Once Ubiquitous Furnishings We've (Mostly) Left Behind

Once Ubiquitous Furnishings We've (Mostly) Left Behind

Bethany Adams
Jun 29, 2011

Last month I wrote about the Once Standard Bathroom Fixtures We've Left Behind. I had so much fun looking into the past, I wondered if there were any pieces of furniture that also used to be ubiquitous that might now have us scratching our heads as to why…

Dressing table. You've gotta love Julianne Moore's glam dressing table setup (shown above) from the ultra stylish film, A Single Man. This is one that never entirely died and has certainly been making a comeback in recent years. At one time, though, it would have been standard in any "bedroom set." To not have one would have left many women confused as to where they should "put on their face".

Telephone table. My grandparents actually had one of these in their front hall when I was growing up. Part table, part chair or bench, the telephone table was the perfect place to relax while making calls. Even though we now have cordless phones, I can see the appeal — I make nearly all of my calls from one chair in my living room. Why not have a dedicated telephone table?

Pie Safe. Before refrigerators, the pie safe kept pies and all sorts of foodstuffs protected from flies and vermin. Now they're mostly used to decorate country kitchens — they make a great bookshelf for cook books.

Record Player Cabinet. This could as easily be a Victrola cabinet, or a TV cabinet, or a hi-fi. Audio-visual technology changes so quickly that it's pretty difficult for the furniture that houses it not to become obsolete in a relatively short time frame. Thankfully, today most AV equipment is so small that it doesn't require bulky furniture housing, but it's fun to look back at the marriage of furniture design and technology.

Hall Tree. In the days before closets, most Victorian homes would have had one of these in the front hall to collect hats, coats, umbrellas. My husband is advocating for a return of this useful piece of furniture noting that in our modern hallway there is nowhere to sit down to put on/ take off one's shoes. We'll see …

Is there anything I've missed? What piece of furniture do we all own now that you think will go the way of the telephone table? Let us know!

Images: 1. Still from A Siingle Man via Penny Dreadful Vintage 2. Interior Home Review, 3. Country Living, 4. Whatever Losito, 5. UAntique

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