Glass display cabiner with a wooden back and frame with in-built down lights.

How to pick the perfect glass display cabinet

Glass display cabinets are a wonderful way to display items and show your belongings at their best. They’re also a versatile piece of furniture. Secure enough for commercial use, safe enough for home use and visually flexible enough to fit into any design scheme.

However, as with all furniture choices, if you pick the wrong glass cabinet your whole design scheme can get thrown off. And make the wrong choice around glass types, or what locks, lighting and shelves to use and you can even impact the security and safety of the items you’re displaying.

Picking the right display cabinet is essential. Luckily, there are only a few decisions you need to make to find the case you need, and this blog post is here to help you make them. We’ll cover the size of your cabinet, how to tailor it to suit your interior and look at how the lighting and security you pick will impact your items.

So whether you’re looking for a display case to showcase your achievements, a cabinet to show your products at their best angle or a curio cabinet to protect a carefully curated collection, here are some tips to help you find the perfect glass display cabinet for your home.

Size and space

Buying a bespoke glass cabinet opens up a world of size possibilities – don’t waste the opportunity by randomly guessing what you need.

First off, measure the space the cabinet will sit in. If you’re looking to fill a specific nook or alcove, then a custom cabinet means you can get an exact fit. Take the time to get accurate measurements and make sure to double-check them.

You also need to consider the size of the overall room you’ll be putting your cabinet in. When you put a large cabinet in a small room, it can feel imposing and shrink the size of the room so it feels cramped and cluttered. As with all furniture, you need to find an item that suits the space it’s going into.

With this type of cabinet, you can go a bit bigger than standard as one of the advantages of glass cabinets is their transparency. They keep sightlines clear which continues the flow of rooms and creates a sense of space. However, you still want a cabinet that is proportionate to the room – anything too big can still dwarf the space.

The final size to consider when picking your cabinet is what you want to keep inside it. If you’re planning to house a specific item or collection, you obviously need a suitably-sized cabinet. This includes thinking about how many shelves you want, and how far apart they should be.

Light oak wooden glass display case in a neutral coloured roomThe perfect material

Glass cabinets should always be made with toughened or laminated glass. Otherwise, you’ll sacrifice the safety and security of your home – not to mention the contents of your cabinet.

This is because toughened glass is up to 5x stronger than standard glass and is able to withstand harder impacts. And toughened or tempered glass will also crumble into smaller pieces if it does break, rather than sharp or jagged shards.

However, depending on your budget there are other options you can explore to improve your cabinet. For example, low-iron glass will give the clearest view of your cabinet without a green cast, but it does come at a cost.

Similarly, using glass with UV protection will help keep your important items safe from harmful UV rays but comes at a much higher price point.

If you are looking to seriously cut the costs of a display cabinet, you could also explore options for acrylic cabinets. These will offer some of the benefits of glass display cabinets, such as increasing light flow and giving 360° views, but they are much lower quality.

Aesthetic appeal

When it comes to furniture, looks are always important – glass display cases are no different. Though one of the benefits of glass cabinets is that they keep their contents as the focal point, you can still make a couple of choices around the look of a glass case that will help it suit different surroundings.

For example, the exposed edges of a UV-bonded glass case could be too harsh in a warm, cottagey living space. However, a case with glass sides and a wood frame sits much more comfortably in homely surroundings.

Similarly, if you’re looking for a minimalist or modern look, a brushed aluminium or steel frame nicely matches the clean lines of contemporary styles.

These decisions are always a matter of personal taste and are dependent on your existing interior design. But it’s important to consider all your options and make sure your cabinet suits its surroundings as well as any items it houses.

Lighting options

If you invest in a glass display cabinet, you want to make sure the contents always look their best. This means carefully positioned lighting to showcase its contents.

Decide whether you want the flexibility of lights outside the cabinet or the control of integrated lighting. What about the specific, directed light of spotlights or more diffused, consistent beams from a strip light? Consider the size and shape of items and where shadows will be cast – do you need additional lights to compensate?

Even the choice between a warm or cool-toned bulb is going to have a big impact on the look of your displayed items.

Spend time thinking it all through BEFORE purchasing your cabinet, and you’ll have a lot more flexibility in your options. Leave these decisions until after your cabinet arrives and you might not be able to implement the best option.

Empty glass display cabinet on black background

Added security features

Items kept in glass display cabinets tend to have a high value – be that sentimental or monetary.

When it comes to storing your prized possessions, it is sensible to explore additional security options. Obviously, the type of glass you choose will impact security, as will the thickness. Another

easy way to up the security that your display glass cabinet provides is with locks.

It is possible to get separate surface locks that you can fit onto your cabinets after purchase. These are available at a range of price points but start relatively cheap and are a good option if you change the use of your cabinet in the future.

However, if you know that you want that added peace of mind from day one, in-built locks are often the best choice. They are of higher quality, last longer and look less obtrusive than locks added after the fact.

As with all furniture, you should always make a carefully considered choice when you’re picking out a glass display cabinet. They have an important job to perform – showcasing their contents at their best – and choosing a case that is too big for the room, incorrectly lit or made of the wrong materials is likely to hinder that job.

If you’ve decided on the exact specifications for your custom glass display case, speak to us today to turn your dream design into a reality.