Whether antique, modern, rustic or vintage: Display Cabinets are popular pieces of furniture for storing and displaying glasses, bottles, goblets, models and figurines. As a chest of drawers or sideboard, they are often part of the permanent furnishings in the dining room or living room, but they also make a good wall cabinet in the kitchen.
A glass wall on one or often both sides offers a view into the interior of the display cabinet, giving it an additional decorative factor.
Not only are the style and appearance of the display cabinet of crucial importance, but also the height, width and depth play a decisive role, depending on requirements. For our product comparison, we have put together a selection of showcase cabinets and compared the different designs.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Display Cabinet: Our Choices
- 4 Buying and rating criteria for display cabinets
- 5 Guide: Frequently asked questions on the subject of display cabinets answered in detail
- 6 Conclusion
- When buying a Display Cabinet, it is important to consider which material, which texture, which features and which design you prefer for your interior.
- Depending on the material and design used, there are great differences in quality and practicality between the various models of display cabinets.
- The quality and features of a showcase provide important information about the different price classes. Which product is the right one for you depends on the features you want your showcase to have.
The Best Display Cabinet: Our Choices
Buying and rating criteria for display cabinets
To find the perfect display case to decorate your home, we have worked out some buying criteria that you should consider when making your decision.
These criteria should make it easier for you to compare the different models so that you can make your choice according to your wishes and ideas. The criteria that you can use to compare the different showcases include:
- Advantages of glass / Plexiglas
- Difference in quality between solid wood and chipboard
- Condition and care
Advantages of glass / Plexiglas
The material your showcase is made of is particularly important. Here you can differentiate both quality and practical use. Display cabinets are usually made of a combination of wood and glass, but depending on the design, they can also be made of various metals or have a concrete look.
A difference in quality can be found in the use of glass and Plexiglas. Plexiglas is less fragile, but after a longer period of time, the material often develops a matt and dull haze. Glass, on the other hand, is scratch-resistant and much more stable than the plastic in Plexiglas. Nevertheless, glass cabinets should be handled with care, as real glass can break easily.
Difference in quality between solid wood and chipboard
The type of wood can also make statements about the quality of your display case. Some display cabinets are made of solid wood or real wood, which makes them more stable on the one hand, but also considerably heavier in combination with glass.
Real wood is considered to be particularly high-quality wood, as it consists of naturally grown pieces of wood and must not have any defects. Solid wood and solid timber are also made entirely of real wood, with individual pieces of wood glued together and made into one piece.
Lighter and more openly designed showcases, such as wall-mounted showcases, are often formed from thin metal bracing or fitted with less valuable chipboard.
Chipboard is a panel of wood chips pressed together and glued, usually coated with a coloured varnish. Pieces of furniture made of chipboard are considerably cheaper than the solid wood version, but they are also less stable. In addition, the lacquer may wear off quickly and show small cracks or flake off the chipboard.
Condition and care
Should your chest of drawers be more robust or serve as a chic piece of furniture? Depending on the place and use, you should pay attention to the care your cabinet needs. You should bear in mind that natural wood and sensitive real wood are often to be treated with caution and such surfaces should be oiled regularly.
Smooth and lacquered surfaces, on the other hand, can be wiped clean and easily maintained. When handling Plexiglas cabinets, you should stay away from aggressive cleaning agents containing alcohol and solvents, as these can damage the plastic. Real glass is far more practical here and far superior to scratch-prone Plexiglas.
In addition to the use of different materials, the fittings of doors, drawers and compartments can also vary. You should consider whether you prefer classic drawers and doors with hinges or sliding doors and open compartments. Sliding doors offer the advantage of saving space in smaller rooms.
In addition, some display cabinets offer the option of locking the doors and drawers. Behind glass doors with a lock, valuable objects can be stored safely and still be displayed decoratively.
Some display cabinets are also equipped with LED lighting. This not only makes it easier to see the furnishings behind the glass, but also allows you to extend the use of your display case.
The interior lighting of the showcase can, for example, be used as indirect lighting in your living room and replace an ordinary lamp.
Such lighting can also be retrofitted in the form of wireless lamps without a power connection. In this case, LED plug-in or adhesive strips can be easily mounted in the display cabinet.
Display cabinets are not only a practical piece of furniture, they should also be part of your interior design as a decorative object. In addition to the usefulness of your display cabinet, you should also consider which designs can be combined well with each other. Do you want the cabinet to consciously stand out or harmonise with the rest of the interior?
Not every style and every design can be optimally combined with each other. You should definitely make sure that you choose similar colour tones for a uniform look or specifically look for a matching contrast.
Showcases with lots of glass and glass shelves as well as light colours look much friendlier and more open, whereas dark wooden showcases also create a darker mood. Built-in mirrors can also make the room look larger.
Guide: Frequently asked questions on the subject of display cabinets answered in detail
What sizes are display cabinets available in?
