A beautiful, new piece of furniture is exciting. You've finally gotten the piece you've been waiting for for over 30 years, at least in this case. You're awarded with more storage along with the endless display options that come with a piece like this. However, displaying stuff can be overwhelming and frustrating. At least it is for me. What looks good, what fits, what overall theme do you want to display - these are all good questions with endless answers, which is exactly why this client asked for my help in staging this Beauty.
"Does everything have to match?" she asked me. My answer: absolutely not! Not unless you, the person who has to look at this day in and day out, wants it to match. In my opinion, mismatched collections are far more visually interesting and appealing. Prior to our appointment, the client's homework was to pull pieces she absolutely wanted to display. Beyond that anything was fair game. Boxes were brought up from the basement, the buffet was emptied, and by the time I arrived there were several beautiful pieces waiting for me. I opted to view the china cabinet as a grid: three rows and three columns creating nine "rooms" within the cabinet to be filled. This allowed for variation in the pieces being displayed since each collection would have it's own room! So we started with a a collection deemed "Must Display."
An heirloom tea set. Beautiful colors that played up the colors of the china cabinet. Tea sets are stunning, however they are cumbersome as a collection. Tea cups take up a lot of space! In this instance, we didn't need to display every tea cup since they all look the same (this isn't always the case with tea sets). So we stacked the saucers to give some height to the tea cup, and displayed one tea cup with the tea pot and sugar bowl. This was the perfect size for the alloted space and I love the staggered height!
This vignette started with the turquoise vase - a gift from me to the client. Keeping with the glass element, we worked in some other vintage glasses the client loves and two crystal pieces. Different pieces with different colors, but their shared characteristic being they're material. You'll notice there are no china pieces featured to stick with the theme in this "room". Again, varying heights help break up the landscape.
Another "Must Display" pairing. Serving pieces from the client's grandmother's china took center stage. Displayed in the middle of the middle row they are front and center making them the first pieces to catch the beholder's eye.
Buried deep in a drawer were the client's baby shoes. How sweet are they?! I love unexpected pieces like this displayed in a collection. They're sweet, they're sentimental, and they tie-in great with all the colors. I arranged them with more vintage crystal pieces. The taller pieces in the back give the vignette height, but the color of the shoes bring attention to this collection as a whole.
Throughout the staging process, the client was also able to purge some items. But just by choosing the items we wanted to display we consolidated three boxes of china into one! So not only does the client have a beautiful china cabinet (if I do say so myself), and we eliminated heirloom clutter from her basement. And the entire process only took us two hours! Having an objective third-party helps, as does doing your homework and knowing your "Must Display" pieces. But best of all, the client can see pieces she hasn't seen in years; pieces that make her happy. Waiting 30+ years for the perfect piece paid off!