There’s a sense of wonder and exploration that arises in all of us when invited to someone’s home for the very first time. Personal belongings can be very telling of interests, experiences and taste. To discover something you like or find interesting in someone else’s home, immediately becomes a conversation starter with your host. The best rooms, according to the esteemed English interior decorator and designer, David Hicks, always have something to say about the people who live in them. On the same topic, the interior designer Nate Burkus would say that your home should be a story of who you are and a collection of what you love.
Staging or displaying your loved collection can be an art form in itself. Salon style hanging works well for paintings, book shelves or floating shelves for books and objects, display cases, even coffee tables can make for a great surface to display your collection. Probably one of the oldest furniture pieces used in viewing personal collections is the museum cabinet.
I LOVE museum cabinets. The furniture piece typically is a glass enclosure framed in wood or metal, with doors that provide access to its interior. They can come in various shapes and sizes, items in them can be viewed at eye level and on lower shelves, while still being protected. The museum cabinet has a history that dates back to the 16th century. Specimens of natural history and scientific wonders were collected as rarities for educational purposes and placed on display. Works of art or relics from far away civilizations were also popular to collect in such cabinets. becoming later what is known as a cabinet of curiosities. The act of collecting and displaying in cabinets began in private homes where “ wonder rooms” were created to showcase an entire collection. Eventually the private wonder room evolved into the museum space that we know and love today.
During my last trip to Stockholm for the Furniture & Light Fair, I came across a museum cabinet on display manufactured by the Japanese design company Time & Style. Built with traditional Japanese craftsmanship, Time & Style are preserving a historic and traditional furniture piece offered in several shapes, sizes and finishes and exploring contemporary uses. See-through glass panels allow for displaying personal items of any sort like the beautiful ceramics above or the book collection below. While walking through the exhibit my thoughts raced to all the furniture’s potential. I’m thinking green house, storage for artist editions, wine collections, vintage serve ware, small sculpture collections and even vintage linens can be displayed to showcase colors and textures. There are endless possibilities. The furniture piece of the museum cabinet can also serve the purpose of room divider if placed free-standing in a large room. Its dimensions and unique construction allow for the visitor to explore it’s contents while moving throughout the space. An engaging design piece to say the least.
Although Time & Style might be promoting a newly built museum cabinet, vintage ones are still available to find, even online. I found one here that was originally from the V&A Museum in London. The museum cabinet is a great design piece to get creative with. Let us know if you need help to find one, we’ll stage* it for you too.
*Staging is only available in the Miami, FL area :)
If you like this case of study, read our article on how to pick the Perfect Chair.