A Buyer’s Guide to HutchesBy Holly Rennels · February 3, 2015
Handmade Amish China Cabinets in Detail
At Countryside Amish Furniture we use the terms china hutch, china cabinet, buffet with hutch, sideboard with hutch, china display case and server with hutch interchangeably. All our china cabinets are delivered in two pieces and can be bracketed together for stability. Most of our bases can also be ordered without the hutch.
When you start to buy a china hutch from Countryside Amish Furniture, you will likely land on this page. When here, you will need to determine the style of the china cabinet you prefer. Amish furniture does not always embrace pure style categories. Many of our Shaker Hutches, for instance, are also quite contemporary as pictured. When you find the style you like, feel free to personalize your piece in the wood species, stain color, and options that suit your taste and needs. Let's explore how to order your customized, Amish handmade china cabinet.
Our definition of Mission Style is quite simple. Although somewhat based on the missions of the American Southwest, our furniture is substantially higher quality than anything available to 19th century pioneers and missionaries. Bases will have a very clean line either straight across or in a delicate arch. Doors will sit flush to frame and hinges will show. Sides will either be flat or very modestly adorned with an inset detail. Mission hardware is typically black in color and hammered or flat in texture. In the pictured Tabbs Creek China Hutch, there is also an ebony inlay. Inlays of metal, walnut, or other dark materials are common in Mission style. Many of our Mission Style China Cabinets are pictured in Quartersawn White Oak, a premier wood that is known for its strength and longevity.
Named for an extremely conservative religious order, Shaker style furnishings are typically elegant without being ornate. Featuring distinctive splayed feet, this type of hutch will usually stand on four feet and not rest on the ground. The lower edge will be a crisp, flat line. Hinges will show and flat or inset sides and doors will sit flush. A moulding may be present in the very top of the hutch, but it will almost never be ornate. Still considered a crown moulding, the feature shown on our Fort Wayne 3-Door Hutch has only a tiny rope detail. Shaker style often features a mullion, or grid, on glass doors. This is also common in other styles and creates eclectic hybrid distinctions in many of our handmade hutches. Hardware in Shaker style is often also made of wood and knobs are far more common than pulls.
We use Contemporary and Modern style verbage equally. Countryside uses only responsibly harvested, sustainable domestic hardwoods in the furniture we build. Clean lines, urban inspired style, hinges that may or may not show, and smooth brown maple or cherry woods that take dark stain evenly are typical in our Contemporary hutches. Other urban chic elements include two-tone finishes, metallic hardware, and glass in a variety of forms. Your personal taste is accomodated, as in all our furniture, through a variety of options so that you may customize your Contemporary, solid wood china cabinet.
Queen Anne Style
Most people have a vague idea of Queen Anne Style. Our definition is quite broad, especially for hutches, and also incorporates Victorian furniture styles. When looking for Queen Anne china display cases, you will notice a formality that many other styles forego. Cabriole legs and a pad foot are design details you see frequently. Ornate panels and mouldings are also common. Doors and drawer fronts are overlayed, meaning they close in a manner that hides the frame beneath. Sometimes a European, or hidden, hinge is used, but not always. An ornate, scrolling crown moulding is quite typical as are carved details throughout the fine furniture. Queen Anne furnishings often utilize such details as well as brass hardware.
At Countryside, we define Traditional furniture as a broad group of Early American, Colonial, and Jeffersonian furnishings many associate with America's distinctive heirloom furniture. Crown moulding, corner posts, bun feet or support moulding are the standard features of a china cabinet in this style. Sturdy, thick construction and raised panel doors are commonly associated with our Traditional category as well. These items will most closely resemble your grandmother's antiques. If we identify a hutch as "period correct" you will discover the slides are also from the colonial period and not like our regular full extension slides.
After you know the style you prefer, you should evaluate both your present inventory of collectibles, china, and stemware and your anticipated acquisition of such items. Heirlooms and mementos require room to be housed properly and knowing how much you have will help you know how large your hutch needs to be. Also, assess your room, do you need a corner hutch for overflow? Will a two-door hutch suffice or do you need an extra-large, canted front china cabinet? Determine your needs and look in the corresponding category.
Wood and Stain
You will then have the opportunity to determine which hardwood you prefer. If you prefer the look "as pictured" that information is usually available in the overview of the hutch. Otherwise, you may find this article helpful when determining which wood you prefer. The next step is to determine your stain color. No one at Countryside expects you to select your stain based on an image on your computer screen, those vary widely. You may choose four samples to be sent to you in a large wood trimming when you place your order. We do not need to know your exact stain selection for about two weeks, so we are more than happy to work with you in order to find the perfect match.
Many of our hutches offer hardware choices. Typically, the first option pictured will be what is shown on the china cabinet. If you do not find the hardware that meets your needs, i.e. you are trying to match an existing piece, feel free to let us know. We can almost always locate the perfect hardware for your china display.
A mirrored back makes your hutch appear larger by reflecting light. Our standard wood back is flat and plain and stained to match your cabinet perfectly. We also offer a tongue and groove back on many of our china display cases. Also called ship lap, this back is a series of boards that interlock using a tongue and groove joint. On occasion, these boards are quite narrow and feature a routed beading resulting in bead board. In period perfect cabinetry, the back of your china hutch may be painted white.
Every drawer produced at Countryside features the incredibly strong dovetail joint. This method of creating durable drawer boxes has been time tested as the very best means by which to achieve a drawer that lasts a lifetime.
Many of our drawers also feature full extension slides that allow you to open the drawer completely to access the back corners. Above, you will see the addition of soft close technology which means you cannot "slam" the drawer shut. This serves not only to keep the peace, but also prevent rattling of precious items stored in the hutch and cabinets.
Options abound including silverware inserts and touch controlled recessed lighting. We want you to have an Amish handmade, solid wood china cabinet that is one of a kind. All these choices allow you to design your perfect display case (read How to Display China & What to Put In Your Cabinet for more inspiration). If you have questions, feel free to contact us by live chat or phone from 9a-5p Central time. Otherwise, you may e-mail or reach out on social media and we will gladly assist you with your fine Amish furniture.