If you have a collection of fine china, then you'll want to show it off. If you haven't got a suitable display cabinet at the moment, then your precious pieces may be stuck in boxes out of sight. You may have been waiting a long time to find the perfect display cabinet with all the features you need to showcase your collection.
If you can't find a suitable display cabinet, then you may have decided to have one custom made. This gives you free rein to choose the cabinet's size, design, material and features. One of the hardest parts of this process is sorting out your shelving. How can you make this easier?
How Many Shelves Do You Need?
Once you have a rough idea of how wide your display cabinet will be, you can estimate how many pieces you can display on each shelf. This helps you decide how many shelves you need to have built into the cabinet to hold all the pieces you want on show.
Bear in mind that you may need shelves set at different heights if you'll be displaying different sizes of china. For example, cups have a smaller height requirement than soup tureens. If you only have small pieces, then you can fit in more shelves, larger pieces reduce this number.
Should the Shelves Be Adjustable?
If your pieces of china are all generally the same size, say if you only collect teacups, then fixed shelving will be fine. You can move your cups around fixed shelves to change your display with no problem.
However, if you'll put different sized pieces of china in the cabinet, like teacups and plates, then consider having adjustable shelves made. This way, if you want to mix things up, you can easily change shelves round to fit your new display.
What Are You Displaying?
While a lot of your collection can safely sit on a regular shelf, some pieces need some help. If you have china that needs to stand up, like plates or platters, then your cabinet maker can put plate grooves into some or all of your shelves. These grooves are basically lines cut out of the shelf itself. The bottom of the piece sits in the groove, holding it securely in place.
Don't forget to use your cabinet maker's experience when you're designing your shelf layout. They can help you get the right number and type of shelves and may have extra tips or ideas that you hadn't thought about.