How do I Choose the Best Antique Cupboards?

T. Carrier

Cupboards are pieces of furniture intended for the storage of dishes, food, appliances, and other items. These structures are valued for their usefulness. When shopping for antique cupboards, considerations like practical use and aesthetics are of variable importance. Placement in the living area is another topic of merit. For some individuals, the choice may rest in purchasing an actual antique or opting instead to create a faux-antique look.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

One should consider whether individuals will be using the antique cupboards frequently, or whether the pieces will serve a more decorative purpose. Cupboards intended for practical use usually work best when they have features like hanging rails, plate racks, and drawers, but many antique cupboards may not contain these conveniences. Doors are another feature that may or may not be important. Cupboards with these types of details may better protect the piece's contents.

Room space is another essential consideration in choosing antique cupboards, or any type of accessory. The addition should fit into the kitchen or other living area it will occupy without taking up too much room. Knowing the height, width, and depth of this area is thus important. Cupboards may be designed to attach to a wall or be free-standing. Antique cupboards with legs can be more easily inserted into a living space, and are also effective at protecting food or other contents from rodents.

Aesthetic appeal remains a crucial factor for many buyers as well. Some offerings may have a modern design, while others show every bit of their age. Individual tastes will guide the choice of appearance. Base materials like the wood and paint may also factor into this process. Light cleaning can best preserve the cupboards' look. Any strenuous cleaning or repair should be undertaken by a professional.

Antique cupboards will generally have a simple look because they were often built by homeowners. Straight, block-like shapes are common. Choppy surfaces and an overall unfinished appearance are also frequently found on older cupboards. Glass, light fixtures, and curvy decorative styles are generally more contemporary additions. Some manufactured cupboards, particularly oriental styles, do feature ornate carvings and elegant finishes, however. Different aesthetic movements boast their own unique cultural decorative quirks as well, and many antique books trace these trends.

Rather than purchasing a true antique, some individuals even opt to give newer cupboards an antique makeover. This process typically consists of painting the cupboard and then covering it with a smoke-like glaze. Afterward, the olden and worn look of an antique may be achieved by sanding the cupboard with coarse sandpaper along the brushstrokes in the paint. The application of black dots with a small paintbrush can further enhance the antique look.

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