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Should I get this china cabinet?

Posted by KevinMP (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 27, 14 at 12:11

It's been a while, but I'm back to pester you all.

So Stenella has a great Stickley china cabinet in the same finish as my Stickley table and with a Greek key design. These are hard to come by, let alone in this condition and price and in this particular design (four drawers instead of all doors and the Greek Key moulding). I'm inclined to snatch it up because I've been looking for one to go with the table, but the house we're in is a little tight. I don't want to be too shortsighted here, but I also don't want to regret larding up the house for the next 2-3 years we'll be here. The interesting thing (to me anyhow) is that the room feels larger, in some respects with the upholstered arm chairs around the table (see below) and pulled away from the "corners" of the room, and there'd still be 30" of walkway between the side chairs and the china cabinet when the chairs are all pushed in. It also maintains symmetry in the room and with the fireplace and chandelier. Do you think it's a good idea? Too tight or just right? Is it weird to have the two mahogany Chippendale style pieces along the same long wall?

Here's the china cabinet:

Here's sort of what the dining room looks like now (older pictures with the much maligned coat rack removed and replaced with a small oil painting):

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Here's what it looks like with one of the two leaves in and all six chairs around the table with the dropleaf table pulled out from the wall as far as the center stack of the china cabinet will intrude into the room. Ignore the junk by the door; it's waiting for trash day (still).


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

I'd say too tight. It's not so much about how far it will intrude into the room, as much as how it will be more visually imposing.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Could you wrap the top hutch part in furniture blankets & store away for now while using the base as a buffet? I think it would lessen the visual weight? You then have an amazing piece for when you move.

I would buy it, Even if I had to use it another room for a while as curio or bookcase!


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

I don't think it will look good next to the desk at all if that's where you plan to place it. Too much of the same everything, wood, height, style...


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

I would get it and find another spot for the smaller piece while you are in this house, so they are not side by side. I think it would be beautiful if it were alone on that wall.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

If you think you will still be in love with this style in your next house, I would tell you to buy it and find somewhere else in the house to use it or put it into storage. I think it's too big and imposing to fit into your current room. I hate walking into a house and seeing the side or back of a big slab of furniture at eye level.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

It's a beautiful piece, but I don't think it will work in there.

By the way, I love your room so far, and I love the color on your walls. Can you tell me what the name of it is?


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

I would not buy a piece of furniture for a future house, unless you are planning to build that house custom. I have moved a lot (14 times not counting dorm rooms). Furniture often just doesn't work in a different house. Even the style does, the size doesn't. I have given away and sold so much furniture that I still liked simply because it didn't fit in the new space. Even when moving between comparably sized places.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

You have such great taste I would trust your judgment. Can you tape off the size of the new hutch and show where you'd place it on that wall? I also think it would need to be on the wall by itself.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Your next place will be bigger. Most dining rooms can hold a cabinet and table with six chairs.
I say go for it! But I do agree to just have the one piece on the wall and move the other into storage or another room.
Yes, it might seem imposing, but two or three years goes by very quickly.
You know your "stuff." Years down the road you will be thinking about this piece and kicking yourself for not having bought it.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

You could probably tell that I think it's going to be too tight, so I'm not surprised by the responses so far. But, just to be clear, this room is not at all small; it's 13' x 16', which is a fairly standard size dining room, and the ceilings are a hair over 9' tall. The existing desk and hutch are 82" tall, so the center of the pediment on the china cabinet is 10" taller. The pediment may be removable.

As to my future tastes, they will stay the same, and I'm not going to change the table because it seats 8-10 when fully extended and is incredibly versatile.

As to a future house, it will have a dining room, and it will have walls. This is not a massive unit. It's 68" wide and 18" deep. So it will work anywhere else.

Even if I removed the desk and hutch, I think the tightness would remain unless I moved the china cabinet all the way down the wall toward the kitchen where the desk currently is.

By the way, if this were to happen, the dropleaf table and art would go. So don't think those will add to the clutter.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

I think the plusses of getting it far outweigh the minuses. It's beautiful and the right price. 2-3 years is not a very long time. You definitely know what you're doing in the decorating department- go for it!


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Get the darn thing. You might move to Seattle in which case you can take it with you but the house stays where it is. You can take it with you but not the house. I LUV IT.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

What are the chances of finding this piece or similar down the road when you want it for a new place? If they are easy to come by, then I would say wait. If not, grab it while the gettin's good!

