Thursday, September 17, 2015

Are China Cabinets Out of Style?

I grew up in a home with a china cabinet displaying Mama's pretty china and glassware.  Since the day I was married and had my own home, I have always had a china cabinet.  But now I'm wondering...Are they out of style?  Are they "little old lady looking?"

Years ago when I worked in the Bridal Department at Dillard's, I notice very few brides-to-be registered for fine china/glassware/flatware.  They were more interested in the high-end kitchen gadgets.  I can also remember many, many years ago when you could go into the china department at stores and see tablescapes of couples' china, glassware, and flatware.  There was always a place card with the name and date of their wedding.

Well, even if fine china is not the must-have gift of couples today, the china cabinet is still a great piece to display your silver, porcelain figurines, books, and other collectibles.  I bought this 'Maison' china cabinet and buffet from Ethan Allen several years ago and totally loved it then.  Although I still love the style, I wish I had gone with the gardenia wood instead of the darker wood.  But anyway...I usually keep my Lenox 'Eternal' china and Waterford 'Alana' glassware on display, but I do like to change it up every now and then.



I switched it up a couple of weeks ago and added my blue and white china.  I think it adds a bit more color to the cabinet.


I also keep my tea accoutrements in the cabinet with the blue and white tea service.


These are a few of my favorite china cabinets I've seen on Instagram...I would love to paint mine, but I just don't have the nerve.

I LOVE this one painted a vibrant color of green.


How cute is this cabinet painted pink?!  Tempting...very tempting!


This blue cabinet is the perfect place to display blue and white dinnerware!


I got my love of china from my Mama.  We both have a ridiculous collection of china and since I live close to her now, I can store my excess at her house!

Just curious, did you register for china before you were married and do you have a china cabinet?  Do you think china cabinets are out of style?

38 comments:

Sandy said...

Well, I am oldie at 55, so yes, I registered for china. My daughter married in the last year and a half and definitely wanted china. I shared with her how they used to be displayed with the name card. She has actually seen this in a few small towns in Alabama where friends of hers live. We both love our china, and I love my china cabinet and she dreams of a house large enough for the formal dining room and china cabinet. I really try to use the room and the china on holidays. However, I think you are correct about a large number of girls out there. I think all of life is more casual now, but the desire is still in me to want to have occasions for the nicer stuff. Interestingly enough, my home is always the location for showers amongst my friends.

Oh, and I love your darker color on the china cabinet. I think it shows off our china more, and I keep hoping this is a passing fancy for all these painted pieces of furniture. I have a traditional streak in me a mile long.

teamaldrich said...

I have only one girl 1st cousin, so I knew there would be plenty of China to inherit -- so that's why I didn't register for any when I married. Morbid? I don't think so ... I am sentimental and treasure my Grandma's china and have many happy memories of eating her delicious food off it. I kept it in a gorgeous cherry Stickley bookcase that had a glass door, until we moved into a home with TWO china hutches built into the dining room. I love looking at it!

teamaldrich said...

It occurs to me that with so many having children later in life (myself included) there's more "space" between generations ... When generations were closer together, there was a greater need for each to have their own set of china?

Kari said...

I'm an oldie and, yes, I regestered for silver, china and crystal at the local jeweler. I do have a rather large china cabinet, which is lovely, and does look quite "granny" in my estimation. The things that seemed so important years ago sort of look mummified and way too serious. Obviously, china closets are still popular to some degree but are much less dreary. I would love to find an exciting piece at an estate sale and have it painted like the ones you've shown.

Laura said...

I'm 42 and just celebrated 20 years of marriage this past April and I registered for China. My pattern is Noritake Mi Amor and my stem ware is Jamestown Gold. I also have the Lenox Holiday pattern for Christmas. I for one don't understand why girls these days no longer register for China. I believe that the reason china cabinets may no longer be the "in" thing is because of the way houses are built or the style of home. Separate dining rooms aren't always large enough to house a dining table for 6-8 and a china cabinet. Most floor plans now are going for more openness, too, and larger buffet pieces are taking their place. I use my china on special occasions.

paperjunk-lc said...

