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  • Kathy Kilbourn

Elements of Traditional Accent Chests

As we spoke before about traditional styling, there are certain pieces that were more used than others....nothing extreme, and colors tended to be middle to darker finishes.

Accent pieces have sophisticated style and timeless character. It may have had drawer storage for added function. Unique features make a traditional cabinet a stand alone piece many times with antique brass hardware and accents. Finishes were typically in a beautiful Cherry wood which then showed off the beautiful richness and character of its day. Many of these cabinets presented design elements dating back to the 17 th century.

Some cabinets have a very strong design element and others carry just a few details from the period. Today it is nice to have a stylish piece that has been updated just a bit, so that it is easier to work with other styles that are more popular.

One thing about traditional, it has a story to tell. It is design at its height. Curves, details, metals, marble,

Mixed wood elements, carving and interesting leg features. When we take a piece such as this, and add the traditional accents such as candlesticks and artwork, the presentation comes alive! So much furniture today is plain lines lacking detail, and many times in a painted finish, so the only way to add interest is with the accessories that are put with it!

traditional chest and accent pieces

It is definitely a beautiful piece and whether it is new or an heirloom, guests will take a second look if it is displayed correctly!

If a chest is used in an entry, you want to make sure it isn't too large for the wall you are putting it on, and especially not too deep! It could be a trip hazard if it sticks out in the walkway too far!

Also, make sure to have a lamp that is scaled to the piece. It will add ambience to the area, with placing a pool of light on the top accessories. Always complete the look with a piece of wall art. The art piece should not be hung too high over the cabinet as it is part of the cabinet display! It should be narrower in width than the piece you are hanging it over. This is a great piece to bring your color in since many cabinets are just brown.

Traditional Accent Chest

The cabinet is a wonderful display piece that you can change with the seasons and holidays. If it is in your foyer, it will greet your family and company with interesting looks through out the year.

Next time we will look at what has changed with traditional into a newer style called transitional!

Have some fun with accessories on your accent piece.



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