And yes, it should stand alone on that wall...remove the secretary and drop-leaf table.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

It is a gorgeous piece that looks perfectly matched to your table. I can absolutely see why you want to snap it up now while you can. Can you physically move your current secretary desk over to where the piece will go so you can get a feel for having a larger piece next to your table? I wonder how it will feel entering your house with the side of the hutch right there? Honestly, I'd probably be inclined to get it if you are planning to move within the next 5 years, love the piece, and aren't seriously bothered by the space it takes up in the room. I would definitely try out swapping the drop-leaf table for something taller like the secretary desk with hutch, just to get a feel for it.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

It is an absolutely lovely piece. I would get it and not look back! You have a lovely home and great taste.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Go for it. I'll take the secretary off your hands.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Buy it. I've been eyeing it as well, but with no dining room furniture to my name yet it would be silly to get now.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

I'm going to go out and see it tomorrow to make sure it's in prime condition. Maybe I can talk them into taking back the secretary I bought last year and letting me get this in its place. Then I don't have to worry about any storage, etc.

Which of these looks better?

With both:

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

With just the china cabinet in two different spots:


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Yes.

Here is why.

All decorating rules/guidelines can be successfully broken. The rules are, IMHO, for rank amateurs (I include myself in that group, but not you).

Your home and neighborhood in part derive their charm from their proportions. It is not the same as having this size room in the burbs on 2 acres. I think a little bit of crowding actually befits the setting.

Moreover, beautiful things, in beautiful settings, beautifully coordinated, can break a rule or two. It may even make it more interesting.

PS I like layout two.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

I would get it and see if Stenella will take back the secretary, they are very easy to find. You will love the china cabinet with drawers, I have one from Baker with that same configuration of drawers and doors and it is really very useful.

Placement #1, symmetry uber alles, especially under the watchful eye of TJ.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

It's a beautiful piece & makes more of a statement than the secretary, which is beautiful too but not as. I would not put the two pieces in the same room. The similarity detracts from the larger piece & makes it look like a matched set and less special.
So....buy it!


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Ah, you may think your future house will have a dining room and that it will have walls. But then you fall in love with a lovely French revival house. And yes, it does have a dining room. And yes, it does have walls. It also has a niche in the only wall without windows. And the measurement of the niche means that the marvelous piece you bought four years ago does.not.fit.

My mother had her house built custom and she had windows moved, etc. to make her antique collection fit. Otherwise some of her pieces would not have fit. And they are typical pieces of furniture in typical sized rooms.

Much of the furniture I have given away has been very versatile, smallish, pieces that for one reason or another simply did not fit in a different house. My decorating knowledge is limited, but my moving knowledge is extensive.

If you love the piece, buy it if you are willing to risk it. Maybe it will work in a future house. Maybe it won't. Or if you can use it right now, certainly buy it and use it right now. But I would not buy it feeling positive that it will work in a future house.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

I say go for it. Any chance the secretary might fit by the door where the leashes are hanging? Also, I like secretaries in most any room but bedrooms are a favorite of mine.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Another vote in favor of getting it. I let a Stenella piece go by a few years ago and still regret it. I also agree that the secretary should go somewhere else. And if you need a home for that drop leaf table, I would happily purchase it from you! I live right outside of Philadelphia, where I believe you're from.

And if you move, you will buy a home that has a spot for it, I'm sure. China cabinets look lovely in living rooms as well. Good luck with your decision. I never tire of seeing photos of your beautiful home!


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

That secretary will be easily "disposed of" by any discerning interior decorator or lover of good pieces to your benefit, perhaps. This piece may come along once in a lifetime and even if you end up in a nursing home next year, list it here first. There are many takers. I agree with MTN about the space. I see it as grand and gawgeous.


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Oh, Kevin, about the above, NH statement...

I did not insert the winkie, but I think you know I was being facetious. You could be in Prussia or Buffalo as easily.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

I'd buy that thing quick, even if I had to put it in storage for a later house. But then I do that. I'm storing things for a beach cottage that we plan on building in a few years.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Do you want your room to be over the top formal, verging on frumpy? I can see the Hepplewhite sideboard with a painting or large mirror working with your style much better. Some Stickley pieces stand out, like the Hepplewhite sideboard, while others are not so different from the many cheap reproductions, for me the breakfront is not that special.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

I get the feeling you'll be disappointed if you don't get it.

This post was edited by zen4d on Sun, May 11, 14 at 4:11


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Layout #2 is my vote. It would be great if you could find another spot in the house for the secretary so that you have it for a future DR just in case you end up with a smaller or less walled space.

My former DR hutch that I loved and would not get rid of, is now working as a bookcase in the new LR. Not ideal, but the storage is helpful.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Well, now, hold on ... it's a "great price" compared to new, but to be sure, Stenella ain't Craigslist. They know the market for these things better than anyone, and they of course make a profit. So there is no reason to expect a priori that a buyer could resell a Stenella piece and make a profit. One should expect to be out, at a minimum, delivery and taxes, but in reality significantly more.

It's not the rip-your-eyeballs-out pricing of new stuff, but it's still not a "buy it no matter what" price.