It's been a while sense I've seen fine china on a registry. I read on blogs and hear young people say they don't want a formal dinning room anymore. The home builders aren't putting them in homes anymore it seems they have almost no interior walls. I think it feels like your living room is in the kitchen no definition of spaces. I still love using our dinning room and love a beautifully set table.

T Muss said...

I am 47 years old, and I agree with Sandy. I love china cabinets and china! If you have a wooden china cabinet, please don't paint over it. Sure, it is all the rage currently, but real wood, stained, is truly elegant and timeless!

Love your Blog, Miss Janice!

Emily Allen said...

I work in the Bridal department of a department store here in England called John Lewis, we carry lots of lovely of silverware, china and glass designs and brands, by far the most popular for the wedding lists are Vera Wang china & Robert Welsh for silverware. I would say maybe one or two couples out of ten will choose to add 'nice' china to their list, with very few adding both a set of formal and everyday china. Typically the only wedding lists which feature china at all, let alone fine china are our high end lists, although this is much more popular in the Oxford Street, Sloane Square & Edinburgh stores.

Our Brides seem to favour registering for more expensive pots, pans & Le Creuset dishes nowadays as well as kitchen gadgets like those big Kitchenaid mixers which are rapidly becoming popular in England

Tammy B said...

Please don't paint it! Your china cabinet is a beautiful piece of furniture. I love China in a china cabinet.

Deanna said...

Hello from Kansas.
Your dishes are oOh so lovely!
Blessings,
d

Monique Lehnhardt said...

I can't imagine life without my China, crystal and silver. It makes entertaining so much more festive when you set a lovely table. And China cabinets are critical both to display but more importantly to keep these precious things safe. Its an extremely practical piece of furniture. I love the idea of swapping out the China patterns. When my parents moved to their current home, we discovered that Mom had 5 complete sets of fine china. I couldn't tease her too much since I had three myself.

Miss Janice said...

Glad to hear your daughter registered for china. Fancy blenders and such will eventually wear out, but our "good china" will last forever!

Miss Janice said...

That's so sweet. I know I'll get Mama's china one day and will remember ever time I use it. When I look at her china, I think about how much she loved entertaining others.

Miss Janice said...

One day I might get up the nerve to paint mine!

Miss Janice said...

Love that you registered for china! Just curious, do friends and relatives choose a piece from your registry for special occasions?

Miss Janice said...

And that is one of the many reasons I love older homes.

Miss Janice said...

Thanks for the love! I probably won't ever get up the nerve to paint it.

Miss Janice said...

And those high-end kitchen gadgets are fine, but I still believe in Mrs. Bucket--must always be "Keeping Up Appearances." I have my everyday china and my best china:)

Miss Janice said...

Always so sweet Tammy:)

Miss Janice said...

We'll hello Deanna!
Thank you so much. There's mixture in there...Blue Willow from Johnson Brothers, blue Italian from Spode, and Blue Woodland from Wedgwood.

Miss Janice said...

I had Lenox Eternal on display previously...and I love it, I wanted to use more color for now.

Kari said...

Don't paint yours, Miss Janice! Get another at an estate sale and have it painted. Then when you tire of it you can re-introduce yours. That's what I am hoping to do.

Lady Caroline said...

I absolutely love my china, glassware, etc. When I got married I registered it all at the appropriate store in my town here in England. I love seeing it all displayed in my china cabinet, and on my full-size dining table in my dining room. I'm lucky enough to have a dining room large enough for a 12-seater table. Mummy has passed quite a few of her beautiful sets of her china onto me, as she has a problem with her hand and was terrified of dropping a piece. I think today, the focus is on the kitchen and pretty sets of china don't come into play there. Girls today seem to want totally different set outs for their homes. I'm very much a traditionalist and that is reflected in my home and the way I dress. I for one will be keeping my china cabinet; and please, Miss Janice, don't paint your cabinet. It's lovely and I fear that all this brightly coloured stuff is a fad that will disappear very quickly.

