Decorating | DIY

How to Style a Glass Display Cabinet

Today we’re sharing how to style a glass display cabinet!

I wish I could count the number of times I’ve moved this cabinet. 

Truthfully, it’s been far too many times.

If there was one piece of furniture in our home I would give away immediately, it would be this glass display cabinet.

There’s nothing wrong with the cabinet at all.  My Mom tells me she loves it all the time ?

It’s just that it’s not the right piece for this particular space.

And no matter how many times I restyle it or move it from the breakfast nook back to its original spot then back to the breakfast nook again a few months later, it just never feels right.

Do you have any pieces of furniture like that in your home?

After much consideration, I’ve narrowed it down. We just have too many open storage and display areas in our house. 

In fact, if you stand in the right spot, you can see the bookcases in the living room, the bookcases in the office, the hutch in the dining room, and the hutch in the breakfast nook all at the same time.

Beautiful, for sure.

But it can also read busy with lots of collections if we’re not careful in this open concept home.

Since this glass display cabinet is a family piece and not going anywhere anytime soon though, I decided I better get down to some “meantime decorating.”

You know, the kind of decorating you do while you’re waiting for the right piece to come along.

While the color palette in our home is a pretty tight one with mostly whites, creams, French grays, and camels my hope is you’ll be able to find some inspiration to freshen up a few spaces in your home without having to spend a lot of money too.

Here’s a look at how to style a glass display cabinet…

Decide How You Want Your Glass Display Cabinet or Display Case to Function

Glass display pieces are relatively easy to style. But they definitely need a function and purpose. 

You can style your glass display cabinet with a collection in mind.

Consider ironstone, vintage silver, transferware, trophies, art, baskets, weathered books, or with fabulous architectural and salvaged finds. 

Don’t be afraid to use your glass display cabinet in a more practical way too though.

You can easily display decorating books or magazines, linen storage, craft and sewing supplies, home office supplies, or even school supplies if your kids are doing virtual learning this year.

Keep a Consistent Color Palette

When you style a glass display cabinet, consider the existing color palette you have in your home. 

It will visually help to ensure a seamless transition from one space to the next.  

Especially, if you have a lot of displays and collections or live in an open concept home.

Vary the Height and Shape of Objects to Help Add Interest

As you’re gathering pieces to style your cabinet, keep in mind you’ll need a variety of objects at different heights and shapes to help add interest.

I chose a simple collection of books, medallions, scales, and ironstone platters to style this glass display cabinet because I didn’t want to it be too fussy.

Beware of Spacing Items Too Close Together

If you’ve ever tried to style a bookcase, shelves, or glass-front cabinets you know there’s a very thin line between collected and cluttered.

Leaving a little bit of breathing room between objects is a good thing.

Add Greenery

Using greenery, flowers and plants is a great way to freshen up any space including on shelves and in bookcases.

While you definitely don’t have to go all out (unless you want to), adding greenery is a natural way to help add life and a quick pop of color to your glass cabinet.

Meantime Decorating…

I have no idea if I’ll keep the glass display cabinet in this nook or not. 

Sometimes I think about filling it up with just books. Other times I think about using it for blanket storage.

If we had a wall big enough in the bathrooms, I might try towels and toiletries in there too. 

The beauty of decorating is that you have the right to change your mind, any time you want. 

And if you’re like me and just haven’t found the right piece yet, consider “meantime decorating” until you find a piece you love. 

After all, you never know when you’re going to strike the right balance of perfectly imperfect until you try. 

Let us know your favorite tips and tricks for styling a glass display cabinet! Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Other Cabinet Styling Posts to Enjoy:

Many blessings,

CoCo

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32 Comments

  1. I hear you Coco with open concept. We have semi open and I do choose decorating bookshelves and a hutch carefully because and can look busy.

    I stick to one color pallet to adding pops if color. I am more heavy handed during Christmas in our bookcase.

    This looks very pretty.

    Cindy

    1. Thank you, Cindy! I definitely didn’t want to come off as ungrateful for the glass cabinet at all so I’m glad you can relate. There is only a half wall separating our entry, living room, dining room, breakfast nook, and kitchen in the common area. And I’m finding it more and more difficult to decorate. Having a consistent color palette and limiting our collections have helped but I’m always looking for ways to make it even better. Sending you hugs, CoCo

    1. So sweet of you to say, Elizabeth, thank you! That glass display cabinet definitely gives me a fit ? I’ve really been trying to think of easy and thoughtful things to do this year since we’re still dealing with the pandemic. It will definitely be a different kind of celebration but I’m hoping we can all find a way to make it special. Hope you’ve had a great week, CoCo

  2. Great tips and it looks magnificent! I especially love all the neutral color. Browns mixed with white… beautiful!

    1. Thanks so much, Cindy, I really appreciate it. You know neutrals have stolen our hearts and won’t let go…for now ? Sending you lots of hugs, CoCo

  3. Oh, how I wish I had your talent for decorating display cabinets! I don’t have one currently, but I do have a built-in that has open shelving I struggle with constantly in our dining room! I love the soft muted tones of your decor and everything looks so lovely when you put it all together! Thank you so much for the inspiration!

