Decor – Decorating a China Cabinet

There is one item in a house that we normally do not think of as a decorative piece of furniture; it is the dining room china cabinet.  Most people would think the only function of a china cabinet is to store their fine china dinnerware, crystal glasses or silver serving pieces when they are not being used for a formal luncheon or dinner in the dining room.  In this post I am going to show how I display the items in our china cabinet and also how I change some of the decorative items seasonally throughout the year for many different holiday styles.

Decorating a china cabinet

Shown below is a photo of how I have decorated our china cabinet and this is how it looks during most of the year and I am sure it looks a lot like a typical china cabinet display.  Inside on the top two shelves of the china cabinet I have displayed pieces from our Noritake Rothschild china; each of the eight place settings has a dinner plate, luncheon plate, salad or dessert plate, soup bowl and cup/saucer.  The china is very special to me because it was a wedding gift from my mother.  To add some interest to the cabinet I have displayed the dinner plates on edge so the delicate floral pattern of the plate is shown, there is a groove on the glass shelf to prevent the plates from moving.  I also have added eight glass and silver plate chargers that are displayed beneath each of the stacked place settings.

China Cabinet display

Displayed with the china are four sets of Tiffany crystal glasses that were a wedding present from a good friend, each set has a champagne glass and a wine glass.  On the top shelf I have displayed two vintage crystal champagne glasses that were given to me by my mother.  I have a very sentimental idea that when my children get married I will loan them the set as the “something old” from their maternal grandparents and it can be used as their wedding “toasting glasses”. (Unfortunately, in the photo above the bright light shining on the top shelf does not allow the vintage glasses to be seen)

Inside the china cabinet I have also displayed several silver serving pieces.  On the second shelf there are two small silver candlesticks.  On the bottom shelf there are two round silver serving trays and placed on top on the left is a silver pitcher and on the right is a silver and glass pitcher.  In the middle of the bottom shelf there is a mirrored silver stand that is made in three sections, one square piece and two half rounded pieces.  I really like the versatility of stand since I can displayed the three pieces together for one long surface or separately, the square piece can be used as one stand or the two half pieces can be joined together to form a round stand.  During most of the year I displayed a silver oval-shaped covered serving piece on the top of the silver stand using all three pieces.  Shown below are two photos of how I have used the mirrored silver stand in other displays.  The photo on the right shows the stand used during the fall/winter season, I have displayed a set of three Currier and Ives porcelain house complete with small pine trees and several figurines.  The photo on the left shows the stand when it was used a couple of years ago on the dining room table as part of a New Year’s Party buffet, displayed on top of the stand is a beautiful floral arrangement of white poinsettias and crystal sprays in a silver bowl.  (For more information and photos about the other decorations for the party, please check out the Décor post New Year’s Party decorations)

2012 Christmas Currier and Ives 1a    New Year's Eve Dinner centerpeice

The last decorative items that are displayed in the china cabinet are several Napoleon Capodimonte porcelain rose figurines.  On the top shelf is a Napoleon white porcelain rose figurine which I had given to my mother as a birthday present many years ago because white roses were her favorite flower.  When she died recently the piece came back to me and it is displayed near my mother’s vintage glasses.  On the second shelf I have displayed another Napoleon porcelain rose figurine, the cluster of roses are a beautiful pale pink and the figurine is set on a small silver candleholder which I’ve used as a stand.  On the bottom shelf of the china cabinet I have displayed two more Napoleon porcelain rose figurines, these two figurines are a lovely deep shade of pink roses with stems and they are placed on top of the round silver trays on the left and right.

Seasonal china cabinet decorations

When decorating a china cabinet for the different holidays you will want to take into consideration that it is already filled with china, crystal and silver pieces so select just a few simple but elegant decorative seasonal items the compliment the colors of the china.  I am lucky because the Nortitake Rothschild pattern of my china is very neutral in color and the season items that I use blend very well with the other items already on display.

Spring/Easter –

Several years ago I found four large silver and white glass eggs in a local retail store and for the Easter holiday I set the eggs inside four of the Noritake china tea cups which sit atop the stacked china place settings.  I also have collected a Hallmark series of Peter Rabbit themed ornaments over the years and I display these around the china cabinet resting against some of the teacups.  I think these Easter decorations add the perfect touch to decorating the china cabinet for the season.

2013 Easter china cabinet closeup 2    2013 Easter china cabinet closeup 1

Patriotic –

For the Fourth of July holiday I was looking for some patriotic decorations for the china cabinet.  I wanted something that would match the elegance of the china, crystal and silver items already displayed in the cabinet.  A few years ago I had purchased four large stars made out of mirrors and trimmed in silver and they looked wonderful placed in the china tea cups and are a simple and the perfect patriotic touch.


