From the beginning storage has been sought after. We accrue, amass, and accumulate. No matter how much space, we fill it, and need a place for more.
Dining room cabinet in the wall
Cabinets in walls, cubbies in stalls, cubicles in closets. Did you ever think of a cabinet inside a wall? It is done with medicine cabinets all the time. But how about a larger cabinet to store stuff? Like in the dining room. Instead of a buffet cabinet sitting in the room on the floor, how about putting a cabinet in a wall? It can have a serving area, as it is here in the middle of the cabinet, as well as storage. All your dishes, crystal, silver, serving pieces. everything. Everything is away, and still convenient. This one is a contemporary version, but it can be any design of your preference.
Take a wall out, making two rooms into one. One large one, and build cabinets around the supporting columns.
Cabinets (open) hiding columns
Cabinets (closed) built around supporting columns
Now you have a party room, with two cabinets housing all your party stuff, right there where you need it. I designed these based on the clients requests so that beverages and refreshments could be served while mingling with guests.
The cabinets are made in wood, olive ash burl, with a special gloss polyurethane finish that is indestructible.
Here’s some back-story. Let’s call it history. In the 17th century, William of the Netherlands married Mary of England. They had their own style for storage.
William & Mary cabinet
These amazing works of art served them well, to store and to view. Cabinet veneered with burr maple. English, c. 1690. The trumpet-legs, typical of the style, are restored. The floral marquetry panels show the Dutch influence. This period of William and Mary is most characteristically known in English cabinetmaking history as the “Age of Walnut.” See this in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
What about my writer friends. Do you have a desk? Where do you keep all your papers?
Here’s one for you. The writing section can be pulled down, and look at all that drawer space in the walnut-veneer
William & Mary Secretaire-cabinet c.1700
secretaire-cabinet, with bun feet and teardrop hardware, typical of the William and Mary style, with panels of arabesque marquetry and a central panel of flowers in etched and stained woods. Perhaps made in England by an immigrant Dutch craftsman, c. 1700. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Where do you keep all those papers? Would you have enough space for a secretary like this one, or would a smaller one work?
I remember Grandma’s wardrobe.
Grandma’s wardrobe was almost like this one. When Grandma didn’t need it anymore, she passed it on to me. I used it for clothes mostly, but when we moved from Long Island I left it behind.
Victorian Wardrobe (Closet)
After I became an interior designer, I thought about it from time-to-time. If it were today, there would be no way it would be left behind. Now, as an interior designer, my appreciation for well-designed and functional furnishings take precedent. This one is handsome in solid mahogany, Queen Anne hardware, a Chippendale bracket feet at the base and a pierced pediment with a center shell motif. There are several other designs applied to it like a true Victoriana wardrobe.
Dream. Imagine what you could stuff into this amazing wardrobe, namely today’s storage cabinet. Bottom drawers to hold cool summer clothes in the winter and hold snugly winter warm clothes in the summer. Mirrored doors hide hanging clothes and more drawers and shelving in-between. Those studio apartments in New York could use this wardrobe as a room divider.
The wardrobe, also known as an armoire from the French, is a standing closet used for storing clothes. The earliest wardrobe was a chest similar to this cassone, a 16th century Italian chest. This type of chest usually referred to by its Italian name, was most often used as marriage chests to hold brides’ household linens, every item of which would have been woven by hand and embellished with hand lace or embroidery or other fancywork. The cassone was especially popular from the 14th to the 16th century.
During a large portion of the 18th century the tallboy
was much used for storing clothes.
A common feature was to base future size of the wardrobe on the eight small men method. A considered good size double wardrobe would thus be able to hold within its capacity, eight small men.
What’s your preference? A Victorian wardrobe, a cassone, a tallboy, or eight small men?
Diary of a Pet Turkey by Joanne Ingis
This blog is a diversion to tell you about an event next Thursday, January 19th at 2:00 pm at the main branch of the Fairfield Public library 1080 Old Post Road in Connecticut on the 2nd floor in the children’s library. I promise, I will return to storage next week. The subject matter, that is.
Joanne Ingis, my daughter-in-law, is making a rare appearance at the main branch of the Fairfield Public Library. She will be giving everyone a treat reading and talking about her pet turkey and her new book “Diary of a Pet Turkey.”
If you want to hatch a turkey egg, ask Joanne. If the eggs under your turkey hen aren’t hatching well, you can move them into an incubator for better hatching success. Joanne did just that and then we watched and waited and waited and waited. All eyes were upon this egg, mine included.
Hatched turkey egg
The egg had to be warm all over and turned three times a day which became the project of my grandson-turned turkey farmer.
Finally! It cracked. Out came a foot, out came a wing, out came a peep. She was small, sweet and squeaky, Squeaky like pushing a magic marker on a bulletin board. That’s how she got her name, Magic Marker.
About the Author/Artist
Joanne Ingis makes her Blue Apple Books debut with Diary of a Pet Turkey. She home schools her sons, and the turkey in her story was one of their hands-on science projects. Based on a true story, this is a delightful tale of a suburban family and their pet turkey. Joanne Ingis takes readers on an unbelievable journey, from the hatching of the egg, to the naming of the turkey, to its incorporation into the family’s daily life.
Feather from Magic Marker
Magic Marker grew into a fluffy turkey running all around her new home. Double click the link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bowmJ9RZOyk
Storage has been the bane of our existence. Where does this go, where does that go? Throw it in the closet, throw it in the armoire, throw it in the cupboard , throw it in the linenpress. Its tough to part with stuff, so we keep it, throw it somewhere never to find it again. Unless…we get organized, and have a system. Perhaps the linenpress is your answer. This linenpress is a 2-piece storage unit with an overhanging, molded cornice. The upper section has a cupboard with 2 paneled doors concealing 3-5 shelves, possibly with sliding trays or drawers. The lower section is slightly wider than the upper section, with 3-5 full length, usually graduated drawers. This has a molded base with plain skirt and simple bracket feet. Others could have claw-and-ball feet. Paneled, dovetailed, and pegged construction. Lots of space to get organized and store stuff. The woods used are local and could be mahogany, cherry, walnut, or birch. Secondary wood is pine or poplar. The hinges are brass. The pulls are brass mounts or rosettes with bail handles. Escutcheons are matching brass or brass keyhole surrounds. Height: 72-84″ Width: 40-47″, Depth: 17-21″. Made circa 1770-1800 in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Most show some restoration, particularly inside the cupboard. For example, in the 19th century, when there were no closets, they were often fitted with hooks to serve as wardrobes. If you hunt for a linenpress as a collectable, make sure that you have a true linen press and not just a cupboard mounted on a chest of drawers.
Cabinets of all types have been designed since the beginning of time to store what we aren’t using at the moment. We are still struggling with the issue. Here’s some sweet history about the linenpress. It acquired the name back in the 17th century as it was used to press linens. It consisted of a flat bed upon which damp linen was placed for flattening through pressure applied with a large wooden screw. The linen was then stored in the cabinet. The actual press looked like the piece here with the apparatus, the screw, visible. It is Dutch, made in the 17th century in walnut and is typical William and Mary style with its turned legs and stretchers attached to the legs and straight frieze at the top.
The phrase William and Mary usually refers to the co-regency over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland, of King William III & II and Queen Mary II. Their joint reign began in February 1689, when they were offered the throne by the Parliament of England, replacing James II & VII, Mary’s father and William’s uncle/father-in-law, who was “deemed to have fled” the country in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. After Mary died in 1694, William ruled alone until his death in 1702.
Where do you store your “stuff.” How do you organize or not?