Glass Display Cabinet: BEST Living Room Style Ideas

What are the best styling tips for living room glass display cabinets?

In this post, we’ll explore some of the best ways you can use these fantastic display cases to showcase your favourite treasures whilst still following the latest trends and home decor schemes.

Whether you’ve got a bookcase, china cabinet, curio cabinet or a glass display cabinet, making it look good can add to the ‘edited’ feel of a room.

Using your skills and creativity, you can make a focal point from the entire cabinet, and it’s a perfect opportunity to show off your favorite pieces, so make sure that you take the time to style your shelves well.

Follow our tips for the BEST ways to style your glass display cabinet (in living rooms and the rest of the home).


Image: Webb and Grey

1. Add Your Treasures

While it might seem like an obvious tip, filling it with treasures, whether it’s books, vinyl, artwork and ornaments, will make sure your display cabinet doesn’t look too sparse. Adding different heights to your shelves will make it much more interesting to look at, too.

Having all of your pieces in one place will make it easier to find. Remember, your cabinet displays are an important storage space, so you need to use them wisely.

If you want to add a pop of colour to your display cabinet, consider wallpapering the back of the unit, behind the shelves. This will draw the eye in and add dimension.

2. Remember the Old Design Rules

Image: Rose & Grey

Group things in odd numbers. You might have heard it one million times before, but things really do look better in odd numbers – and three is the magic number at all times!

If you’re going for a co-ordinated hue look, don’t have more than three different colours or shades (told you it was magic.)

Arrange according to size. Place small items at the front and the larger items behind.

3. Storage Opportunities

Image: JYSK

A little bit of sneaky storage always comes in handy on your shelves – they seem to be clutter collectors. From keys to sunglasses to homework, something that was never supposed to be there will probably end up there.

A pretty tray or a bowl is perfect for this purpose. Nestled between some books or between ornaments, you can at least put this clutter somewhere where it looks like it’s supposed to belong.

What do you put in a display cabinet?

Image: Oak Furnitureland

A glass display cabinet is an elegant showcase for things like:

  • China sets
  • Artificial Plants
  • Glassware collection
  • Favourite photographs
  • Decorative ornaments
  • Personal Items
  • Books and Stationery
  • Tableware
  • Table mats, candles and matches

Some of the best things to put in a cabinet are those connected to the room in which it lives.

The are ornamental cupboards, a storage cabinet that allows you to show off pieces you love from the largest items at the back to the smaller items at the front.

Whatever type of living space you have use these glass-front cabinets as a great way to arrange useful and practical items as well as the more decorative types.

It’s a good idea to ensure this decorative cupboard isn’t overshadowed by other pieces of furniture, particularly in a small living room, so allow it space and let it shine.

What are the different ways you can style a glass-fronted cabinet?

Image: Sweetpea and Willow

Take your set of family china and arrange it in groups of similar items – so plates, cups, bowls and so on.

Group items together as you arrange them on the shelves. If you have glass shelves, remember to clean them well to allow maximum light to flow through the space.

Alternatively use lots of different items in your glass cabinet display.

Start with the larger items and place them around the cabinet, beginning with the top shelf, working your way to the bottom shelf.

Add a set of puck lights to your cabinet. Set them to come on automatically if possible to highlight the display areas in the evening, and to add extra artificial light to the living space (a particularly good idea in a small living room). It’s a great idea to light your glass cabinet in this way.

Positioning your Glass Display Cabinet

Image: Rose & Grey

A glass cabinet is a versatile piece and an attractive cupboard, often with glass doors made of solid wood, that works beautifully in either a modern or traditional living room.

Where do you put your cabinet furniture?

The perfect way to position your cabinet is opposite a window, in an alcove (often quite awkward spaces to fill) or on a back wall.

  • If you’d like to look at the cabinet often, make sure it’s in your eyeline.
  • If you want it to fill a corner, buy one with glass doors so you get a good view of the contents.
  • If it contains items you need to use on a regular basis, ensure it’s easily accessible.

They’re also perfect for the home office and can make the room feel more organised, whilst keeping your documents, books and files easily accessible.

A small office will benefit from white cabinets with glass fronts so the room doesn’t feel overcrowded. The pale colour helps bounce the light around the space whilst still offering great storage.

What do you put on top of glass front cabinets?

Image: Cuckooland

We would always recommend adding items that you don’t need to move often, on top of your glass front cabinet – for practical reasons.

Plants are the obvious choice. From artificial plants to real greenery, they add a touch of colour and life to the display.

Stacked books and storage boxes can also complement the design of your cabinet and the contents. 

If it’s a lower glass cabinet then vases work well, as do small vignettes for display items and decorative pieces. 


So whether you have a modern glass display cabinet or prefer a more traditional solid wood cabinet with glass doors, there’s a cabinet out there for your home decor. 

Display your treasured items, decorative pieces and china for the perfect way to add style and sophistication to your living room interior design


Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an interiors writer and blogger and has an insatiable love of home style and decor

Find me on: Web


  1. Life With Munchers
    July 28, 2014 / 10:34 pm

    I love a shelf unit which has hide away spaces. It serves it purpose and it allows me to keep it looking pretty 🙂

  2. Paulina Dragoeva
    August 1, 2014 / 11:14 pm

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. The Lex Chapter
    August 6, 2014 / 12:25 am

    I have just discovered this website and I am loving the tips.

    i have just moved into a new rental flat which has wall to wall shelves. The shelves out weigh any amount of books / nik naks we have. I have really loved reading these tips.

  4. Amanda
    August 14, 2014 / 12:42 pm

    I love styling things and reaaranging and grouping them. I really must buy a bookshelf for my living room so I could do this more.

  5. Alina
    August 14, 2014 / 6:44 pm

    Great ideas as always – as you said stick to the classic rules and add your personality and it will always look great 🙂

  6. Simon hall
    December 2, 2015 / 1:15 pm

    Great post .Its the first time I’ve been to your site which I just stumbled upon by accident! I’m a carpenter so shelving is something I have a lot of experience with ha ha. I’m sure people will love your tips. Storage is such a massive issue for people these days as we seem to run out of space. But with a little though and some good planning its amazing what can be achieved…

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