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This blanket chest is a simple but sturdy design, using figured cherry plywood with solid cherry lid and corners. The life expectancy is indefinite... this is not a flimsy fiberboard or particle board box, but solid hardwood and furniture grade plywood. A similar chest can be made from most furniture woods - walnut, cherry, mahogany, pecan, oak, and others.
The lid is treated like a toy box... it stays open without slamming closed. This is convenient for adults to use it, as well as safer if kids are playing in the adult area where the blanket chest is used. However, this is NOT A TOY BOX, and should not be used as such. Federal regulations require destructive safety testing of the materials and design of any furniture for kids under 13 years old. Although there are no known problems with this item, it has not been tested, so it is against federal regulations to sell this as kids furniture.
To prove that the chest is sturdy enough for any reasonable load (1/2 inch plywood bottom), this tall guy with knobby knees stood in the box - he weighs over 200 pounds.
Note that the light from this direction makes the figured plywood look different - real wood, and especially figured wood, has chatoyancy - a shimmer and pattern that changes as viewed from different directions. Also, this cherry is "new" and will gradually darken, like a suntan, to a rich reddish brown.
Generally you want a piece to rest on just a few points, in case the floor is slightly uneven. Thus I would typically build 4 or 6 feet on a unit like this. If there is a pet in the house, you might want to consider these low arches above the floor so that toys and pet treats don't disappear under the chest.
$500 in most furniture woods
larger sizes may cost slightly more, depending on efficient use of the plywood
This is Jenny's Grandmother's cedar lined blanket chest. The finish was dinged, crazed, and poorly patched, using many different finishing technologies.
We sanded off all of the old finish, and underneath found a decent (not fantastic but nice) walnut blanket chest. We refinished it with clear acryic lacquer to show off the natural wood. We use it proudly in our bedroom, and consider it as a source of ideas.
What is the difference between an economy blanket chest and a premium hope chest? Whatever you want! Some suggestions to consider include
The traditional bedroom furnishings include a tall chest of drawers for the gentleman, 30-36 inches wide, plus a shorter, wide dresser, often 60 inches wide, for the lady. Who knows why? But architects seem to design bedrooms with a space at least 5 feet wide that the dresser logically would go, and another space at least 3 feet wide for the chest of drawers. Where does the blanket chest go? Perhaps at the foot of the bed (a good place to pull back the quilt on the bed) or in a bay window - there is no "standard" or obvious location in most bedrooms.
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