What is a Bachelor Chest?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Bachelor chests are short chests of drawers that are often equipped with some type of fold over tabletop. Many designs call for three oblong drawers in the body of the chest that open outward as in a standard chest of drawers or dresser. In height, the typical bachelor chest will be no more than 36 inches (91.44 centimeters), making it ideal for use in several areas of the home.

A bachelor chest can be used to store items such as reading glasses.
A bachelor chest can be used to store items such as reading glasses.

The origin of the bachelor chest is generally considered to during the 18th century. Developed during the Georgian era, the chest was compact enough to fit neatly into the type of living accommodations that many young men utilized when moving to the city and just beginning a career. While small, the chest usually had plenty of room to store basic toiletry items, clean shirts, and other essentials that the unmarried male would need.

While bachelor’s chests are still produced today, they are now utilized as a home accessory that provides extra storage space around the home. One common application is to use bachelor chest furniture as nightstands in a bedroom. The height usually complements the height of the mattress on the bed, making the chest the perfect option to add storage to the room while still providing table space for lamps, reading glasses, and books. Since bachelor’s chest furniture is usually composed of wood, it is possible to stain or pain the exterior to blend in with just about any décor.

Another modern use of the bachelor chest is as end tables in a den or sitting room. The chest is especially helpful in homes where there is limited storage space, such as an efficiency apartment. The typical bachelor chest is tall enough to come up to the top of the arm of many sofa and chair designs, thus providing table space for lamps, picture frames or any other decorating element desired. At the same time, there is storage space in the drawers for DVDs, writing material or anything else that needs to be within easy reach but stored out of sight.

Because of the diminutive size of the bachelor chest, the furniture piece can also be used in hallways, such as placement at the far end of a hall. When coupled with a mirror mounted on the end wall of the hall and a lamp on the tabletop, the chest adds quick storage for keys, gloves, or other items that need to be located quickly before leaving the home. The bachelor chest also makes it possible to provide mood lighting in the hallway without having to use pole lamps or overhead lighting.

In addition to the traditional wooden tabletop, it is also possible to purchase a bachelor chest that is designed with a marble top. This option can help to soften the masculine lines and dark wood stain that is common with many chests of this type, making it possible to add another texture to the décor of the room.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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