Curious about curio cabinets? What is exactly is a curio? And why is there a cabinet for curios? Do you need a curio cabinet? In this article, we will get into exactly what is a curio cabinet used for. If you think you have never seen a curio cabinet, you probably may have, but you just did not know it. Curio cabinets are stunning pieces to have in your home, but they are highly functional as well. I will give you a breakdown of what a curio cabinet is, its origins, its uses as well as what is not a curio cabinet.
What is a Curio Cabinet?
To get to the bottom line of what is a curio cabinet, it is essentially a cabinet made for display. Collectors and antiquarians are familiar with curio cabinets and probably have one or two of their own. This is because curio cabinets are designed specifically to display items that you do not want to be handled.
A curio cabinet is typically vertical and will have glass panels on all sides to allow for full viewing. Some curio cabinets even have a mirrored back panel so that you can still view all sides of the displayed item if the curio cabinet is placed against a wall. If you have been to a museum, you can probably recall seeing some of these. A curio cabinet has a framework made of metal or wood. For extra security, the door of the curio cabinet is locked.
You may be wondering, what makes a curio cabinet different from a china cabinet? A china cabinet is a display cabinet as well, but it is only meant for showing off china. Also, only one side of the cabinet has clear glass paneling. The decoration of china is only one side, so it makes sense that the viewer will only need to see one side of the display.
What Is a Curio?
What is a curio cabinet used for if not for curios? However, what is a curio? If you put china in a curio cabinet, does the china become a curio? To put it simply, yes! Anything can be a curio, but that does not mean you can toss just about any regular item you want into your curio cabinet.
Antique shops, museums, and other places that collect valuable items are avid users of curio cabinets for a reason. Items in curio cabinets are meant to be treasured. They may be something fragile, rare, or something you simply do not want dust, dirt, or anybody’s hands to get on it.
A curio can be jewelry, small antiques, figurines, sculptures, mineral stones, family heirlooms, travel mementos, vintage books, and even fossils.
Display your curios with intention. You can display them by category, then by the origin of location, or in chronological order of when the item was found, made, or collected by you. You are not just displaying curio; you are telling a story.
The Types of Curio Cabinets
What is a curio cabinet used for will also depend on the type of cabinet that it is. These are the most common types of curio cabinets.
- Corner cabinets are designed specifically to fit into a corner. The glass panel would be on three sides, and the back is typically narrow and fits snugly into a corner.
- A wall-mounted curio cabinet is perfect for displaying small, fragile items that you want out of reach. A reasonably sized curio cabinet could take the place of traditional wall décor, like paintings or mirrors.
- The standard curio cabinet is like a standing cabinet with multiple shelves. The shelves are usually clear as well. The back may be clear or mirrored.
- A console cabinet is a type of curio cabinet that is also standing but is shorter and wider compared to the standard curio cabinet. These are useful if you want to stack a curio cabinet on top of another cabinet or some other furnishing.
Where to Place a Curio Cabinet and How to Choose One
A curio cabinet is meant for display, so you want it in a communal space, such as the living area. The hallway or even the dining room can be a good spot for the curio cabinet. You could display small or sleek curio cabinets in a hallway. Curio cabinets are not just meant for stuffy museums or dusty antique shops. Curio cabinets are becoming very appealing and photographic additions to the home belonging to a person of any age.
Not all curio cabinets look like bulky antiques either. There are some sleek modern ones as well as curio cabinets that are more rustic. Natural wood is best because it is sturdy and can match nearly any style. But, there are some curio cabinets made of metal as well. Know more about cabinets.
Now that you know what is a curio cabinet used for, are you dusting off some personal treasures or collectibles? You no longer need to keep precious items tucked away. Instead, display your treasured items in a curio cabinet. A curio cabinet will add switch up the design of a room, but it also has a personal touch because of the curios you have chosen to display.