Most people wonder why the word ‘curio’ is attached to the word cabinet when it is a piece of furniture that is about the same as china cabinets. While it is true that the two have many similarities, there are also some distinct differences between the two. The main differences lie in their function and construction. China cabinets are generally used for the sole purpose of displaying chinaware and have enclosed sides. On the contrary, curio cabinets come with glass sides and a mirrored back.
The mirror and glass are specifically helpful at highlighting the decorative element of each item in the cabinet in detail from all sides. Curio cabinets are used more for showcasing practically anything you want to show-off like trophies, show pieces, and decorative pieces.
Curio cabinets come in various styles, shapes, sizes, and types which you have to choose from based on what you plan to store in them. You also have to make your selection based on where you plan to place the cabinet. You will know why this is important when you take a look at the types of curio cabinets available.
Different types of curio cabinets
Curio cabinets are available in different shapes and sizes which you have to choose based on the size of your collection. For example, wall curio cabinets look perfect for displaying your collection of small items like salt and pepper shakers or vintage articles while a corner curio is a better option for you if you do not have much space.
Standard curios are freestanding and available in various sizes. They are specifically designed and built to carry heavy objects like metal trophies and usually have glass sides and a mirrored back. They may also have additional features like lights in the interiors, adjustable shelves, doors with locks and plate grooves.
Wall mounted curio cabinets
As the name suggests, these cabinets are mounted on the walls and help save on floor space. This makes it the ideal addition to your room for showcasing your trophies if you do not have much space to do so. This is a self-contained unit which can hold only a small selection of collectibles and can be mounted on practically any room in your home.
Corner curio cabinet
These cabinets are a lot like a standard curio cabinet. The only difference is that it is designed to fit a room corner. This is why it makes the right choice in a room that has an otherwise dead corner space. Corner curio cabinets are also ideal for creating focal points in rooms that do not have any.
Yes, you’ve guessed it right. These cabinets carry a grandfather clock in a standard curio cabinet to give a multi-functional and appealing piece of furniture. Some of the cabinets come with battery operated clocks while others have grandfather clocks in them. These cabinets especially look like an heirloom piece of furniture, if it has a grandfather clock incorporated into its design.
Different styles of curio cabinets
Traditional style curios
Traditional curio cabinets are usually made of genuine woods, and make an investment that will be cherished over generations. It is attractively designed, has rich finishes and various decorative elements. These cabinets also come with elegant features like pediments, pilasters, inlays, carved accents, and broken pediments.
These curio cabinets generally have similar architectural decorative elements like broken pediments that the traditional curios have. The difference between the two is the fact that this is simpler to look at, and has less elaborate decorative details. These cabinets place more emphasis on elegance and sophistication and are usually made of deep espresso.
Contemporary curio cabinets
As the name suggests, these cabinets have smooth and clean lines and uniquely uses geometric forms. They are either painted in neutral colors like beige and black or come with light wood finishes. The most popular type of contemporary curio cabinets are wooden cabinets with chrome or brushed nickel accents. With its minimal decorations and relaxed lines, this is the perfect piece of furniture to use for creating a sense of calm and uncluttered look to any room.
Country style curio cabinets
Country style curios are designed befitting a distinctive period flavor like Shaker, English Country or Shaker. They come with decorative elements like scalloped aprons and wainscoting and are uniquely designed to add a look of charm or rusticity to any room. This is the ideal cabinet for people who like a traditional feel in their furniture that is devoid of any form of formal ornamentation.
What is the best type of wood for curios?
If you're wonder what the best wood type for curio cabinets is, generally any form of timber cut from trees like pine, oak, and mahogany. This timber is produced from hardwood or softwood trees and is more expensive than artificial wood products. They may come with rich cherry or mahogany finishes or with something casual like an oak finish.
- Do not judge a curio cabinet solely based on its exteriors because many a time these cabinets may look spacious from outside, but may not have much usable space inside. This is especially important if you plan to use the cabinet for displaying bigger items like trophies.
- Do make sure all the brackets have been properly installed, and that the shelves are snugly fit in place, before placing anything inside the cabinet.
- If you have children or have kids who visit you regularly, it is better to invest in a cabinet with locking doors. It is always better to be safe than sorry because you don’t want them to open the doors and meddle with your heirlooms and trophies!
- Though it may be tempting, don’t cram all your valuables in a single curio cabinet. It’s better spacing it out in 2-3 cabinets if you have so much to display. This is the only, and best way to bring out the individuality of each item. Besides, even collectibles need some breathing space.