French Country Decorating · Tips + Trends

7 Tips: Choosing the Perfect Country French Hutch

You’ve got glassware, dishes, pottery collection and all that wedding china—why not make a beautiful feature in your dining room with a China Cabinet? Here’s a few tips on choosing the right china hutch for your home.

  1. Consider your style.

French Country, Farmhouse, Traditional, or Modern Farmhouse? There are so many styles of china hutch and cabinets out there, but the best idea is to narrow your selection down to correlate your home’s style. Does your house have French farmhouse-style with a blend of antiques and new furnishings? If so, you’ll want to select a china hutch that works with the authentic style and character of your home. Select a piece that isn’t too perfect, with light distressing and glass door top to add a relaxed, elegance to a dining room. This 4-door, glass door hutch conveys a casual elegance without looking too “shiny new” and out-of-place.

This Grand White China Hutch has light distressing and an elegant farmhouse style.

2. Measure your space.

Before beginning your search, carefully measure your space. Consider any obstacles in the room. Is there a heating return? Are there windows, casings or trim in the area? Consider the ideal width, height and depth of your piece before you order. As a rule, you’ll want a minimum of 24″ up to 36″ between the front of the piece and any other piece of furniture to allow room for a passageway.

Tip: Use masking tape to map out the size and scale of the piece on the wall and floor. This will give you a feeling of the approximate size of the china hutch once it arrives.

3. Select a paint color or stain to complement the room.

When selecting a paint or a stain finish for your china cabinet consider the flow of the room and all the elements that relate to it. Is the room full of neutrals or wood tones? Is there a colorful area rug? Will the piece be visible from other rooms?  If you have a white kitchen— a soft green china cabinet would be great to selection punctuate the white cabinetry. If the room is full of wood tones and neutrals, a harmonic stain would be the best choice to keep the feeling consistent. If the china cabinet is open and visible to other rooms, consider the color in relationship to the other rooms.  Ask yourself, how will the piece punctuate the room and flow with the space?

Tall, Narrow China Hutch in a pear green finish adds a pop of color to a white kitchen and complements other neutrals.

4. Open shelving or closed storage?

Open or closed china hutches play different roles in the design of a room. Do you have a beautiful collection of white ironstone platters to display?  Are you eager to display a carefully culled assortment of antique china and glassware?  Open china hutches proudly display your finery, but will need to be kept neatly arranged so it looks display-worthy.  Glass door china cabinets allow for more flexibility to stack and store china in a less curated manner, and remain dust-free for a longer period of time. Both options are utilitarian and attractive, it just depends on whether you’d like your collections front and center, or behind the looking glass.

A grand open china hutch presents your collections boldly in a room, but they need to be arranged neatly.

5. Consider the size and amount of items you’d like to display.

Large platters, tureens, stemware, tea cups and saucers—it all needs to find a home in your china cabinet. When choosing a hutch, consider the heights and depths of the interior shelves. Do you have your grandmother’s ironstone serving platters and Aunt Marge’s silver tea set? Measure your special pieces carefully and request that the shelves be set at your desired heights or made adjustable to accommodate all your beloved collectibles.

Graduated height shelving in this French Hutch stores everything from large serving platters to petite tea cups.

6. Don’t forget the corners.

Don’t think you have space for a china cabinet? Consider the corners! Great storage can be found in a corner china cabinet. Corner china hutches make purpose of an awkward or otherwise unusable space by creating vertical storage and display in a room. Suddenly, a corner becomes a highly-functional showpiece for a collection of water vases, stacked antique plates and silverware. Rethink your grandmother’s traditional pie cupboard display, and give the piece a modern farmhouse feel with your updated collections.

Corner china hutches provide display area and storage in an otherwise unusable space.

7. Consider construction & materials carefully.

Stepback Cupboard
Grand Hutch painted in Robin’s Egg Blue by is made of solid wood including drawers and backing.

Let’s face it, you’ll probably be keeping this piece for a while. A china cabinet is a grand statement in a room, and you’ll want its construction and finish to be lasting and durable. Nothing is worse than buying a china hutch made of MDF or plywood that starts to sag or warp or looks dated with time. Check to see that the piece is made of solid wood, including the back. The best china cabinets are fully-assembled when they arrive, don’t be tempted to buy on low-price, because often you’ll have to buy the piece again in a few years if the construction and materials are low quality.

> Ready to shop for China Cabinets and China Hutches?


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