Fall/Autumn –

Once again I was looking for simple yet elegant decorative items to add to the china cabinet for the Halloween and Thanksgiving seasons.  I couldn’t find anything that I like in my local retail stores so I decided to make them.  I found two small ceramic pumpkins in my local craft store that I painted orange with green stems and decorated them with small topaz-colored crystals.  I placed the pumpkins on the two of the china tea cups and they looked wonderful in the china cabinet with the light reflecting off the crystals.  (For a supply list and instructions on making the jeweled pumpkins, please check out the Craft post link Jeweled Pumpkins)

2013-09-11 08.46.25

Finally, when decorating a china cabinet think about using the area outside of the cabinet to incorporate some design elements for the holiday seasons.  Shown below are three photos of the china cabinet decorated for the Fall and Christmas seasons.  When we lived in California our dining room had very high ceiling and I wanted to take advantage of that height by decorating the top of the cabinet with a pine garland.  The first photo was taken during Christmas 2002 and features the pine garland decorated with red poinsettias and holly leaves.  The second photo was taken during the Fall season in 2003 and it featured the pine garland decorated with a variety of fruit and berries.  The third photo was taken during Christmas 2003 and it features sugared fruit accented with a red silk ribbon.  (For more information about these decorations, check out the Décor post My Christmas Decorations from Past Years)


2003 Fall - Dining Room China Cabinet    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As you can see, there are a variety of ways to decorate a china cabinet.  The important thing to remember is to keep the decorations to a minimum since the china, crystal and silver are the stars of the show!!

Decor – Easter Home Decorations

Easter - kitchen tableSpring is coming soon and it is now time to start decorating our home for Easter.  It seems like I’ve got a gazillion boxes filled with decorations for Christmas and Fall/Thanksgiving, but for Easter there are fewer boxes.  Decorating for Easter is a little simpler with plenty of pretty pastels, bunnies, tulips, sweet peas and white roses.

Easter - front doorI usually start my decorating process each season with the exterior of the house.  The front porch always needs some sort of door decoration because it sets the tone and style of the interior house decorations. I have several different wreaths, one for almost every holiday.  The one I will be using for Easter this year is a very sentimental wreath.  My Mother passed away last March and for her funeral I made a wreath for the ceremony and gravesite.   Making the wreath allowed me to have that quiet time to emotionally deal with her loss and reflect on my memories of her.  I wanted to use my creative talents to make something from my heart and I wanted to honor my Mother.  The wreath has some symbolism; white roses were one of her favorite flowers.  So, I used six white full roses to represent our family, my parents and their four daughters, and the nine white rose buds represent their nine grandchildren.  To add fullness to the wreath, I used green hydrangeas and berries in a pretty shade of rose.  After the funeral last year, I brought the wreath back to our home and hung on the front door until it was replaced in October by an autumn wreath.  For Easter this year, I unpacked it from storage and hung it back on our front door and it is perfect for Spring.  Some would think that it would bring me sadness but it is just the opposite feeling because when I see it now I always think of the wonderful memories and great conversations I had with my Mom.

In the entry way of our home, there is a wooden pedestal with a white rose floral arrangement.  To give it just a little more color for Easter I added three light blue feather sprays.  Next year, I think I am going to tuck eggs into some of my floral arrangements for an unexpected surprise!  On the floor at the base of the pedestal is a Peter Rabbit garden sculpture which adds just the right touch of whimsy.  To greet our guests as they enter our home is a framed picture on the wall that says, “There’s no place like home” and for Easter I decided to add two white bunnies to give it a fun look!!

Easter - entry    Easter - Boyds Bears 1

In the library, there is a glass-front lawyer bookcase that holds my Boyd’s Bear Collection.  As you know from previous posts, every holiday season I set out different figurines.  For Easter, I add two Boyd’s Bears bunny and duck figurines.  For the top two shelves I add some greenery and scatter some eggs among the other figurines.  The bottom shelf displays my Boyd’s Bears Village and I change out the winter trees for the spring/summer trees, add some seasonal figurines and even include some tiny carrots.  To compete this area, on the top of the bookcase I add a cute stuffed Boyd’s Bear dressed in a bunny suit and holding a carrot.

