All about cupboards

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English livery cupboard approximately 1600 to 1640

Decorative crockery and bibelots in vitré armoire or vitrina

A cupboard is a type of storage cabinet, often made of wood, used indoors to store household objects such as food, crockery, textiles and liquor, and protect them from dust and dirt.

The term cupboard was originally used to describe an open-shelved side table for displaying plates, cups and saucers. These open cupboards typically had between one and three display tiers, and at the time, a drawer or multiple drawers fitted to them. The word cupboard gradually came to mean a closed piece of furniture.

The word cupboard is also frequently used in British English to denote what Americans would call a closet.


Airing cupboard
An airing cupboard is a storage space, sometimes of walk-in dimensions, containing a water heater; either an immersion heater for hot running water or a boiler for central heating water. Shelves, usually slatted to allow for circulation of heat, are positioned above or around the heater to provide storage for clothing, typically linen and towelling. The purpose is to allow air to circulate around the stored fabrics to prevent damp forming. A shelf can also be used to fully remove traces of damp from dried clothing before it is put away in drawers and wardrobes. Other names include "boiler cupboard", or (in Ireland) "hot press".

Linen cupboard
A linen cupboard is an enclosed recess of a room used for storing household linen, usually with shelves, or a free-standing piece of furniture for this purpose. See also article linen-press.

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