The term cupboard was originally used to describe an open-shelved side table for displaying dishware
, more specifically 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.
[Andrews, John (2006) ''British Antique Furniture''. Antique Collectors' Club ; p. 226]
Types of cupboards
An airing cupboard (or hot press) is a built-in 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 (hence, also "boiler cupboard"), or a hot water storage tank
. Shelves, usually slatted to allow for circulation of heat
, are positioned above or around the heater to provide room for clothing. The purpose is to allow air to circulate around the stored fabrics to prevent damp forming.
Some variants of airing cupboards also serve as the linen cupboard, the storing area of the household's clean sheets and towels.
In another version, the airing cupboard serves as a temporary drying space, either for laundry or for wet outdoor clothes and shoes. Its shelves can be used to fully remove traces of damp from dried clothing before the items are put away elsewhere in drawers and wardrobes. A moveable electrical version of this is a drying cabinet
A built-in cupboard is a storage space that forms part of the design of the room and is not free-standing or moveable. It is not the same as a cabinet. In the United Kingdom houses often have a built-in cupboard under the stairs.
A linen cupboard is an enclosed recess of a room used for storing household linen
(e.g. sheets, towels, tablecloths) and other things for storage, usually with shelves, or a free-standing piece of furniture for this purpose.
Most offices have a lockable repository for valuables. The heart of this is usually the supply of stationery
File:St James's Church, Whitechapel, Cupboard door - geograph.org.uk - 913360.jpg|Built-in cupboard: A cupboard built into the wall of St James's Church, Whitechapel, Lancashire
File:WMUK office - stationery cupboard March 2012.jpg|Stationery cupboard: An office stationery cupboard, with its lockable doors open
File:LiveryCupboard.JPG|Antique cupboard: English livery cupboard approximately 1600 to 1640
Image:Serwantka.JPG|Antique cupboard: Decorative crockery and bibelots in ''vitré armoire'' or ''vitrina''