The chest of drawers has transitioned from a convenience for the wealthy to a standard piece of bedroom furniture. The convenient furniture style also finds its way into studies, family rooms and game rooms.
The earliest chests of drawers were traveling chests with drawers added into the bottom. These were so convenient that they transitioned into having more and more drawers, until they eventually became boxes filled with drawers. The traditional style was 3 long drawers on the bottom and 2 shorter ones on top arranged side by side.
Double chests, known as highboys in America and tallboys in England, also became popular. These have 3 or 4 rows of side-by-side drawers.
Contemporary Chests of Drawers
Today’s dressers include double dressers with two rows of drawers side by side. This style often includes a mirror on the top of the dresser. There are jewelry chests with small drawers and decorative legs, and small chests of drawers that serve as bedside or occasional tables as well as storage units.
The standard chest comes in many variations, from 3 to 6 drawers. The detail on the finer pieces adds to the decorative appeal and the value.
Another functional style that is a modification of the chest of drawers is the armoire, with drawers on the bottom and a cupboard or closet on the top. There is often a place to hang clothing in the cupboard, and sometimes additional drawers as well.