Wedding season is a little different this year. Couples everywhere are reworking their plans for The Big Day, opting to say “I do” in a much smaller way. The new little wedding trend is a return to the simpler ways of your grand- and great-grandparents who got married in a small but sweet just-family affair at home. The time honored tradition of a small wedding is once again in style… and it’s quite sensible, too. Just like back then, today’s couples may be spending less money for a big bash by making the change to a smaller, more intimate celebration. And (also as it was then) this probably means there’s a bit more in the budget to spend on the big things every couple needs for a new Together Home. Couples who are ready to spend on home furnishings are in luck. It’s the perfect time to purchase that first piece of Forever Furniture… an antique chest.
A well-made chest…. sturdy, functional storage for household belongings… has always been a valuable necessity in any home. In every culture around the globe the gift of a wedding chest to the bride is a tradition that has continued through the ages. The design details of bridal chests vary from country to country, but they are always impressive and crafted with care to last a lifetime. It is the bride’s most treasured possession. Here in the American South a handsome antique chest of drawers is still the wedding gift of choice from many parents or grandparents to a lucky bride or groom. The couple who is fortunate enough to receive a treasured family heirloom should always say “yes” to the chest.
Of course, receiving a lovely chest is wonderful, but what couple wouldn’t rather select their own furniture to suit their personal design preferences and lifestyle?
So, here are a few things for newlyweds to think about while shopping for that perfect chest of drawers… a piece that will work beautifully through all those decorating trends in your future.
SOMETHING OLD VS. SOMETHING NEW
For quality and value, antiques are definitely the way to go… even if you think that the two of you are “not really antique people.” Antiques just make sense. It’s hard to ignore the quality of construction, timeless style, and functional versatility that fine older furnishings have to offer. And, with so many classic design styles to choose from there’s surely one that could be your first piece of Forever Furniture. Buying a beautiful classic chest of drawers for your Together Home is a good investment. It’s a useful piece of furniture that’s made to last… a once-in-a-lifetime purchase that’s a much better deal than poor quality “disposable” pieces that are designed to be replaced over and over again.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
For the ultimate in versatility choose a classic chest with simple design details and a beautifully aged patina. A chest with clean lines and rich wood tones will blend in beautifully whether your home is traditional or contemporary. Just like the basic Little Black Dress, a simple chest of drawers can be dressed up or down with accessories to be more formal or less so.
Choose a chest of drawers with three, four, or five drawers… one that’s a good height for a variety of uses in your home. A chest with more drawers gives you more storage, of course. But keep the height at a level that makes the top functional as well. Styled with appropriate lighting and accents, a chest can become whatever you want it to be. For example…
A chest in an entryway or living room says “Welcome!” and tells guests what your signature style is all about. Change up the look throughout the year with carefully curated seasonal accessories.
Setting up for cocktails on a chest in your living area makes for a stylish Happy Hour. Remember to keep everything on a nice silver or brass tray to prevent moisture marks, stains, and scratches.
The chest of drawers in your master bedroom can be so much more than storage for clothing. Carving out some personal space on top of the chest and in those little top drawers(for a few daily essentials, jewelry, etc. can make getting ready in the morning easier in a shared space.
And think ahead…
RESPECT THE PAST
Resist the urge to “update” a fine antique with a trendy design change or DIY project experiment. Buy a chest that’s a style you can live with… no changes needed. Preserving the authenticity of antique furnishings is important if they are to retain their value. So, always respect and maintain the original period and character of your chest. It has survived this long because of its classic beauty and will continue to do so if you just “Let It Be.”
SHOP THE SALES
It’s sale season in so many antique stores right now. Take advantage! Sales don’t last forever, so don’t hesitate. The saying “The time to buy something you love is when you see it” has never been more true. Be prepared to make an informed, thoughtful purchase. Your furnishings budget will stretch further than ever before right now. The chest of drawers of your dreams is out there so start shopping…. deals are just a click, call, or appointment away.
Best wishes for a long and happy life of antiquing together. May your antique chest be the first of many wonderful antique finds in your future.
Montgomery Antiques & Interiors