If there ever was a multi-purpose piece of furniture, a chest of drawers is it. A chest of drawers can be tall and narrow with lots of drawers on top of each other or short and wide with drawers side-by-side. It can be small enough to serve as a nightstand or large enough to hold a whole season of clothes.
While you can't hang clothes or install a television in a chest of drawers, it is almost as versatile as an armoire. A chest of drawers can either serve as a decorative piece or provide lots of extra storage space wherever you need it. On the outside, it's an interesting piece that occupies a large wall. On the inside, it's great storage space.
Whether the chest has two drawers or 15, whether it's decorative or utilitarian, the drawers can hold (or hide) a multitude of small household objects, giving you a cleaner, more organized space. But more than just the drawers are useful. The top of a tall and large chest is a great place to display plants, photos, and baskets. The top of a short chest is ideal for lamps, candles, books, televisions, or a display of flowers.
When you shop for a chest, think about your whole decorating scheme. If you're inclined to country style, look at a simple pine chest. If your style is more formal, you might consider a beautiful antique reproduction piece. For a contemporary interior, a simple piece with clean, sleek lines will enhance your home.
Regardless of what style or size you choose, remember that you'll have the chest of drawers for a long time and use it in many places. Choose wisely and it will serve you well.
A chest of drawers works in every room. Here are just a few of the ways this super-versatile piece of furniture can impact your home.
In the Bedroom
- Chests of drawers were originally made to store clothes and a bedroom is a logical place to find one. Small pieces of clothing naturally find a handy home here.
- A short, low chest with two drawers works well for a bedside table holding books and personal items. Place a lamp on top to shed a little more light on your late-night reading.
- If you have a large bedroom walk-in closet, place a chest of drawers inside the closet and store small things there, out of sight. If the ceiling is high and/or the chest short, you will still be able to hang things above the chest.
In a Child's Room or Nursery
- If you're looking for a good way to organize your child's space, the chest of drawers is ideal. Use one drawer to store books, one for puzzles, one for art supplies, and one for other small items. When there's a place for everything the room will stay neater while keeping the toys handy for whenever they're needed.
- Place a small chest in your child's closet to help free up more floor space in the room. Store small clothes in the drawers and hang items above on the clothes rod.
- A chest of drawers topped by a pad and surrounded by a frame can do double duty as a changing table and storage chest. Diapers, towels, clothes and sundry items are convenient in the drawers below.
In the Living Room or Family Room
- A small, waist-high chest of drawers serves well as an end table next to seating. The top offers more space than a traditional tabletop and the drawers offer storage for anything you don't want to find in the couch cushions.
- A high or low chest is perfect for a family room, storing workout gear, puzzles, games, art supplies or books.
In the Dining Room
- A long, low chest can take the place of a sideboard. Use the top for serving and store placemats, napkins, tablecloths, and trays in the drawers.
- A smaller chest offers a place to set up a tea service, floral arrangement, or seasonal decoration. The drawers are a perfect place to store silverware and other items.
In a Foyer or Mudroom
- A chest of drawers is the perfect small piece of furniture for a large foyer. Add a small side chair beside it. Use the drawers of the chest to hold gloves, scarves, keys, and mail.
- A small chest at the entry is perfect for corralling hats, mittens, coupons, shopping lists, and mail.
- With a low chest of drawers, each family member can have their own drawer for collecting papers, hats, supplies, tools, and homework. A basket or decorative box on top holds mail and notes.
In a Guest Room
- Any houseguest will be thankful if you have a place to tuck their personal belongings. Reserve a drawer or two for occasional use, but use the other drawers for items you'll use from time to time.
- This is also a great place to store gift wrap supplies, bolts of ribbons, tags, scissors, pens, and scotch tape.
- Hobby supplies can find a home in a little-used guest room. A chest of drawers holds painting supplies, sewing notions, fabrics, or scrapbooking supplies. When guests arrive, just slide in the drawer.
In a Bathroom
- A tall chest can hold all the things you'd otherwise store in a linen closet, such as towels, washcloths, bathrobes, and hair supplies.
- A small chest placed on a wall near the bath or shower is perfect for bath supplies and towels. Place a basket on top for decorative bottles of shampoo, shower gel, and conditioner and fresh towels.