You can also purchase some wall cabinets in a delicate glass-wood or glass-metal combination. The smallest model is a display case for standing on the wall. Such showcase boxes or small hanging showcases are suitable for displaying figurines and collectibles and are mostly made of glass or acrylic.
To make the range of available showcase cabinets suitable for any interior, there are also corner showcases that can be set up as showcase cabinets or can also be wall-mounted as hanging showcases. In the following, we have divided and listed the individual models into the corresponding dimensions in order to provide a comprehensive overview of the sizes of display cabinets.
|Small display cases||20 - 50 cm||20 - 50 cm||10 - 35 cm|
|Hanging display cases||45 - 160 cm||50 - 135 cm||10 - 40 cm|
|Sideboards, chests of drawers||80 - 100 cm||90 - 200 cm||35 - 45 cm|
|Highboards||120 - 160 cm||80 - 180 cm||35 - 40 cm|
|Narrow display cabinets||160 - 209 cm||30 - 60 cm||20 - 45 cm|
|Corner display cabinets||88 - 209 cm||68 - 100 cm||23 - 70 cm|
|Display cabinets||160 - 209 cm||60 - 150 cm||39 - 45 cm|
As the respective models are available in different shapes, this table only gives an indication of the minimum and maximum possible dimensions. Display cabinets, for example, differ from sideboards or chests of drawers by a minimum height of 160 cm.
What does a display cabinet cost?
Due to their small size, high-quality display cases are much less expensive than display cabinets made with the same material. The price can range from low to high. The following table should give you an overview.
|Price range||Available products|
|Low-priced (under 100 €)||Small showcase cabinets, small hanging showcases|
|Low-priced (100 - 200 €)||Mostly chipboard or pressed wood with Plexiglas, small showcases, narrow showcases, glass showcases|
|Medium-priced (200 - 500 €)||Solid wood or chipboard with glass, medium-sized showcases, sideboards, narrow showcases, corner showcases, glass showcases|
|High-priced (from 500 €)||Solid wood or real wood with glass, small to large showcases with noble design, showcase cabinets, highboards, corner showcases|
Our ranking shows that good-quality display cabinets with extensive features are already available in the medium price range. However, the price of a high-quality display cabinet can be over 500 euros, even in small sizes.
What is a display cabinet suitable for?
This allows you to store your crockery, for example, in a practical and decorative way. Before buying, you should consider what you want to use the piece of furniture for.
Compared to conventional chests of drawers, sideboards, TV cabinets or shelves, a display cabinet often combines a closed storage space with a visible storage space behind glass. In purely visual terms, a large closed cabinet takes up more space than a display cabinet. The open design of a display cabinet can make a room look larger, depending on the design, and still have the same storage space as the closed cabinet.
Moreover, the advantage of a glass wall is obvious: the glass protects displayed figurines, models, tableware or other collectibles and household objects from dust and intense light.
Everything displayed behind the glass is well and safely stowed away, but still presented in a decorative way. Here it's goodbye to tedious dusting and constant moving of small figurines.
What types of display cases are there?
- Antique showcase: Antique showcases are usually made of solid wood and real wood and, with their detailed ornamentation on the wood, are based on the Baroque and Rococo styles or originate from the Art Nouveau style.
- Showcase in industrial design: Showcases in industrial or loft design are mainly made of a glass-metal combination. If wooden parts are included, they usually have a part-wood look.
- Showcase in colonial style:Showcases in colonial style are usually made of very dark wood. On the one hand, they are characterised by filigree details in the form of borders or elaborate carvings, and on the other hand, they have very simple, straight and almost geometric shapes.
- Country-style display cabinet: The rustic country style refers to display cabinets that are intended to create a cosy and homely atmosphere using natural materials, such as real wood or solid wood, and are reminiscent of a more rural interior.
- Modern showcase: Angular edges, simple frames and lots of glass are the hallmarks of the modern showcase. Modern showcases usually convince with their extravagant yet simple look.
- Scandinavian showcase: The Scandinavian style is characterised by light and neutral colours, natural materials and ergonomic shapes. The focus is on the practical use of the piece of furniture. A special feature are the simple and high wooden feet on which the Scandinavian display cabinet stands.
- Vintage display cabinet: Vintage display cabinets are both used pieces from the 1920s to the 1970s that have been refurbished or restored and new pieces of furniture that have been appropriately designed with signs of use, such as scratches or faded colours.
Thanks to the wide range of versions, designs and sizes, display cabinets can be combined with almost any interior. When buying a showcase, you should consider which aspects you place the highest value on. Important points here include the material and the associated care instructions, the fittings and special features, such as lighting for the interior. But the type and design of the showcase are also important.
Depending on which of these purchase criteria are of the highest importance to you and what size the display case should be, the price will be decided. As we have shown, a higher quality of material also goes hand in hand with higher costs.
However, the most common showcases are predominantly made of a combination of wood material and real glass. This means that you can buy a good and sturdy display case in the medium price range. Of course, the price can always be increased.
(Cover photo: Le Creuset / Unsplash)