You can still use the surface area of a chest of drawers to display decor and photos, though it's not ideal for items you need to reach daily. The space won't allow for the same functional use, such as accommodating television sound systems, yet they can still appear stylish when you choose the best accents.
Chests of drawers range anywhere from 44-inches to 60-inches tall and just 24- to 38-inches wide. They're also generally more shallow than dressers, with a standard depth that can be as little as 18-inches. If you're short on floor space in the bedroom, this can be an excellent alternative to a dresser. Rooms with high ceilings are also particularly suitable for chests of drawers, as their height won't cause the room to appear crowded and small.
Alternately, many people also add chests of drawers to much larger spaces. For rooms that require extra storage, such as his and hers, adding a chest of drawers provides a much better aesthetic than adding another dresser. Rooms don't typically provide enough space for two full-sized dressers, and trying to incorporate them into the area can give an "off" look. Instead, find a chest of drawers that matches the rest of your furniture for a distinguished accent that still serves a purpose.
Notice above that the Sevilla Chest in Walnut blends seamlessly with the bedroom set. It provides additional storage space in addition to the dresser and mirror while also adding an illustrious design element.
The History of Chests of Drawers
Chests of drawers rose to popularity in late medieval Europe. Like dressers, they were commonly found in homes of the noble. They were typically wooden boxes with a hinged lid that stood on four feet. Formerly, chests of drawers were called "coffer chests."
However, their history goes even farther back in time. Ancient Chinese civilizations used chests of drawers as a space to store medicine and herbs. During this time, they were called "Hundred Drawers," though the origin of that name is unknown.
Like today, original chests of drawers had stacked horizontal drawers. They were often highly ornate pieces, full of beautifully rounded edges, carefully carved designs, and splendid hardware and handles. During these times, chests of drawers were quite expensive due to the high-quality materials such as imported wood, luxurious veneers, and the meticulous decorative work that was performed by hand.
Chests of drawers in America became a mainstay in the home just 175 years ago, when artisans began to draw inspiration from their European popularity. It was then that middle-class homes often incorporated the pieces into their furnishings. While many still crafted chests of drawers by hand, by the year 1945, American factories primarily took over production, making them more affordable for everyday working people.
Over time, this piece of furniture has maintained many of the original design features, being more narrow and tall than traditional dressers. Less of a workspace, chests of drawers have always served a more functional purpose for essential storage. While many placed them in dining rooms, sitting rooms, libraries, and foyers, like dressers, they eventually became mainstays in bedrooms as their practicality for storage remained unrivaled and more prominent, and grand armoires fell out of style.
Today, chests of drawers feature a more streamlined appearance. No longer are intricate details chiseled away by hand, and many have dropped the four feet from the bottom for a more streamlined look. While former chests had rounded drawers and opulent hardware, today, you're more likely to see flush drawers with only the essential details.
Placement of Dressers and Chests of Drawers
While today bedrooms are the quintessential room for the placement of dressers and chests of drawers, there are other areas in the home that can benefit from the furniture too. You can draw on the inspiration of each piece's origins for existing home furnishing ideas. Dressers may be the perfect addition to your front hallway or foyer, allowing you to store outerwear, keys, important mail, and more. They can provide an elegant look that instantly classes up your home.
Or, you may incorporate a dresser into your dining room, as the original use intended. They can make for an excellent place to store extra dishes and cutlery or those you only use for special occasions. Display your most refined and delicate china on top to maintain the sophisticated look of years past. Adding a dresser may be the right choice if you have a more traditional and formal dining room arrangement.
Chests of drawers can also serve additional purposes than clothing storage in the bedroom. Many find that they work great in home offices, offering a place to organize essential paperwork and files and office supplies that you would rather remain out of sight. Use them to keep extra reams of printer paper, books you occasionally reference, packs of sticky notes and pens, and more. Use the top surface area to display awards and diplomas, personalizing your home office with a practical and functional piece.
Chests of Drawers vs Dressers: Which Is Right for You?
Whether you purchase a chest of drawers or a classic dresser mainly comes down to personal preference, the needs of your room, and how much space you have available. You may require one, the other, or both. There is no right or wrong answer. Similarly, if you're looking to place either piece of furniture outside the bedroom, consider the floor dimensions you have available to spare and your ceiling height.
A vertical chest of drawers may be best for your bedroom if you live in a smaller space, such as a condo or apartment. Or, if you're looking for additional storage in a large walk-in closet, a tall chest of drawers may be the right fit.
However, if you're looking for a larger piece to fill a space in your bedroom, require an expansive surface area, and want to mount a mirror or television, choosing a dresser may be the best option. Finding a standalone dresser that vibes well with the rest of your room can be challenging. If this is the case, purchasing a complete matching bedroom set can be most beneficial. You'll get a look that's both seamless and appears effortless with the ultimate style.
Shop Mor Furniture for Less Today
For the best selection of bedroom sets, chests of drawers, and dressers, shop Mor Furniture for Less today. Now that you know the difference between a chest of drawers vs dresser, you can shop equipped with a wealth of knowledge to make the best decision for your needs and unique space. Don't worry–if you still have questions regarding functionality or design, our friendly associates are here to help.
Visit a furniture showroom near you to see the many options available and meet with a design specialist to find the right piece. Or, browse our online catalog from the privacy and convenience of your own home. There's no wrong way to shop.
One of the best parts about buying from Mor Furniture for Less is that we offer an exclusive Double the Difference Guarantee to ensure you get the absolute best pricing. If you find an identical piece at a local competitor for less, we'll refund you the difference, times two. This allows you to shop with total peace of mind. And while all of our furniture is backed by a manufacturer's warranty, we offer more ways to protect your purchase. Inquire about our SafeGuard protection plans that provide repair or replacement coverage for accidents like spills, stains, dents, and more.
Shop Mor Furniture for Less today. We'll help you turn your house into a home.