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Curios Go from Drab to Display Worthy

Curio cabinets are gaining popularity again, but under a new name

Don't call them curios - they're "display cabinets." And they're coming out of the dark parlor and into broad daylight as one of the latest trends. Don't expect to find a limited selection of dark pieces, either. Designers are stepping up with the latest and greatest in designs that are fit for the best establishments.

Originally, curio cabinets referred specifically to the collection - one that was unique in its arrangement and not so much its content. In Renaissance times, when this popular trend emerged, the collections and how they were contained were called "wonder chambers," or wunderkammern.

Display cases can be any size and many of them, indeed, are compact for down-sized living spaces. Wall-mounted models can be found to add depth and take up even less real estate. Some are pie-shaped to fit into corners, while some are console-styled, oval, octagonal or half-rounds. Others are massive in appearance to hold the type of collections that are fit for museums. Don't limit yourself to souvenir spoons and campaign buttons, for instance. These beauties are meant to display works of art.

Even better, they can be placed anywhere in the home from bedrooms to entries to the favored dining room spot. Some of them also feature lower or upper storage drawers for the extras. Focal lighting is also important and some models feature illumination from different angles, including beams for each shelf.

Once you start looking around, you'll find cases that suit all tastes, from traditional and ornate to contemporary and trendy. Bright colors and inlays are also making their way to market.

Entertainment centers that fill entire walls are also including display cabinets that flank the television. Bases may include space for speakers while the upper narrowed compartments are lighted.

For something truly different, cocktail tables with glass tops are available with enclosed display space that gives viewers a different perspective of smaller items.

Even thought you may start small, you may find the need to expand a display collection. That's easy enough with multiple-styling. These new sectionals are beautiful as a single unit or in larger ensembles. You can still display your small collectibles, but think about adding a few unique objects to create an interesting and personalized focal point.




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