pieces that had been my grandmother’s stored in the china cabinet. These had been removed in preparation of the new arrivals.

I really did not think that everything would fit. Behind the glass doors are three shelves, none of them adjustable. The top two shelves, however, have plate grooves. When trying to make my mother’s dinner set fit into the available storage area, the plate grooves were a life-saver, perfect for displaying the several condiment dishes and cake and sandwich servers that were a part of the dinner set. The bottom cabinet only had one half-width upper shelf, but a roomy interior. Once I had grouped all of the different sized plates together, I piled them into the bottom section of the china cabinet. I looked in despair at the narrow shelf and almost wrote it off as useless until it occurred to me to store the soup bowls and salad plates on it. The top of the china cabinet was reserved for the cups, saucers, tea pot and the small serving dishes. Much to my surprise (and relief) I also managed to include the china cabinet’s original contents. 

Somerton Brazilia Coastal China Display Cabinet in Dark Brown

I don’t let my china cabinet just sit idle. While I’m not in the habit of changing the décor to match the seasons, I do like to use it to help me celebrate the holidays. Currently the cabinet with the glass doors is displaying all of my chinaware that has fall colors, especially orange. One of my small crystal vases holds some twigs with drying fall leaves in fading reds and golds. In time for Thanksgiving, I’ll decorate the top of it with a display of gourds and small pumpkins. At Christmas, I rearrange the top shelves to showcase my Christmas cups and saucers, mugs and plates. I also make sure that the top of the china cabinet is decorated with pine boughs, which lends my dining room the scent of a forest freshly dusted with a sprinkling of snow.

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