Lady Caroline said...

Quote... "I still believe in Mrs. Bucket--must always be "Keeping Up Appearances." I have my everyday china and my best china" unquote...

I'm a bit Mrs Bucket, but without all her blatant snobbery. I have everyday china and best china. I love her bungalow and the way it was decorated.

Jenny Fellers said...

I have several sets of china and casual seasonal place settings. I registered for fine china and Christmas China when I was married 13 years ago. We both inherited some from our grandparents and even great-grandparents. When we built our house, I had a butler's pantry designed to store all the different place settings, but I use my husband's granmother's China cabinet to store our crystal in. And, yes, I use them all!

LostRoses said...

Another "oldie" here. When I got married over 40 years ago I registered for sterling flatware only as I had already inherited Lenox Grenoble Ivory china and Waterford crystal. Our house has a built-in china cabinet and it was on display there for years until I passed it on to my daughter who needed to fill her china cabinet! I have tons of dishes still, and rotate them seasonally.

I agree that younger generations are not that keen on having the "good stuff" as their lives seem to be much more casual and they prefer high-end gadgets to china and crystal. That said, I still have and use my original Kitchenaid stand mixer after all these years!

Miss Janice said...

I bet you have lovely china!

Miss Janice said...

I do love me Butler's Pantry too!

Miss Janice said...

*a Butler's Pantry:)

Miss Janice said...

Sounds like you have beautiful china and crystal:)

Sonya Hoener said...

It's so funny that you posted this - I have been looking for a new china cabinet and they are hard to find! My current one is a small antique - probably more of a curio cabinet - that doesn't really display my china and crystal like I want. So it's fun to shop around for just the right piece, but I'm getting impatient.

I love my yearly ritual of taking my regular "good" china out of the cabinet and putting my Christmas china in there for display during the holiday season. Then, after New Year's (sometimes loooonnnggg after New Year's!) I do the ritual in reverse, putting away the Christmas china and putting the fine china back in the cabinet.

And like many commenters here, I am perplexed by brides who don't want fine china and silver! You will stop using the fancy electronic gadgets after a few years (bread machine or juicer, anyone?), but you will enjoy your china for many years. I can understand not registering for ornate crystal like Waterford, though, as it seems the simpler versions (Reidel, Spiegelau, etc.) are more conducive to enjoying wine. On the other hand, there's nothing better than good bourbon or scotch from a beautiful crystal old-fashioned glass.

KittyLuvr said...

I registered for Lenox Solitaire china and Lenox Montclair crystal but inherited antique silver service for 12. My daughter who was married last year did not register for china or crystal as her new grandmother in law gave her their china and crystal. She loved the pattern and registered for a beautiful flatware that can be used with it or she can borrow my silver if needed. My only regret is that I also didn't register for Lenox Holiday when I got married. I would love to use that the whole month of December! I would also purchase a buffet at an estate sale and have someone else paint it! A local crafter who is looking for some fun!

AngelaV said...

I registered China, crystal and silver when I got married 20 years ago. The jewelry store where I registered displayed my place setting with a place card that read "The bride selects...". I love my china cabinet. I just inherited my mother's china. I now have my wedding China, Christmas China, and my mother's . I'm hoping that when my girls get married one day they will register a China pattern and sterling pattern.

Kayla Scanlan said...

Greetings Miss. Janice,

Do you have any advice for a bride registering for china? I admit, I definitely had second thoughts about registering for China over the fancy kitchen gadgets, but what can you suggest for the bride looking for a happy medium between formal and casual dinnerware.

Best,

Kayla

Miss Janice said...

I totally agree with you!

Miss Janice said...

I wish I had the Lenox holiday as well!

Miss Janice said...

And I need the Lenox Christmas china!

Miss Janice said...

A solid Lenox pattern will carry you through whatever style you choose through the years. Kate Spade also has nice dinnerware that can go from informal to formal.