Turn a Trunk Into Legit Furniture with a Trunk Stand

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There's something so jet-set chic about a worn-in storage trunk — it's probably all those metal or leather details. I'm a huge fan of showing off trunks as objets de decor, which is why I was surprised I've never really considered the idea of propping up my favorite trunk on a trunk stand.

What is a Trunk Stand, Anyway?

A trunk stand is just a small raised platform onto which one can set a storage trunk. It makes the trunk and its contents easier to get to from a standing position, kind of like a luggage rack. Trunk stands can be made from metal or wood, or anything, really. As long as it works.

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Pottery Barn's Ludlow Trunk

Why Would You Want One?

The main reason to lift a trunk is to give it some height. Most trunks are too short to function as a console, coffee or side table, but with some legs they can do double-duty in the home as both surface and storage. Visually, an open space below a big piece also helps to minimize its impact in a small home; the more floor you see, the bigger a room will feel. Plus it makes a basic trunk just look so polished (and is easy to clean around, too!).

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DIY Trunk Risers from Making a House a Home

How Can I Make This Work in My Home?

The first step? Find or gather a great trunk. The best ones have lots of detail, like metallic case corners, leather straps or big sturdy buckles. Then all that's left to do is make or buy a trunk stand and drop your trunk on top.

  • BIY: Buy-it-Yourself. Phoenix West makes affordable black steel stands in two sizes that get the job done, and you can find them all over the web.
  • Find an antique trunk stand with character on eBay or hunt around Etsy or Craigslist for a bit. (Homestead Seattle sold the trunk stand pictured up top, and always has great vintage MCM pieces.)
  • Use another table as a trunk stand. I can't help but think that the IKEA VITTSJÖ TV Unit could look really great.
  • Starting from scratch? Buy a trunk that comes with a stand, like this Ludlow Trunk and stand from Pottery Barn, sold attached together for use as a side table (there's a bar cabinet and media console, too).
  • Make a stand! You can't go wrong, and you'll get something totally custom. Use a tutorial, like this one from Making a House a Home, or just dive in and design your own.

(Image credits: Homestead Seattle/Etsy; Pottery Barn; Making a House a Home)

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Taryn is a writer, maker, and designer in Atlanta, Georgia. Living in an apartment with her husband and their Boston Terrier, Bacon, she loves to entertain and hates having a tiny kitchen.