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Whether you’re refreshing your bedroom, living room, kid’s room or hallway, a chest of drawers should be one of the key furniture items you consider. With the ample storage it offers, it’s a useful piece that will serve its purpose for years and years. 

So, what’s the difference between a chest of drawers and a dresser? While both are used for storage and have drawers, the latter is wider and shorter. Which type you choose should be based on the size of the space you’re furnishing. 

You may find them in many bedrooms today, and this has been the case since the 17th century, when the noble classes began asking cabinet-makers for luxury cabinets. The chest of drawers became popular from then on, overtaking the coffer chests that were used for storage in the previous few centuries. In his book English Furniture 1660-1714, furniture historian Adam Bowett says: “No other article of furniture better illustrates the revolution of design and form brought about by the advent of modern cabinet-making.”

They’re ideal in bedrooms, where the storage drawers are used for storing clothing that doesn’t usually go in a wardrobe. Think socks, underwear, swimwear and so on. The bottom drawer is also great as a shoe drawer. Get one for your children’s room, and its functions can grow as the child does. During the infant stage, it can double-up as a changing station. In the toddler years, messy toys can be stored away inside. Later on, the drawers can be filled with clothing. 

However, a drawer cabinet can be used in any room in the home, really. It will work well in a farmhouse kitchen, as a bureau in the family room, or for extra crockery storage in the dining room.