Mtn (who remains in favor and who knows the OP knows all this)

PS Kevin, thanks for reminding me of Stenella. I found a great little painting there I just bought.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

A sideboard would not provide any storage and would be just as deep if not deeper than the china cabinet. I thought about getting a sideboard already, but with wedding gifts (china and crystal, etc.), we are going to need more storage. As to what is or is not frumpy, that's a matter of taste. I don't think formal is frumpy ever (at least as that term is used today), but it could be considered stuffy. My house is very cozy and, I think, achieves a level of formality while still being welcoming. It's certainly not to everyone's tastes, however. Then again, neither is living in a 180 year old house or having unpainted, dark wood furniture.

I'm going to see the china cabinet today to see if it's in good condition. I'm also going to swing by to look at a new one (which will likely be 2.5x the cost at least).

As Mtn said, it's not going to be cheap, but it's also far better cared for than a lot of what's on CL. Matching Stickley's Hampton finish in both color and sheen is also not easy, so I don't have a ton of options.

This post was edited by KevinMP on Fri, Feb 28, 14 at 10:53


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Good luck whatever you do.

This post was edited by zen4d on Sun, May 11, 14 at 4:12


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Well if its $3000 it would absolutely be worth storing for a few years, that is a steal.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Kevin- I really like your style, it is a very nice traditional, yet masculine, relaxed formal. Adding a breakfront full of china and crystal will change the feel a bit, whereas a sideboard would be more in keeping with the current feel. Not saying that it is bad, just explaining where I was coming from. One thing to keep in mind, if you plan to move to another old home there may be built ins in the dining area that would make the breakfront unnecessary.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

I love it. I hope you get it.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Kevin, Your home and decorating style could never be considered stuffy or frumpy. Warm, charming, elegantly cozy yes. A classic look will NEVER go out of style while the trendy, of the moment designs will virtually scream dated in a few years.

I am so looking forward to pics once your new piece is in place.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

What Holly-kay said.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Any updates? I hope you made it to Stenella before we get our next snowstorm.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

deleted

This post was edited by zen4d on Sun, Mar 2, 14 at 20:32


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

I think floor plan #4 could work. The other furniture on that wall would need to go, as you have indicated. If you truly love the breakfront and feel it is a great opportunity, then I hope you get it. I'm not so sure I would buy a piece to be used in a future unknown home. It all comes down to how much you love it. If you love it enough to rearrange your current dining room, pay the expense of moving it, arranging your future home around it, or even basing your future home purchase on whether or not it will accommodate this piece. I would say if the answer is yes to all of those, then hustle out and get it before someone else snatches it out from under you!


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I bought the breakfront on Friday. They're willing to buy back the secretary (but for several hundred less than I paid), so I haven't yet decided if I want to sell it back to avoid having to deal with storage or keep it by storing it somewhere.

And the pediment is removable, it appears, which is good. I won't be moving it in until after I get the floors in the kitchen and dining room re-done this week. I'll keep you posted.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

I saw that Stenella had sold one this past weekend and was hoping it was yours. Can't wait to see what it looks like in your space.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Kevin,

Good for you! Cant' wait to see it. Would you mind sharing the name of the paint color in your Dining Room? I know someone else asked as well. It's stunning.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Kevin mentioned the name of the color a couple times in other discussions: Pratt & Lambert Accolade in the "velvet" finish in Wythe House Gray (historic Williamsburg color).

I love it too! I wonder whether Ben Moore has a comparable shade because I don't have a P&L dealer near me.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

The BM names changed for some colors, and some of the colors are slightly different. If you're really interested in PL, I have full cans that I had made before they took the information out if the system so that they can always get the recipe right again in the future. But if check out BM first.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

It's here, and I went with what I thought would be the least likely placement in the room. It seemed right at home when I put it there. The result is that I can keep the table in the smaller (leafless) shape for everyday use, but I had to relocate one of the upholstered arm chairs to the guest bedroom (which is fine, in any event, since that could use a nice chair).

I think this was a great deal. It looks even better in my house than it did in the ad or in person. I also think that the oil painting on the wall next to it can stay now that I see them side-by-side, but I may change my mind on that. I think it needs a minimalist frame (as in a 1/4" gold leaf frame), but I don't think I feel like splurging on that just yet. It would be too empty without it, and I like the juxtaposition of style while maintaining the colors in the room.

I rejected the symmetrical approach (unlike me) with the china closet lined up with the table, rug, fireplace, and chandelier for two reasons: (1) it was too tight unless I were to have the leaf in the table with all six chairs around and (2) with only one upholstered chair, I liked the asymmetry of having the chair and the china closet in opposite corners.

This will also give a peek at the newly "refinished" heart pine floors (which turned out great).

