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Styling Cabinets 101: Doors Open vs. Closed

Styling cabinets depends a lot on whether you are keeping the doors open or closed.  Your first decision is to decide what to do…open or closed.

A lot of times at a shop like mine, the cabinet doors will be open.  This allows me as a shop owner to cram in more merchandise!  It is okay to keep cabinet doors open at home too! It’s an easy way to freshin’ up a space without buying a new piece of furniture. And, just like in my shop, it can give you a lot more space to display your collections.

I have quite a few antique cabinets around my house. The one above my laundry room is an example of where I keep one side open and one side shut. Part of my decision has to do with how often I get into the cabinet and use what is inside. The other deciding factor for me was what is hanging on the walls around the cabinet. Check it out HERE and I think you will understand why I did what I did.

Styling your cabinets with the doors open is easy!  Open the doors and get to styling.  A few tips are to vary the heights of your items.  This can be easily achieved by using “risers” such as books, or wood crates and boxes.  Repetition is also key.  Repeat the type of item throughout your shelves, like I have repeated the ironstone in this cabinet.  Or, repeat the color(s).  The aged white/yellow of the books and the wood pieces, as well as the greenery and ironstone are all repeated to create a cohesive look.

When you close the doors, it makes the styling a little more difficult.  If you notice in the picture with the doors open, the cabinet almost seems sparse.  It’s not until we close the doors that it feels like we have enough items on display.  To achieve the look you want, make sure that you periodically close the doors to see how your vignettes look.  It’s never fun to have the whole cabinet displayed only to find out that when you shut the doors, it no longer looks good!

On this cabinet, I originally had the pitcher on the top shelf sitting on a large stack of plates, but when I closed the door I realized that half of the pitcher was getting cut off.  To remedy that I removed most of the plates so that the pitcher would sit lower and could be totally seen with the doors shut.

Also, take into consideration the contrast between the cabinet and the items in the cabinet.  If the cabinet interior was white, the ironstone, light wood tones, and books, would blend in.  With the wood tones of the cabinet those same items really pop.

For more decorating tips, CLICK HERE.

I also give styling tips and vintage coffee table decor ideas HERE.

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