by C.M. Mackenzie
Fine china can be displayed as part of your kitchen and dining room decor when it is not being used for special occasions. There are a number of different ways to display your formal dinnerware. Safety, proper lighting and care all should be considered when choosing how and where to display your formal dinnerware. In homes with children and pets, fine china should be kept out of reach of small, curious hands and wagging tails. You should, however, be able to access the china readily for cleaning and use.
Wash and dry your china. Use a soft sponge with gentle dishwashing soap to wash your fine china and then dry it with a soft cloth. If your fine dinnerware is adorned with gold leaf, use a microfiber polishing cloth to give it a beautiful shine.
Spotlight your best pieces. Place your most impressive china pieces, such as large plates, serving bowls and platters, upright on display stands. Display stands fit many sizes of dishes. You can use display stands inside a china hutch, on a bookcase or atop display tables and mantel pieces.
Arrange your dinnerware by size. Stack your china dishes, larger ones first, on the table or in the hutch. Place smaller plates and bowls atop larger dishes. Arrange your plates and bowls in a way that promotes best viewing; the exact placement depends on how many china dishes you own and the size of your hutch, cabinet or table.
Use display lighting. Many china hutches have built-in lights. If your hutch does not have lights or if you are displaying dishes on a table or bookshelf, you can add lighting to illuminate the china. Add strip lighting or small spotlights that can be aimed toward the china.
If you display your china in a glass-front hutch, keep the glass sparkling clean so the china is not obscured by dusty glass.
As an alternative to displaying plates on tables or in the china hutch, you can use a mounted wall ledge or curio cabinet.
Avoid overfilling a china cabinet; this will make it look crowded and unkempt. If you have too many pieces to comfortably fit in the china hutch, consider displaying some (a tea set, for example) on a nearby table.
Avoid mixing sets. If you have more than one set of fine china, display one set in one area and the other set in a separate area.