Sooner or later, the desire to put things in order in the house leads to the purchase of a chest of drawers, so that all small, and not so, things and gizmos will eventually be laid out on shelves and drawers, where they can always be found. Therefore, it can be argued that as a piece of furniture, the chest of drawers will never become obsolete. His future is bright.
The origin of the chest of drawers is rooted in the depths of history. It is believed that his ancestor was a simple chest. It took a long time to turn it into a chest of drawers. At first he grew up, then he acquired support legs, then the solid facades turned into opening doors. Finally, in the 17th century, first in Italy and then in France, the so-called credenza appeared: a low two-door wardrobe with a drawer – and from here it is a stone’s throw from a chest of drawers. It was at this time that the first real chests of drawers appeared, that is, chests of drawers in the form as we know them. Drawers located one above the other became a specific feature of all “chest of drawers”.
Their “finest hour” fell on the first half of the 18th century – the Rococo era, France. Actually, the word “chest of drawers” in translation from French means convenient. So, in the Rococo era, they were an obligatory detail of the ceremonial interior. Graceful and light, Rococo chests of drawers were distinguished by flowing shapes, wavy pediments and refined, if not sophisticated, decoration: inlay of turtle, mother of pearl, ivory, precious and semi-precious stones, gilded bronze. In addition to the front ones, other varieties appear: a chest of drawers with a mirror for a boudoir, a chest of drawers for a study. In the era of classicism and empire, chests of drawers become more functional, restraint of decor and geometric clarity of contours appear, shapes of a regular parallelepiped, semicircular or semi-oval facades dominate. Wardrobes have not yet conquered living rooms, separate rooms were allocated for them, so things that should have been at hand (primarily linen) were stored in dressers in the bedroom.
The “ability” of the chest of drawers to create coziness turned into trouble for him under the Soviet regime – he was called a “symbol of philistinism” and was expelled from his houses. But the views have changed, the chest of drawers is back, and now it would never occur to anyone to give up a thing that has so many undeniable merits.
Chests of drawers have always been considered a symbol of prestige, and the most famous masters of the past centuries were engaged in their manufacture. Therefore, it is not surprising that replicas of old originals are so popular today. But in parallel, the manufacturers of this wonderful piece of furniture are looking for new solutions. Usually a chest of drawers consists of a base or legs, a table top, pull-out elements and fittings. But despite the rather simple structure, the chests of drawers are distinguished by an exceptional variety. First of all, modern chests of drawers are not a standard design of given dimensions: leading manufacturers offer not only several options for depth, width and height for one model, but even provide for the possibility of its rearrangement. Thanks to this, such a chest of drawers easily fits into large storage systems..
The chest of drawers is extremely functional. It is more compact than a wardrobe and visually clutters the room much less (especially if it is slightly raised above the floor, put on its legs). At the same time, its efficiency is higher than that of the cabinet, the internal volume is used almost completely – and all thanks to the drawers! (By the way, this method of storing objects and accessing them is considered the most rational from the point of view of ergonomics). The top surface of the chest of drawers is also not empty: it has an exhibition of still lifes, “values” of the house.
An important feature of today’s chests of drawers is multifunctionality: in both modern and classic models, designers successfully “hide” multimedia elements. For example, the “filling” of the same model may well be grates for storing wine bottles in a horizontal position or drawers for dishes – the filling depends on the wishes of the customer..
Pull-out elements are the main object of technological improvements in dressers. At the same time, all the most important innovations are strongly associated with developments for kitchen furniture. Like drawer finishing systems, a revolutionary click-to-open drawer system that has completely eliminated handles on doors and drawers. In addition, the designers propose to combine hinged and lift doors in one model (they first slide out and then go up). Or – externally, doors may look like swing doors, but open like sliding doors – for those who don’t want the chest of drawers to look like a wardrobe.
The drawers of the Cube dresser, designed by Werner Eisslinger for Interlubke, can be opened in any of four directions. Finishing feature – high-gloss mocha lacquer and bright blue backlit tire running around the table top.
