In a world where everything seems to be working harder, it’s no doubt that furniture is pulling more weight lately as well. Gone are the days of flimsy, trendy design, while the search is on for durable, classic pieces that serve more than one purpose.

Cedar chests, oak chests and steamer trunks are appearing in more living rooms, bedrooms, and sitting areas every day. These classic pieces provide any room with a cozy and historic feeling, as modern designs are based on the trunks and chests travelers would use for luggage during voyages both on sailing ships and horse-drawn carriages. Though few people would show up to the airport with a steamer trunk anymore, they still are very useful in the home. But, before purchasing a new trunk or chest, it’s important to consider different designs and materials to ensure your newest addition matches your decor and design needs.


Steamer trunks can be identified by their brass hardware on the corners and joints, as well as latches and often leather straps. If it draws thoughts of treasure or sea shanties, it’s probably a steamer trunk! These are best used when taking into account the trunk’s original intent — to store keepsakes. Fill one with scrap books, special letters, cards, photographs, or art projects. Stored at the end of a bed or in an office, going through your sincerest mementos will no longer be a dig through the bottom of the closet. You’ll find yourself enjoying your treasures more often, because you’ll be able to keep them stored in plain view!

Cedar Chests do not usually have the same brass hardware or accents, but normally use a simpler design. The majority of people use Cedar Chests in bedrooms as they are perfect for storing textiles. Cedar is rot and decay resistant, but it also highly resistant to insect attack. No matter what you store in a cedar chest, you will never have to add foul-smelling moth balls. The rich cedar will naturally deter moths and keep your fabrics beautiful. Plus, there is no greater feeling than pulling heavy blankets out of your cedar chest on a cool autumn evening and smelling that inviting and comforting cedar aroma.

Oak chests are durable and beautiful, and the perfect material for the eclectic organizer. Often used for children’s toy chests, young women’s hope chests, and adult’s storage chests, these classic pieces are enduring. The sturdy gentleness of solid oak brings refinement to rustic forms and adds balance to your home. Cherry chests exude luxury. As one of the most highly-sought woods for everything from cabinets to flooring, cherry creates magnificent chests.


Chests and trunks of any material can serve double duty as coffee tables, side tables and even bed side tables. Imagine a coffee table in the family room that readily stores favorite puzzles, games and playing cards for spur-of-the-moment family evenings. Others use chest cushions to create window seating. Pulled up under a window, this whimsical scene will allow people to lazily gaze outdoors from a picturesque perch. Any piece that can be used for storage, tables, seats, and decor can certainly be classified as “hardworking,” which is why these trunks and chests continue to be so popular.

Whether you’re looking to solve small-space design issues or to add more classic appeal to your expansive floor plan, using classic steamer trunks, cedar chests, and oak chests is an ideal solution.

This article is courtesy of Home Improvement News and Information Center.