The days when our parents and grandparents used to store their beautiful porcelain dishes in a china cabinet are long gone. But not the china cabinets themselves. So, what do you do with a beautiful antique hutch in case you don’t want to display your plates and glasses in it? You repurpose it, of course. You put new things on the shelves, out of the box and into the realm of creativity. Take a look at these fantastic repurposing ideas and it’s almost sure your old china cabinet will become the talk of the house.
#1. From china cabinet to display case for your wedding dress
Probably one the most beautiful ways to repurpose and give new life and design to a china cabinet is by storing one of your most prized possessions in it. A wedding dress, although the most important item of clothing you’ll buy in your entire life can only be worn once. It’s usually a unique dress that you cannot wear on other occasions, so, after the wedding, it sadly finds its way into the back of your closet in a bag. But not anymore.
If you happen to own a china cabinet, it’s very easy to turn it into a display case for your wedding dress. It will tell the story of your special love day and show it off as the center of attention. You just need to do some tweaks, such as the following.
- Remove all the shelves you can see on the inside of the cabinet, so as to make room for the dress and the mannequin it will be sitting on
- If your cabinet’s front glass doors are cracked, smeared or tinted in any way, make sure to clean them thoroughly or to replace them altogether.
- The cabinet can have any color and outside texture you want, but it’s recommended you paint it in a dark, solid color, to really bring out the white in the dress. Black, scarlet or chocolaty browns are best. If you wedding dress was not white, choose a complementary color or a particular cabinet model such as a Torino.
- You may also, if you wish, add a spotlight inside the dresser, so as to showcase the dress in a more glamorous fashion.
#2. Storing blankets in hutches
One way of truly putting a china cabinet to good use is by storing something other than actual china in it. That something could be blankets, seeing as it’s far more useful to have them on hand during the cold season than plates and dishes. You could stack them neatly and place them in a neutral part of your house. This means in a corner to which everybody has free access, including your overnight guests.
Make everybody in your house truly feel at home by servicing them with a comfortable blanket whenever they need to. However, to pull off this idea in a safe way, make sure you pin the china cabinet to the wall. It will be supporting a lot more weight than it used to. Also, it will see a lot more traffic than in its quiet porcelain past. Bolt it to a wall so you avoid accidents.
#3. Sweets and pastries galore
If you ever planned to be your household’s very own star pastry chef, then you certainly dreamed of having a large kitchen cupboard or your own workstation to store all the nick-knacks you buy to make cakes. All the tools, ingredients, and recipes can now find a home in the china cabinet. Once refurbished into a whimsical deposit space, it will inspire you to create the best possible sweets you can make.
In case your china cabinet is truly an antique, meaning it’s timeworn and wooden, make sure you clean it thoroughly before using it. It will have to keep edible things on its rack, such as sugar and flour, so it has to be clean and polished. No wooden splinters are allowed. You can lacquer it and then lay some colorful wrapping paper on each shelf to make sure absolutely nothing touches the ingredients.
#4. Build your very own wine station from an antique china cabinet
Another great way of repurposing an old wooden hutch is by turning it into a gorgeous wine station. It’s a perfect place to store bottles of wine, jars of corks, ice trays, as well as glasses and beautifully wrought openers, a bit like your very own bar. You can add a few other decorative elements as well, such as wicker baskets, cheese plateaus, and books about wine tasting.
In case you want to go for this option, you can repaint the cabinet in a dark green or olive, or you can give it an antique patina. A rustic appearance will also work, especially if it’s a wooden cabinet, like a pine one, as it will remind onlookers of Napa Valley or even Tuscany.
#5. A corner china cabinet for your sewing and DIY
Building on the idea of a cabinet that holds all your ingredients and tools for baking, you can also repurpose a living room or bedroom armoire so that it houses all the materials you use when you sew, decorate, knit or conduct all sorts of DIY projects. You can arrange the shelves by categories, holding anything you want, from bows and ribbons to scissors, needles, buttons, paint cans, fabrics, paper, and everything else in between. You can also find a shelf for your kids, where they can store their DIY materials in a plastic box or drawers.
As far as refurbishing the cabinet in itself goes, you may want to keep its antiquated look, as it goes well with its purpose, but you could also get creative, by painting it. This is an excellent opportunity to add a pattern to its surface, for example, rose petals and buds, green leaves, balloons, birds or newspaper style writing. You can find stickers online to cover it.
#6. Turn your bathroom into a real class act
China cabinets can be placed in the bathroom as well if you don’t have enough room in the house for it anymore. Once you remove its doors, you can store all the bath products you can think of in there. Towels on the top shelf, to avoid any drippings on them, bath salts, shampoos, and shower gels.
However, to make this work, you will need to waterproof the armoire, if it’s made of wood. A few coatings of special lacquer will do, but you should consult a specialist before you proceed. Apart from this, make sure all the bath products you keep in it are tightly sealed because, should they leak, they will leave stains on the wood that will be impossible to get out.
As mentioned previously for another idea, make sure this dresser is tightly and firmly pressed against a wall of the bathroom or even bolted to it. The bathroom floor is more often than not wet and slippery, and accidents can happen very quickly in there as water runs all the time and creates steam. You can also remove its double doors.
There are some other things you can put in your old china cabinet to repurpose it and give it new meaning. Travel memorabilia, all the family photos, your collection, if you’re planning on starting one or already have one, framed art that is small in size, books, vinyl records and cassettes, magazines and old newspapers, crystals, and anything else you want. Just let your creativity run wild!