    1. You’re so sweet, Christine, thank you. Sometimes I have to sit in front of our cabinets and bookshelves and just wait for inspiration to strike. Other times I look through books and magazines and it helps to stir up creativity. I always move things a hundred times and swear I’m going to walk away only to come back 5 minutes later and try something again ? It’s definitely a dance ? Sending you lots of hugs, CoCo

  4. Thank you for the inspiration CoCo! I have been struggling with my living room bookcases since taking down Christmas. I love how you’ve displayed yours with books and interesting objects (which I have a closet full of). But I especially love how you’ve incorporated platters and other interesting objects leaning on the back. Decorating my bookcases is happening TODAY with your post opened up on my phone for inspiration.

    1. So sweet of you to say, Marie, thank you so much! We have a lot of display areas in our home so it’s always fun to style the cabinets and bookcases. Keeping a consistent color palette and adding in interesting pieces have really helped me the most. It sounds like you already have fun items to chose from so you’re well on your way! Hope your week is a fun one. Happy styling, CoCo

  5. Amazing and gorgeous! Your home and style inspire me to try to get the look too.
    Have a happy week,
    Kippi

    1. Thank you so much, Kippi, I really appreciate it. That glass cabinet gives me a fit most of the time so your sweet words mean a lot. Hope your week is a special one, CoCo

    1. That’s so good to know, Kathleen! I was this close to not using any greenery but in the end, it just needed a little something extra ? Hugs, CoCo

  6. Coco,
    This is so beautiful! Look for your feature on Wednesday’s Charming Homes & Gardens Link Party. This will be our last feature. We are taking a break. But we will still be following along.

    1. So sweet of you guys to feature my glass cabinet display, Rachel, thank you so much! I really appreciate it. Can’t wait to see what you guys are up to. Big hugs and thank yous, CoCo

  7. I love absolutely everything you’ve added to your cabinet CoCo. You have a beautiful style and always find the right balance between collected and cluttered. I understand what you mean about not being sure about a certain piece. That’s how I feel about my glass cabinet in my living room. It takes up so much space. So happy to be featuring you on Charming Homes and Gardens tomorrow.

    1. I really appreciate it, Kim, thank you so much! Our house is an open concept and I swear for the last 11 years I’ve been trying to balance the need for both open and closed storage systems. I love ironstone and collecting all the things so it has not been easy ? Sending you hugs and thank yous for the sweet feature, CoCo

  8. Coco, I understand.
    I’ve always got too much furniture. But for now, it will need to stay that way.
    Your cabinet was styled beautifully, and the colors are cohesive and perfect with the rest of the décor.

    1. Thank you Rachelle! It’s so weird how some things don’t bother you at all when you first move in but then start to over the years ? While most of the time I’m thankful for an open concept home my love of collecting things is starting to feel like it’s everywhere. I really appreciate your sweet support. Hugs, CoCo

  9. I think this looks BEAUTIFUL and if we lived close to one another I would happily take that piece off your hands. You did a great job in styling it.

    1. I appreciate that so much, Stephanie, thank you! I constantly wish we all lived closer so we could shop for all sorts of fun treasures. We could have the best time ? Hope your day is a special one, CoCo

  10. CoCo, your styling never disappoints. Your cabinet looks beautiful in its well thought out simplicity and neutral colour palette. I’d love to have it in my own home.
    Thank you for sharing your tips at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather this week. I’m delighted to be featuring your beautiful display cabinet at tonight’s party and pinning too.
    Hugs,
    Kerryanne

    1. You are too good to me, Kerryanne, thank you so much for the sweet feature and your kind words. That cabinet gives me a fit all the time so I really appreciate your encouragement. We’re just getting back into town so I’m sorry for responding so late. Heading over to thank you on your blog right now. Big hugs and thank yous, CoCo

  11. Hi Coco,
    I am with your Mom…..I absolutely love your display case and the way you styled it, gorgeous! It has inspired me……I have 2 of them in my dining
    room, and they definitely need a redo, so love the idea of adding some box in there and the greenery, and maybe even some pink flowers for
    Spring….since it will be here soon.
    Thanks for sharing your lovely ideas.
    Blessings,
    Nellie

    1. That makes my heart so happy to hear, Nellie, thank you so much! I was super close to not even adding the greenery but it really helped to give the glass cabinet vignettes some life. I know your boxwood, greenery or pink flowers would be such a pretty way to welcome spring. It sounds like you’re well on your way to creating a fabulous spring home. Hugs, CoCo

  12. Coco,
    What is French Grey? Do you use a specific paint company? Books are lovely. One more project. I am currently painting Buffalo Checks on a lazy Susan. So many projects, so little time. Finally got a large bouquet of Forsythias picked and can’t wait until they start to bloom. Earlier this week it was a shelf redo that started out as decorative trim from a very old home. I like to stay busy!!

    1. French Grey is a grey paint color (usually pale or muted) that can easily be layered with farmhouse, cottage style, French Country, or Scandinavian style. It’s super versatile and works well with almost any neutral. Unfortunately, that color (like white) has lots of different names based on the paint company. I’m so excited to hear about your buffalo check lazy Susan, the forsythias, and shelf from decorative trim. They all sound fabulous and the perfect way to get ready for Spring! Hope your week is a fun one. I love hearing what you’re up to, CoCo

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