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Storage Bench Furniture - Storage Bench Furniture Then And Now

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Back in our grandmother’s day, homes were built with a minimum of storage space. Most homes had almost no closets or other storage areas. Reasons for that included the fact that average families lived with the bare necessities. Their lifestyles did not include having possessions that were not used day to day, so therefore they really did not have much to store. Another reason could have been that when homes were being built, most budgets did not provide for extras such as closets.

As times changed and lifestyles evolved, people began to realize a need for efficient storage. Closets were built into homes and residents learned how to incorporate functional storage into attractive and useful furniture. As people began to collect more and more of the stuff of life, the design of storage bench furniture answered the need for attractive and useful ways to keep belongings out of sight while being easily accessible.

Perhaps the earliest piece of furniture which was used also as storage was the chamber pot cabinet. These were designed as chests or perhaps square wooden boxes, many of which were crafted quite elaborately. The chamber pot was stored inside this piece. Some of these were beautiful items which can still be purchased at antique auctions today.

Another early piece of storage bench furniture was the hall tree. The hall tree was usually built from oak or mahogany, both of which could be made into beautiful and durable storage bench furniture. These usually were designed like high-back chairs, which included a long mirror with hooks down the sides to hold hats and coats. The seat might include a lid which opened to reveal a space in which could be stored gloves, shoes, or ladies’ purses. These items continue to be highly sought after in today’s antique market.

After the invention of the telephone, and when people began to have them in their homes, telephone tables which also doubled as storage bench furniture became very popular. This useful item was also constructed from some type of durable and attractive wood. It was designed so that there was a small table on one end on which the telephone sat. The remaining part consisted of a bench with a back, and an armrest at the other end. This piece of furniture was like the hall tree in that the bench seat also doubled as a lid which could be raised to reveal storage space under the seat. While the lady of the house talked on the phone, she could work on her embroidery or crochet, and then store those items under the seat when she wasn’t working on them. In later years, after telephone books began to be published, the storage bench made an excellent place in which to store the book close to the telephone.

As the years went by and house plan designs included increasing amounts of closet and storage space, articles of furniture which can also double as storage continue to be in very great demand. This is true to the extent that some furniture craftsmen and companies specialize in storage furniture. Storage furniture has become a multimillion dollar business.

One early type of storage bench furniture which has remained popular over the years is the cedar chest. Cedar chests are built of cedar and used to store blankets, linens and seasonal clothes. Cedar wood long has had the distinction of repelling moths, which in earlier times would get in closets and eat holes in fabrics.

Almost every home today has what is commonly referred to by sellers of fine furniture as a media center. This is usually a large piece of furniture crafted of wood, glass, or heavy duty plastic, which houses the television, stereo, video gaming centers and other kinds of electronic video and audio equipment. Many of these are designed with doors which close and give the piece the look of an elaborate article of fine furniture.

One lady, who recently built a home, incorporated what she calls a boot box into the decor of her mud room. Her husband crafted an oblong box with a hinged lid of the appropriate height for sitting to put on or pull off shoes and boots. Under the lid, there is ample storage space for those shoes and boots that might normally be left sitting on the floor in a mud room.

As you can imagine, the ideas for types of storage bench furniture are limited only by the imagination of the homeowner or designer. As long as people continue to collect more items than they can use, they will continue to search for attractive furniture which can double as necessary storage space.

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