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Design Characteristics of a Vintage-Style Chest

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When you shop at a furniture store that specializes in unique items for your home, one piece that may catch your eye is a chest with a vintage design. These chests can take several different forms, but you'll often find options that have the appearance of a treasure chest. Depending on how you decorate your home and how much floor space you have for additional furniture, a vintage-looking treasure chest can be a fun addition to several rooms. Focus on finding one that has the following design characteristics, as they'll help to give the piece of furniture an authentic appearance.

Wooden Construction

While you may occasionally find treasure chests that use lighter materials, it's ideal if you can buy one that is made of actual wood. Visually, the use of wood will give the chest a sturdy, high-quality look that is similar to what you'd expect to see in an actual vintage item. While chests that are made from lighter materials such as fiberboard might be appealing — especially if they look like authentic wood to some degree — actual wood will also last considerably longer than any alternative material.

Metal Hardware

Look for a treasure chest that also has a number of pieces of metal hardware on it. This feature will further help to give the chest a solid, authentic appearance. Many chests of this style have a pair of heavy metal hinges with hinge plates that are large in size. There should also be a metal clasp through which you can hang a padlock. Some chests even have built-in locks, and you'll typically get a pair of keys when you buy this piece of furniture. Another type of metal hardware that chests often feature is a set of metal corners. Functionally, these corners help to protect the wooden corners of the chest from damage, but they add a certain visual quality, too.


If you really want your treasure chest to have an authentic, vintage look, you may be able to find one that has some type of printing on it. For example, one chest might have a date printed on its lid or front, or another may have another type of wording that suggests the chest dates back many decades. Often, this printing will be done in a stencil-style font that gives it a realistic look. In some cases, part of the printing will even appear worn, which further adds to the authenticity of the piece.

Visit a local furniture store to evaluate its chests and other pieces of furniture.