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The Versatility of the China Cabinet

This past week, Catherine took on two projects utilizing beautiful wood and glass cabinets that we know and love as the China Cabinet. When you think of these pieces of furniture, it seldom crosses the mind that they could be the centerpiece of a room. Often, the cabinet is an accent piece, showcasing collected dishes and trinkets, while being surrounded by the main events of the space.

However, a cornerstone to living a simple and joyful life that we talk about here is to break the rules of fung shui and design your pieces in a way that brings you that joy.

Project #1

Milk Glass

Over the years, Catherine has been blessed with an assemblage of milk glass, handed down from her grandmother’s collection and gifted by friends. Well, when one accumulates anything in great numbers, there needs to be a place to house it; a place for the items to be showcased, seen and appreciated. Enter: the China Cabinet.

A chest of Catherine’s parents sits in the back hall of the Henington House, in which a discarded China Cabinet sits atop; the pieces mismatched, the lights wavering, but nonetheless, it was free and served the purpose of housing beloved items.

That was until K & D Estate Sales posted a stunning China Cabinet that was “marked down, marked down, marked down!” Catherine exclaimed. Inevitably, the cabinet was scooped up and brought back to the Henington House to live a new life.

It was a project of its own getting the new cabinet home from the estate sale, and another to get the mismatched furniture out of the way. But once the beautiful pieces were in place, Catherine began choosing the milk glass she wanted to showcase and weighing each to ensure balance for the glass shelves.

While the China Cabinet is not often portrayed as the protagonist in a living space, Catherine has shown us that any piece of furniture has the ability to be the star of the show.

Top Row Left to Right: Some of Catherine's previous collection | The old China Cabinet on top of Catherine's parent's chest | The new China Cabinet from the estate sale!

Bottom Row Left to Right: Close-up shot of some milk glass pieces | The final look of the milk glass China Cabinet! | Close-up shot of milk glass

Brief History of Milk Glass

Milk Glass - also known as Opaque Glass or Opal Glass - has grown to be a sought-after collectible glass, beginning its popularity in the 1880s, 30 years after its creation in the United States. However, milk glass is believed to be made as early as 1500 in Venice, Italy. “This type of glass was originally introduced as a lower-cost alternative to porcelain, which was highly prized and being imported to Europe from China.” (

But what is she going to do with the old China cabinet? Keep an eye out for the next blog post!

By: Lilyth Hansen

The Henington House

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