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Dressers

WHAT’S THE PERFECT USED DRESSER TO COMPLEMENT YOUR STYLE?

Whereas beds tend to be visually innocuous, dressers, with their second-to-none abilities to stash, stow, and sequester life’s best-left-unseen necessities, are a fine place to experiment with a more adventurous sense of style. And while new dressers are certainly enticing, vintage and antique dressers can be the perfect way to push the stylistic envelope. Type “vintage dressers for sale” in your search bar, though, and it becomes clear that vintage and antique dressers need a bit of decoding. To help, we’re spotlighting some of the most common vintage dresser styles for sale, from pretty French Provincial dressers to cool campaign chests.

What is a Campaign Dresser?

If an antique dresser and a minimalist dresser were to have a baby, it would be the campaign dresser. Straddling the line between historical and contemporary; decorative and minimalist, the campaign dresser is a decorator fallback—which isn’t to dismiss this classic dresser's design prowess, but rather say that a campaign dresser will work virtually anywhere. The campaign dresser derives its name from military campaigns which required lightweight, packable furniture that could be easily schlepped between battlegrounds. Campaign dressers were designed to look and function as steamer trunks, which accounts for campaign dressers’ recessed hardware and side handles, which were used to carry campaign dresser. Additionally, metal caps hammered onto the corners protected campaign dressers from dents and dings. If you’re hunting for used dressers in the campaign style today, you’re likely to notice that the style has been vividly reimagined. The utilitarian metal hardware has been changed out with radiant brass handles and plain wood finishes have been swapped for luxe lacquer finishes in a full spectrum of rainbow colors. Even textural finishes like tweed and cane have entered the arena as of late, making it more fun than ever to search for a used chest of drawers in this classic style.

What is a Federal Dresser?

If you’re looking for a vintage or used dresser that has old-world gusto but will blend seamlessly with contemporary bedroom standbys—like upholstered beds—a Federal dresser is an extraordinary option. A broad term used to identify a style of furniture that emerged after the Revolutionary War, Federal furniture is generally defined by its dark wood finishes, straight legs, curved fronts, and oval drawer pulls. Unlike many old fashioned dressers that require paint to feel 21st Century-ready, Federalist dressers’ smooth, dark, finishes require no overhauling. Because they're equally elegant and modern-feeling, Federal dressers pair easily with contemporary interiors. In fact, adding a Federal dresser to a contemporary room is among the easiest ways for design novices to achieve that all-coveted designer mix of old and new. A bit of advice for used dresser shoppers hoping to factor a vintage Federalist dresser into a more neoteric environment? Hold out for used dressers with shapely curves and avoid Federalist pieces with blunt or blocky edges. Federalist style was occasionally crossed with Chinese Chippendale style, which resulted in heavy, squared-off pieces that, while lovely, don’t jive as well with modern interiors.

What is a French Provincial Dresser?

If you’re of the mind that real dressers have curves, a used chest of drawers in the French Provincial style is liable to send you into a blissful tailspin. French Provincial dressers typically feature wavy drawer fonts, scrolling hardware, and curvy legs capped in tightly curled feet. Historically, the style was born out of the French provincial nobility’s intention to distance themselves from the Parisian style, which was considered to be too bourgeoisie at the time. Its unique history accounts for why vintage French Provincial dressers echo Rococo design, but overall, showcase a remarkably pared-down design. There’s no denying these used dressers’ feminine overtones, which has led to designers teaming French Provincial dressers with shabby chic style. French Provincial dressers are also popular picks for kids’ rooms, especially when made over with colorful paint. If you happen to run across a used Provincial dresser, consider how a coat of paint might rejuvenate it, as French Provincial dressers’ details take on a new dimension when varnished in a new, shell-shocking color.

What is a Bombé Dresser?

Leave it to the French to reinterpret an icon as divisive as the bomb as something entirely new and thoroughly chic. Although the bombé dresser only takes its name from the same word as the bomb—that’d be “bombé,” the French word for "curved"—it’s hard not to associate the compact dresser with a certain round explosive. The bombé dresser features a curvy, compact body hoisted atop four shapely legs. It often features a scalloped apron as well. If you’re on the hunt for a vintage dresser that can take on unconventional tasks, such as lending storage to an entryway or standing in as a nightstand, a bombé dresser is worth a gander. Because of their unique shape, bombé dressers are usually more petite than other vintage and used dressers. Don't fret, though. These used dressers' unique shape gives you plenty of boom for your buck thanks to their dialed-up details. As is the French way, bombé dressers are also frequently outfitted with ornate details. Molded scrollwork is common, as are detailed carvings and painted scenery.