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Storage Chests & Decorative Trunks

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Customizing Your Storage Solutions with Chests and Trunks

Storage is an ongoing issue for every homeowner. Closets and drawers do their bit to help organize the contents of a home, but storage trunks offer an additional solution that can be both functional and decorative. The purely functional storage chest can go anywhere from the bottom of a closet to the end of a bed, while a decorative version can add something very special to interior design.

What types of chests can I choose?

  • Cedar Chests: These chests are typically lined in cedar wood with decorative exteriors or are completely made from this type of wood. Cedar has natural oils that repel bugs and moths that feed on natural and animal fibers, such as wool or furs. For this reason, a cedar chest is a great storage option for delicate heirlooms. Keep in mind that you shouldn't store old photos in cedar chests, as the wood's volatile oils can damage pictures and their negatives.
  • Blanket Chests: A blanket chest is a large chest with a hinged lid that has an open interior. It's roomy enough to store bulky items like blankets and even some comforters. Blanket chests also often have one or two small lower drawers in which you can store thinner linens like pillowcases. If you don't have a linen closet at home, a blanket chest is an ideal alternative.
  • Decorative Trunks: Trunks differ from chests in that chests are designed for storage, but trunks resemble (and were once used as) pieces of luggage for travel. Decorative trunks may resemble old steamer trunks with straps and hinged locks. They may also have divided interiors for organizing smaller items.
  • Footlockers: Footlockers are small storage trunks that were originally used in the military and stored at the foot of a bed, hence their name. They're not roomy enough for storing bulky blankets, but they can provide storage for smaller items like shoes or out-of-season clothes.
  • Chest and Trunk Sets: Chest and trunk sets come with multiple chests or trunks in a matching design but in varying sizes. These help your storage solution look more cohesive throughout a room and can make a unique side table or decorative vignette when stacked atop each other.

How big are storage chests?

There are about 5800 cubic inches of space within the average storage chest. That's enough room for all the winter blankets, several spare sheet and pillow sets, or a large collection of throw pillows that don't have a home on the bed at night. Of course, there's no set size or dimension that a storage trunk must be — there are plenty of oversized and miniature storage chests to suit every corner. Try stacking a section of different sizes for a fun conversation piece.

Can I find storage chests in other materials?

The traditional storage chest is made from strong wood. When it comes to decorating, of course, there are no rules! Trunks come in almost any material one can imagine, including wicker, metal and leather. A variety of textiles and even simple upholstery can turn a basic trunk into the star of the show. Have a look at chests with a sleek modern look and pale neutral color to add extra storage to a room in danger of getting cluttered. Leather with buckles, on the other hand, can serve as a storage center and a coffee table all in one. Clear vinyl units offer a unique centerpiece to any room — It's all about your individual style.

Storage chests can be as beautiful as they are versatile. Think about what you plan to store and where you want to keep it, and then choose the chest that you envision fitting perfectly into your home.

Related: Keep your home organized with other storage solution ideas that double as home decor!