A Curio cabinet has become a delight in themselves as they showcase your favorite things and mementos to friends and family, keep all your dear treasures in one place to admire them in wonderment every day or protect your growing collection of porcelain dolls from your 5-year old.
Curio cabinets started as places to keep curios – defined in the dictionary as curious or unusual objects of art or knickknacks and whatnots that are perhaps worthy of collecting because of their oddity. This definition could, of course, include silver spoons from Alaska, all assortments of wedding and christening favors, crystals, face masks from Africa, and possibly even shrunken heads from the Amazons of Ecuador and Peru.
Nowadays, however, you can use curio cabinets for anything:
- Show off your family’s sporting interests by displaying your son’s bowling trophies next to your husband’s autographed baseballs.
- House your priceless family heirlooms – such as, great grandma’s turquoise and silver comb, grandpa’s golden pen, mum’s old sapphire brooch which you wore on your wedding day and your son’s first baby photo.
- Or perhaps, protect from dust and grime the brass alto saxophone that you know you’ll learn to play one day in your retirement years.
But how do you choose the cabinet that’s just right for you? Ask yourself the following questions below and find out how.
Tips on how to choose a curio cabinet
1. The first question you should ask when buying a curio cabinet is
What kind of curios will I put in it? If it is a tall brass alto saxophone, then you need to get a tall, traditional cabinet with fitted glass doors to keep the dust-out and with removable glass shelves to make room for your favorite musical instrument.
2. How much light is there at the spot where you are going to put your cabinet?
Is it in the sunroom with plenty of natural light or is it in a dark corner of the house? If the latter then you need an illuminated cabinet to brighten the corner as well as provide accent lighting to your displays.
3. How big space do you have for your curio cabinet?
- Is the space amply high and wide? Then you might want to get a traditional, dark cherry curio cabinet with generous measurements of 44W x 17D x 79H inches.
- If narrower, then a more contemporary curio cabinet with practical urban living measurements of 24W x 12D x 76H inches may be better.
- If low and wide such as in a family room or den, then a golden oak console curio cabinet measuring 56W x 13D x 30H inches is probably what you need.
- And if angled in a corner, you may want a curio cabinet that can be snugly placed in a corner and probably measuring around 28W x 16D x 72H inches.
4. The other question to ask is – Do you want to match the look of your curio cabinet with the other furniture in the room?
- If you want to maintain a traditional look, then you might want to choose from grand old fashioned designs with bevelling, hand-carved details, and dark timber finishes.
- If the room is contemporary, then you might want the clean lines and lighter timber finishes of a more urbanized curio cabinet with lots of mirrors and glass.
5. What type of wood or non-wood appeals to you?
- If affordability is a consideration and you do not mind the look of MDF or engineered wood, then you might choose a curio cabinet made of strengthened pressed particle board and topped with timber veneer or laminate.
- If you feel that a solid wood curio cabinet sounds like a good investment, then you should get a curio cabinet made from the more popular oak or maple – hardwoods that can only gain character and charm as they age.
6. And last but not least, what is your budget?
- Are you prepared to splurge on a Louis XV-inspired Pulaski curio cabinet selling for $2000 so that you can have a spectacular accent piece that can transform your entire living room experience?
- Or do you just want a simple wall cabinet – one that you can get for $20 at eBay to put your dog figurine collection?