Dressers may seem like one of the more utilitarian pieces of furniture; something of high value and everyday use, yet nonetheless overlooked when it comes to designing an appealing look for your home. The truth is that a new dresser can be just as much of a standout centerpiece as any, much more obvious piece of furniture.
We are here to break down the options and sort out the wide array of dresser options for anyone looking to purchase a new model for their home. Our , is a contemporary natural wood creation in a modified standard design framework, with the body floating over an open dark wood frame.
We start with design, the most important aspect of any dresser. This informs the shape, function, and overall look, and will be the first consideration to make. Next, we look at the handful of different build materials your new dresser may be comprised of. Finally, we peruse a selection of styles with which your new piece of furniture will be finished. This determines exactly how a new dresser may fit in your home and your lifestyle.
The first major decision to make when looking for a new dresser for your home is: what design do you need? This will greatly narrow your choices down and provide a clean starting point in your quest. The overall design of a dresser is its most defining feature, giving way to the considerations of build, style, and any other features.
1. Standard Horizontal Dresser
The standard dresser design came from one of the oldest pieces of furniture invented: the chest. These are horizontally oriented, squat in profile, and contain usually two columns of drawers.
2. Standard Vertical Chest
The vertical chest, also known as a tallboy, is much taller than the standard dresser design, with a double stack of drawers comprising a column shaped piece of furniture. Sometimes the upper half is replaced by a cupboard, which makes it into an armoire.
3. Combo Dresser
The combo dresser design is in fact a combination of two major elements. Most models combine a standard squat dresser with a tall cabinet, as seen here. This allows for more storage options in a single piece of furniture.
4. Bachelor’s Chest
A specifically more minimalist framing of the dresser form, the bachelor’s chest features a single column of drawers in a more squat, sometimes narrow frame. Originally, these had a slanted surface for writing, but most have horizontal surfaces nowadays.
5. Gentlemen’s Chest
The gentlemen’s chest is a configuration wherein the drawer column is paired with a large vertically oriented cabinet door. This holds a large cavity where hung suits, pants, and other clothing may be stored.
6. Lingerie Chest / Semainier
The lingerie chest, also known as a semainier, traditionally holds seven drawers, meant for each day of the week. The design is tall, long, with deep and narrow drawers.
Dressers are one of the few categories of furniture that are routinely made of one material, wood. Beyond merely tradition, wood construction in dressers is simply the most versatile and reliable building material. While the majority of dressers will be wood, there are notable exceptions.
With wood, you get a full galaxy of options and configurations, as the venerable material has gone through every design permutation in the dresser’s long history. From minimalist to rustic to elaborate contemporary styles, wood can be found in an array of dresser designs.
While much less common than wood, metal dressers can be found in a variety of designs. From fully metal models, like our example here, to hybrid dressers employing metal along with wood, the material can be used for innovative purposes, and provide a lighter weight frame.
Wicker, also known as rattan, is a type of woven material that can be crafted from natural fibers or plastic. Strong, resistant to moisture and stains, and surprisingly lightweight, this material makes appearances on many cottage style designs, and is often incorporated within wood structures as the drawer build.
While the framework of the dresser itself is built from wood, some pieces boast a fully leather surface, for a rich, textural look. This example features button tufted drawers in white leather upholstery.
Traditional style features a timeless, detailed look, with carved wood structures, a bit of embellishment, and straight lines and general shape.
Contemporary design is a look that is “of the now,” containing obviously up to date styling and touches that could come from no previous era. There are no predefined stylistic tics for contemporary furniture; a wealth of varying details can nail this look.
Cottage style is meant to evoke a relaxed, warm, and soft country living feeling, with carved wood, light tones, and a lived in appearance.
With a look centered around timeworn, natural, weather beaten textures and tones, rustic style is the epitome of old fashioned, homespun furniture. Dressers of this type will use distressed wood, soft metal hardware, and a utilitarian framing.
Modern style is devoted to a particular strain of design originating in the 20th century, with clean, futuristic lines in novel configurations. Our example here is on the extreme end of futuristic, but still fits the general idea of a forward looking visual language in a neatly packaged design.
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