If you've ever had the opportunity to visit your childhood home, then you know that the closets were amazingly small back when you were a kid. Sure, they seemed large enough to play hide and seek in and store your school and play clothes, but that was about it. Especially when you had to share your room with a brother or sister.
Even the coat closet by the front door was tiny, at least compared to today's cavernous walk-in closets, which should come with tour maps and a guide.
And yet, our closets still stretch and bulge to the point that they look possessed by demons. We just have so much stuff and as any homeowner knows, "stuff expands over the years to fill the space available."
It's difficult to add a closet to a home, but it's a cinch to add hall chests, which can handle your ever growing collection of goods with expandable aplomb.
Hall chests used to be a fixture of every American home. Available in a wide range of styles, these differ from the cedar chest or hope chests you may have in mind. Like their ancestors, hall chests look a lot like a dresser or chest of drawers. They have large drawers that can hold linens, seasonal serving items, games or memories.
These hall chests fit well in any hall, of course. But they can also tuck in under a stairwell, at the top of a landing, outside the bedrooms - anywhere additional space is needed; yet a closet is either unavailable or impractical.
As with all furniture these days, hall chests come in a wide range of styles, finishes and materials. Some hall chests are extremely ornate, mimicking those that were popular at the turn of the century. Others are simpler, picking up design cues from the Amish.
When selecting hall chests for spaces in your home, you can either choose to select styles that are similar or which complement your existing furnishings or use them as transitional pieces to go from one style to another. This works particularly well when hall chests are placed on landings or in between floors. They can often be used to set the tone for the next floor up, picking up colors or designs from one floor to the other.
Shopping for hall chests is much like any other dresser-style furnishing. You want to make sure that your hall chests are well built. The drawers should be large so that you can use them for a variety of purposes. You don't want to limit your choices by picking a chest that has drawers that aren't wide enough to fit in a few board games or a large comforter.
Hall chests can also add storage to a large bathroom. Why travel back and forth to the linen closet when you can store extra towels and toiletries in an attractive hall chest right in the bathroom. You'll gain a new appreciation for hall chests when you step out of a shower soaking wet and need a fresh towel.
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