Hope you like it, too.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

And one with the pediment, just so that you can see what that looks like (I think I like it without).

This post was edited by KevinMP on Wed, Mar 12, 14 at 20:10


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

It looks beautiful-but I prefer the pediment. It seems to work well in your home.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Very nice, Kevin! So glad you went for it. The placement of the furniture looks great on those beautiful floors. FWIW, I prefer no pediment.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Love it where you have it.
Floors are beautiful, everything is great.
Did I miss a post where you got married.
Anyways congrats on that.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Your room is beautiful with your new china cabinet. Perfect!!


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

It's beautiful and the placement is perfect. Your home is lovely.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

I'm glad I checked back on this site to see if you had decided on your purchase or not.

The cabinet looks really nice in your space.

I'm laughing at myself because I didn't know what a "pediment" was and I was looking back and forth at the pictures like one of those "find the 10 things that are different in the two pictures" you find in the back of magazines...I figured it out, it's the wood piece that sits on top of the hutch!! I like both. It looks more traditional with it and a little more modern without. But it is up to you and what you like in real life. I don think you can go wrong with either.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

I like it and I think it balances the weight of the room: the fireplace versus the china cabinet. Love it. I have no regrets on your behalf. ;-)


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

It looks good there, and does not impede ingress from your front door. I would leave the pediment off until you have it In a room where it is placed symmetrically on a wall, where the pediment will look right. Very nice addition to the room and your collection of fine furniture.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Gorgeous!


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

it looks great and I went back to your previous pics with the other furniture and I like this furniture so much better. But without the pediment.

The picture seems to be anchored better on the wall, I think because it's scale is better with the larger cabinet and what I noticed without the table under the pic is how well the colours of it flow with the floor and the carpet. Nice - you went with your gut and really succeeded.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Lovely! Just perfect in your beautiful room.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Kevin you should share wedding details and a paypal account.

I think the forum members would send you a monetary gift just to see what you are going to buy and where you would put it : )

I can't wait to see pics of your cozy home after it is overfilled with beautiful presents. Please do share.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Thanks everyone. It will be a December wedding this year.

Should the picture be hung a little lower now that the table is no longer there, or is it fine as is?


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

I would lower it just a bit. Is the top of it higher than the top of the cabinet and door? It seems to be in some of the pics. I'd make sure that it was at or below those heights so that the center is around 58" or so. If it's already there, then I'd leave it. Proper placement for viewing is more important than that top line consideration.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Gorgeous cabinet!!! The whole room is simply divine -- charming, elegant and classic!

Yes -- I do like the cabinet without the pediment .... just the right height for the room ....

And Many Congratulations on the December wedding!! Of course, we will expect details and photos .......... (just teasing ..... well ..... not really ..... we love photos of such happy events!)


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

It's hard to tell whether the picture is hung at a good height or not because all the pics are taken at an angle. However, in a dining room pics can be hung (and should be) a little lower because you're looking at them from a sitting position rather than standing.

In your case, I would sit down and then look at the bottom of the picture and just make sure that the bottom is NOT lower than the edge of the china cabinet that separates the buffet part from the hutch part. That division, because of the size and design of the cabinet, is quite strong and can almost act like a visual support (fooling the eye) for the picture.

It looks like it might be just about even now.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

looks nice!! i would keep the pediment on!


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Very nice; looks perfect in your warm home. I prefer the cabinet without the pediment, and I think the picture can be lowered just a tad.

Congratulations on the wedding - I can only imagine what the table settings will look like: stunning!


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Beautiful.

I prefer without the pediment, which surprises me.

Can I come to your wedding? What a lucky lady you have.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Well done Kevin. You found just the right spot for the breakfront. It doesn't throw the room off balance and preserves the flow around the dining table.

Where will you put the drop leaf?

And congratulations on your upcoming wedding. I hope you have extra closet space.............


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

It looks fantastic. I think the fact that the window to the left of the front door isn't centered balances the china cabinet not being centered on the wall. Your dining room is so beautiful and warm, I hope you and your fiancé enjoy many wonderful dinner parties. And the floors look great too.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

It is beautiful...and looks like it was made for that spot in your home. And made for all those wedding gifts to come! Congratulations on the coming wedding and on another successful room. I know how you agonized over the upholstered chair fabric, but moving one out is a good thing. Really shows off the floors.

I'm with everyone else on the art. Maybe lowering just a bit would be best. And I also prefer no pediment. It makes the corner look less crowded IMO.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Congratulations on your "acquisitions ", both human and not.
: )


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

Yes, well done, Kevin. Oh the breakfront is nice, too. Seriously, it looks lovely where you have it.


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Perfect! I don't think the room or the corner looks crowded at all.


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RE: Should I get this china cabinet?

It looks like it was made for that spot! Just beautiful. Congrats on your upcoming wedding!


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