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Monday, August 8, 2011

The Bedroom Dresser: A Thing Of The Past?

It's been a busy two weeks and it looks like I may have the opportunity to work on a few new projects that involve construction. Of course, I am excited about that prospect! One project involves a master bathroom renovation. The space is already a decent size so there are a couple ways to tackle this particular renovation. Option 1 is to steal a bit of underutilized space from one end of a large master walk-in closet. There is a closet system in place, that will likely get an update as part of the project, and a dresser in the bedroom that is attractive, but merely stores a few sweaters and even has a few empty drawers! Expanding into the closet would allow for a larger bathtub and his and her sink vanities flanking the tub.

Franklin dresser by WSH

So it occurred to me, in the 21st century maybe our dresser's aren't really required to dress us anymore? Apartment dwellers have clothing storage issues that require careful planning and innovative solutions. And, of course in an old house where there may be no closets at all, I would think a large one and/or an armoire would be critical. But I wonder, how many who have renovated an old house have turned an unused bedroom or quirky space into a closet to eliminate a dresser taking up space in what may be a small master bedroom?

Mary McDonald.
Chests that double as clothing storage is smart in any size room.

So if the closet dresses the home's occupants, does the dresser (chest, bureau, armoire) just become an unnecessary thing to store a few extra sweaters or hold the television? I realized some time ago too that when you see bedrooms professionally photographed , rarely is a dresser shown in the room. Granted the bed is the focal piece of any bedroom, but is there another reason for their omission?

Victoria Hagen
On the left is what looks to be a French armoire presumably to hold the television.
When given the choice, I personally prefer the en suite set up where the closet is off the bathroom.  This way all of the routines of the morning/evening take place separately from the bedroom. Truly, a great luxury if two people share a room and are on different schedules! The only thing better...separate bathrooms and closets!

A desk on full view, but no dresser in sight for this modern scheme.
Do you think the dresser is falling out of favor and/or are closet systems rendering them obsolete? Could they possibly be deemed unattractive? Gasp...what would our ancestors say!


  1. I could not agree more! My husband has an armoire and I think he uses it as storage becuase he never takes anything out of it.

    These days will all of the storage and organization in a closet you probably do not need one.

    Have a great day.

  2. I think you may be right on the money about this one! I have thought about getting rid of our dressers once we add on a second master closet. But I'm not sure I can part with a few antique dressers I have! I guess they will become vehicles of storage in other parts of my house...I already have one in my living room so I guess I'm ahead of the trend! ;-)

    Kat :)

  3. I think you raise a valid point BUT I do love a chest of drawers if not to have backup storage AND a great display top...for mine I have a mirror above it and a beautiful collection of small miniature frames of family and friends. I know that I for one will likely always have a chest of drawers in my bedroom.

  4. It is so true with modern condos lacking storage space! So to solve the problem as you have shown I do have several chests of drawers, which do serve double duty. Storage and decoration!

  5. I have a small bedroom in a small apartment, and actually don't need more than a couple of drawers for socks and undies. So where's the rule that says the other drawers can't hold art supplies? I love the idea of interesting chests/dressers that can go anywhere.

  6. You know, I never noticed that. I live in an old house (without the joy of a walk-in closet) and dressers are critical. For all those of us who live in small spaces in the city, or in older homes, which is probably 75% of people in North America, the dresser is alive and well I'd say. I think it is the suburban dwellers and those renovating old homes who might be replacing their dressers with other clothing management systems (which I would love to try). I think then I would still love an old dresser, even if just for table linens or storing mittens...
    So sorry that Imitrex does not work for you. Me neither! I got more botox in my scalp and neck last week and it seems to be helping. Ugh...

    xo Terri

  7. I really love a petite dresser as a nightstand for the clutter containment but that is where it ends. I hated when my husband had a low dresser because it became his catchall full of ugliness. We now have the en suite setup with a huge closet. So no more messy dresser top!

  8. Very interesting point but like several of the other commenters, I have a lovely old dresser in my bedroom that holds both overflow and out of season items from the closet and serves as the repository for a collection of photos and antique silver and crystal bottles. I would however love to have my own bathroom!!

  9. Rebecca, if my closet were larger I would definitely not have a dresser, mine is so large, a highboy chest and beautiful.

    However I also have a king size bed and want to go down to a queen. My bedroom just feels too closed in and crowded.


    Art by Karena

  10. We built a dresser into our closet which is connected to the master bath and separate from the bedroom, but we still need some extra storage. I'm waiting to see how the interiors f the closets turn out when finally built out...I know there will be shelving installed, but I still think we're going to need some sort of dresser in the bedroom, maybe an armoire too...just not sure yet. I still like a pretty dresser or chest...not matchy-matchy to the bed...but it seems a nice opportunity to have a unique piece of furniture in the space, and a place to put some special goodies on.
    xo J~

  11. I agree! I bought a bedroom suite when we got married in the 80's, 4 poster bed, triple dresser, highboy. The nightstands are OUT! They are too low for the thick replacement mattress, so I swapped them out for tables while I am on the hunt for chests.

    The triple dresser? That's a nightmare. I'd like to move it to another room, but it's sooo huge, that it doesn't fit anywhere in the house....all 5500 sf.

    We don't all have huge closets, but definitely notice the lack of that triple dresser ANYWHERE in a shelter mag.

  12. I will keep my dresser too for the reasons that 24 Corners pointed out.
    Good post

  13. I still like my dresser because you can never have too much storage. I think dressers also are useful for holding the flat-screen TV, though I sure that breaks many decorating rules!

  14. Eck, I hope dressers aren’t going out of style since I’m looking for a new bigger one for our bedroom. We have a 220+-year-old house and have huge closets, they were sitting rooms in the bedrooms closed in for closets. But I still need a place for under garments, socks and such. I think a really nice dresser just finishes off a space and who couldn’t use more storage? Now living rooms…things of the past.

  15. bespoke kitchens
    Very exciting factor but like several of the other commenters, I have a charming old bureau in my bed room that maintains both flood and out of period products from the cabinet and assists as the database for a selection of images and traditional gold and amazingly wines. I would however really like to have my own bathroom!!


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