A notable feature of Pallucco’s high-tech Basik models in natural beech, maple or American walnut is a magnet that can be easily moved from place to place in order to open the desired door or stainless steel drawer.
Materials for today’s chests of drawers are generally a “world without borders”. Respectable producers of “classics” traditionally use expensive types of wood: walnut, maple or cherry. Modern models combine a variety of materials: natural leather and stone, glass, including non-ferrous, metals, including precious ones. Unique materials are also common, for example, an alloy of aluminum and carbonade. When it comes to the developments of famous designers, no rules apply anymore. Finishing methods are usually the manufacturer’s know-how.
Chest of drawers from the Barbara Barry collection by Baker. First, the entire chest of drawers is covered with terracotta varnish, and then a layer of pre-wrinkled thinnest silver foil is applied to the doors.
Colombostile’s Riedizioni collection uses a technique called vanishing wax. Characterized by an uneven pattern of foil glued to the door, which is unique for each piece. By the way, it can be the customer’s initials or any other motive..
Brushes are a very fashionable detail in the decoration of dressers. Tura’s Zen collection is covered in light-colored leather, which is the secret of the company. It is only known that the nature of the texture depends on the number of layers of varnish applied to the skin: there are at least ten of them.
Rattan rattan braids on Rattan Wood’s Wiwa dresser doors are covered with tempered glass. The table top is also made of glass, while the door frames and legs are made of aluminum. You can open the chest of drawers by simply pressing the top of the door – this progressive system is called push-pull.
Photo printing on the surface of a cherry wood chest of drawers (designed by Roberto Lazzeroni for Ceccotti) is not immediately determined: from a distance, a chest of drawers with seven drawers (all of different sizes) seems quite old, and upon closer inspection, prints with subjects from classical painting to aerial shows of the last century are revealed.
In finishing, varnish is very popular, especially glossy, giving a feeling of greater volume and shine than matte. Manufacturers carefully conceal how to obtain such an effect. But something is still known. For example, the Venetian chests of drawers offered by Francesco Molon are covered with exactly the same varnish as the famous Venetian gondolas.
The chest of drawers designed for BEHR by Peter Mali was named Ferrari. Just like a high-end sports car, it is covered in Ferrari’s patented bright red. The lacquer is used here for piano. Everything is as it should be: first a thin leveling layer of plaster, then at least 12 micron layers of varnish. This is the only way to achieve a characteristic gloss..
Carlo Rampazzi created a chameleon dresser for the Maguillage collection for Colombostile. The method of varnishing is such that the surface of the chest of drawers changes color depending on the angle of view. And metal roses truly serve as handles for a chest of drawers.
The exclusivity of each such thing is naturally guaranteed: each chest of drawers has its own number..
As for the color of modern chests of drawers, experiments in this area are becoming so active that nothing seems extreme anymore..
Chests of drawers today are so different (in size, shape, materials, prices) that it is not difficult to find a suitable copy for every corner of the apartment. For example, high and narrow will easily fit into the not too vast space of the hallway of a typical house. Low and elongated will create a dramatic horizontal in the living room. In the nursery, a chest of drawers will teach you order. Even if there are two or three children, and there is one dresser, each will have a place for things – a personal drawer (you can write a name on it). Well, in the kitchen, this piece of furniture is generally irreplaceable. And even if there are enough drawers in your kitchen set, a small chest of drawers (preferably on casters) will never hurt – especially since it will not take up much space.
In whatever direction the chest of drawers “develops”, it is always recognizable. “Decent” furniture, or furniture for those who love order in the house – the chest of drawers deserves such a description of professionals more than any of its brothers. It doesn’t matter what exactly to store in it, such things can be found in every home. It is an incomparable pleasure to put them finally on the drawers and shelves. With this practical and beautiful furniture, your apartment will have a lot of storage space and absolute order.