In our family room, one wall has a large brick fireplace with a large mantel flanked on either side by bookshelves/cabinets and above the mantel there is a beautiful English garden landscape painting.  Each holiday season I decorate the fireplace mantel and for Easter I use two wonderful “Bunnies by the Bay” white bunnies dressed in blue and white checked outfits. The bookshelves on both sides are filled with framed family pictures and a collection of antique cameras and for Easter every year I display a beautiful blue and ivory “quilted” egg that my Mother made.  I also display two lovely glass ivory and gold egg ornaments for just a subtle touch of Easter.  Finally on the fireplace hearth for a touch of whimsy I add a cute stuffed dog wearing bunny ears and holding flowers in his mouth, this was a Easter gift to my daughter a couple of years ago.

Easter - fireplace mantel 1    Easter - kitchen counter1

In our kitchen, I keep the decorations to a minimum since we need to have the counter space clear for food preparation.  In the corner of the counter, next to a basket of artificial vegetables, is a stuffed chocolate bunny.  Across the room is a desk/work area and I add a cute rectangular decorative plate with bunnies displayed on an easel. This plate matches the trio of plates displayed on the space above the upper cabinets.  (Please take a look at the March Décor post, Decorating with Plates, if you would like to see a picture)

The last room decorated for the Easter season is the dining room.  In this room of our home there is a lovely china cabinet which displays our Noritake Rothschild china, Tiffany crystal glasses, elegant silver serving pieces and a collection of Capodimonte Napoleon porcelain roses.  In some of the teacups I have added beautiful white and silver glass eggs for a subtle touch of Easter.  Also displayed with the china, is a collection of Hallmark ornaments from the Peter Rabbit series sitting on the rims of the plates or tucked next to the teacups.  Across the room on an antique tea cart is a white feather tree sitting in a cracked egg vase and decorated with white bunnies and pastel eggs.  Please check out the March Décor post, Easter Table Decorations, for pictures of our dining room table set of our Easter luncheon.

China cabinet teacup 2 China cabinet teacup 1 Tea cart 1


  • When decorating for the holidays it is sometimes more cost-effective to add embellishments to decorations you already have instead of purchasing new ones for every season.  Think about adding inexpensive floral picks, feather sprays or maybe tuck a couple of Easter eggs into an existing floral arrangement to add color or texture and also to create a little interest.
  • When shopping for items for your children’s Easter baskets, consider repurposing these items in the following years as home decorations.  Think about using that cute stuffed white bunny sitting on a chair in the living room.  Smaller stuffed ducks or bunnies look great on a shelf.
  •  When shopping for Easter decorations, look for cute Spring-themed picture frames.  A couple of these would look great on a fireplace mantel or bookshelf.
  • This one may sound strange, but at Christmas look for glass ornaments; such as bunnies, ducks, eggs or even flowers.  These can be used as decorative accents for Easter.  I use some glass egg ornaments on the bookshelves in our living room and also sitting in the tea cups in our china cabinet in the dining room.
  • Please see the March Craft post, Jeweled Easter Eggs.  These beautiful eggs would look great in a basket on the kitchen counter or a side table in the living room.  Another suggestion to display the eggs is using small silver or crystal candlesticks, then place a couple into a china cabinet or bookshelf.  They would also look great at each place setting on your table for an Easter luncheon or dinner and would make a fun party favor for your guests.

Decor – New Year’s Party Decorations

New Year's Day Buffet 8There is something classic about the color combination of silver and white.  These are the perfect colors for our New Year’s buffet this holiday season.  Whenever I am shopping in places like Home Goods or antique stores on a weekend trip, I always keep my eye open for beautiful serving pieces to add to my collection of party and special occasion tableware.  I have several silver bowls, silver serving platters and a beautiful silver/mirror cake stand.  I also have several crystal bowls and a lovely clear glass serving platter with frosted snowflakes.   Several of these pieces will be used for the New Year’s buffet.

Currently on the dining room table is the Fall Victorian Centerpiece that I made this year for Thanksgiving and it has remained for the Christmas season.  (Please see the November Craft post for photos and instructions)  This centerpiece will be removed for the buffet and I will use a white tablecloth with a simple holly leaf design for the party.  Next I will set out a new floral centerpiece I made of white poinsettias with crystal and pearl accents in a silver bowl and on either side I will use two newly polished silver candelabras with white candles.  For some additional interest to the table, I will hang crystal snowflakes from the dining room chandelier.  To add even more sparkle I will scatter around the table glass tealight holders.  For this party I will be using our Noritake Rothschild china, antique silverware and Italian crystal glasses for an elegant New Year’s buffet.

New Year's Day Buffet 9    New Year's Day Buffet 10

New Year's Day Buffet Centerpeice    New Year's Day Buffet cake

I think these decorations will make a festive party for our friends to ring in the New Year!!