Aged Gracefully: Antique Dressers for Any Room (and Any Decor)

Aged Gracefully: Antique Dressers for Any Room (and Any Decor)

Catrin Morris
Jan 18, 2011

The simplest way to incorporate the richness and warmth of aged wood into a room is with an antique dresser. Usually made by hand, antique chest of drawers are a very wise investment, especially when you consider that modern factory-made dressers are often as expensive (if not more). I recently found a Victorian mahogany dresser at a consignment store for $600. When I got it home I couldn't help but compare it my daughter's (albeit perfectly pretty) Pottery Barn Kids chest of drawers, which actually cost more and is made from a blend of solid wood and MDF.

An antique chest of drawers (or "commode*") will never truly go out of style. And there is nothing that doesn't match the luscious patina of well preserved wood. These are pieces that can grow with your changing style and budget. Of course, antiques can be prohibitively pricey, but there are bargains to be found if you are patient. My favorite dressers are often mahogany (especially flame mahogany, as seen in image 10) and rather simple in design. I love the look of the basic turned drawer knobs (as seen in images 2 and 7) but brass handles can be very elegant (image 6).

* According to Miller's Antiques and Collectables, commode is a French term for a low chest of drawers. Commodes were popular in 17th century France and became fashionable in England in the mid-18th century. Many commodes are quite ornate and decorative, some with Serpentine fronts. Some commodes have marble tops, which makes them suitable for using as a sideboard in the dining room (as I have done in my home).

1 Inspiring interiors
2 A gorgeous 19th century Biedermeier chest sets the stage for a glamorous vignette. Lonny via La Dolce Vita.
3 A child-sized chest of drawers functions as a bedside table for this amazing Sheraton "tester" bed, circa 1820. Country Living.
4 Holy Goes Lightly.
5 Country Living.

6 Wind Lost.
7 Emily's Double-Duty Downsize: House Call.
8 Sf Girl By Bay.
9 Elle Décor.
10 I love this deep, flame-mahogany chest of drawers in a bedroom designed by Darryl Carter, Washington DC-based designer. Elle Décor.

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