larger sizes may cost slightly more, depending on efficient use of the plywood
Historic Cedar Chest
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.
Premium Blanket Chest - Hope Chest
What is the difference between an economy blanket chest and a premium hope chest? Whatever you want! Some suggestions to consider include
- Exotic wood - veneer
- Panel construction rather than flat sides
- Fancy feet or heavier corners
- Cedar lining
- Internal trays or special compartments
- Handles (I don't know why, but I have seen chests with carrying handles on the ends)
- Lock (it might provide some privacy from snoopy visitors, but it will not provide real security, since a burglar could smash the chest or take the whole chest)
Designing your own Blanket Chest
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.
- Width: The blanket chests I have seen are typically 36 to 48 inches wide... the economy unit above is 40 inches wide. Our antique blanket chest is 48 inches wide - as wide as I would want at the foot of a 60 inch queen size bed. If it will be used at the foot of a bed, it probably should be significantly narrower than the bed, so there is less chance of bumping knees as you walk around the foot of the bed.
- Height: Typical height is about 22 inches - lower than the typical bed height of 28 inches. However, some people like to use the blanket chest as a place to sit to put on shoes, for example. Typical chair height is 18 inches; 20 inches will probably still be comfortable, but 22 inches feels like an extra tall seat (even for a tall guy like me). The units above are 22 inches high.
- Depth: A lot of furniture that goes against a wall is 16-20 inches deep, so this blanket chest is likely to be in a room with 18 inch deep chest of drawers, dresser, and other items. A depth of 18 inches would be a good choice, plus a little extra for the lid to hang over the edge. This economy unit is 19 inches deep, plus extra space for the lid.
- Inserts: Many blanket chests have a removable tray that slides from one side to the other, so smaller items are not "lost" in the bottom of the chest. Of course, for the tray to slide, the other side has to be left empty, so a tray actually reduces the total useful storage. We have a tray in the antique blanket chest, but it is never used to advantage... just for more storage... so a tray is not included in the economy chest. It could easily be added if desired.
- Feet: I suggest using feet of the same general style as the other bedroom furniture. The economy unit above has a base that comes very close to the floor so kiddie and pet toys don't get lost underneath, with six points of contact to minimize the impact of a floor that isn't perfectly level.
Previous Item - Next Item
Back to the woodworking page at www.plesums.com/wood
Back to the home page at www.plesums.com
Send e-mail comments to Charlie@Plesums.com
This entire site (layout and contents) is ©2003-2013 by Charles A. Plesums, Austin, Texas USA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
We primarily serve Austin and the Central Texas area, but travel to the DFW area periodically and are glad to serve the Garland, Plano, Frisco, Dallas, and other North Texas areas, and are willing to ship anywhere.