EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT STYING GLASS CURIO DISPLAY CABINETS
Curio cabinets have always incited, well, curiosity—what objects justify placement in a curio? Is it possible to use a curio display case in your abode without it looking redolent of your local museum’s natural history wing? Must jars of formaldehyde be involved? All parody aside, glass curio display cabinets pose an existentialist question for avid collectors: are curios an appropriate venue for channeling collectible hedonism, or are they antiquated dust-collectors that will inevitably drag your home into Little Shop of Horrors territory?
More and more, designers are embracing the former and encouraging clients to take comfort in the curio. No longer a fusty cabinet to flaunt soulless figurines, designers are rethinking the wall curio display cabinet. Whether used as a hot organizational hack or way to procure maximalist magic, the glass curio display cabinet is firmly on the up-and-up.
Glass curio display cabinets, which typically consist of a wood or metal framework accented by glass sides, are often mixed up with China cabinets, which function and look very similar to curios, minus China cabinet’s enclosed base. Curio cabinets’ lack of an enclosed base makes them notoriously tricky to style since they require styling continuity from top to bottom or run the risk of looking like a shoppable fixture dropped into your living room.
Luckily for anyone considering a corner curio cabinet with glass doors or a mirrored display cabinet, designers have amassed an arsenal of tricks to combat the visual clutter. Key among them? Opting for a large curio cabinet with a minimalist shape. Double door curios rendered in a simple black metal and glass combo can impart instant sophistication, staving off any notions that your guests should check under your cabinet’s contents for price tag stickers. Architectural details, such as a gracefully arched top, can also work toward making your curio look like a built-in fixture (by which it can be inferred that your collectibles are there to stay).
7 Tips for a Cutting-Edge Curio
For those who are curio-curious, but still aren’t convinced they can pull off a chic curio display cabinet set-up, we’ve collected a few more styling tips below.
Yes, we said it above, but it bears repeating: nothing busts fust like a modern curio display cabinet. Larger display cabinets with less detail bear stronger resemblance to fixtures, and as a result, they look like a more considered part of your interior. Diminutive cabinets can look out of scale in modern homes, an effect that instantly ages them.
What’s the secret to a mesmerizing curio? One that invites you to stop and study when you’re up close, but looks visually cohesive when standing at a distance. Packing a curio display case full of monochromatic objects, whether that be a series of silver pieces, an assemblage of all-white dishware, or a covey of ceramic vases in a single, alluringly matte hue, will instantly enchant.
Back It With Paint
Curios are coveted for their four glass paneled sides, but the abundance of glass can sometimes make curios look unmoored. Remedy the issue by looking for a display curio with a solid back. Painting the interior back an eye-catching hue like red, yellow, or even a soft, pale blue can help to lend visual harmony while simultaneously working to help your collectibles appear less clutter-y.
Pick a Theme
Save the melange of mix-and-match memorabilia for the local antique shop and give your glass curio display cabinet a real point of view, courtesy of a theme. Geodes, silver, or barware all make striking choices. A sage piece of advice: don’t feel the need to display any one single object in excess. If you choose geodes, for instance, try peppering in some framed rock lithographs and books, as well as complementary items like feathers or dried botanicals.
Employ Stylist Secrets
Many curios, especially those displaying a collection of like items, often suffer from a certain ennui. The culprit? A lack of varying heights. Banish the banality by taking a visual merchandiser-like approach to your wall curio cabinet’s design. Employ a series of risers or books to lend a stockpile of pottery or china aesthetic appeal. Don’t discount the polish a proper iron stand can lend to pieces like headdresses or primitive collars, either.
Add the Unexpected
As its name implies, the curio cabinet welcomes, even encourages, a bit of spectacle. Let the curio cabinet do what it does best and deck it out in an abundance of oddities, both earthly and manmade. Simple collections can be instantly upgraded with the addition of unexpected artifacts like vintage trophy cups filled with feathers, jewelry, framed artwork, or even taxidermy.
Top Your Curio
Curios have a habit of looking a bit discordant with modern interiors (blame it on the boxy-like shape). To make them feel like more of an integrated element, vivify the top of your curio with a vignette. Layering baskets, art, or plants on the top of curio can go a long way to successfully assimilating them into your space. Table lamps, especially perched on lower curio cabinets, can also make a piece feel wholly incorporated.
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