I asked young Atlanta-based designer Mallory Mathison about the first antique she ever invested in. Her reply was enthusiastic:
" A walnut bachelor's chest (with fabulous fretwork inlay -- so delightful!). It has been a dream! It has been a bedside table, sideboard, TV chest and bar, and has worked beautifully in every capacity. When you are looking for your first "investment" type antique, whether it is a steal of a deal at an estate sale or a special purchase from a high-end shop, look for something that can be wonderfully useful in a multitude of ways as well as beautiful to look at!"
I think traditionally the term "bachelor's chest" is reserved for smaller pieces. But the masculine reference made me think about how great "male" furniture can look in a woman's apartment. (Like when a woman wears a man's watch or wears her boyfriend's shirt.)
We've already talked about Mathison's mix of feminine and masculine elements in her own bedroom.
Schuyler Samperton used a stately chest in her bedroom too. (Elle Decor, November, 2003.)
And Robin Bell juxtaposed loads of handsome furniture with Rose Cumming's femme fatale "Zebrine" wallpaper (House Beautiful, January 2005.)
Sheraton-style chest shown top is available through Georgia Creek. Georgian chest, image three, is available through Antiquario.