Drawing attention to a need for storage spaces in tables


January 08, 1995|By Rita St. Clair | Rita St. Clair,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

In the past few years I've noticed that furniture manufacturers are not routinely including drawers in smaller tables. Bedside pieces, end tables and even writing tables now seem to be made without slide-in/slide-out storage compartments. What we're getting instead may be an open under-shelf or shelves behind double doors.

This is a real loss, I think. After all, the drawer has been with us for a very long time. According to historians of the decorative arts, it was invented by the Chinese in the early part of the 13th century. Like so many good things, it gradually made its way from Asia to Europe.

So why is the drawer disappearing? It's a casualty of cost-consciousness. Because drawers are the most expensive components in the manufacture of cabinets or tables, we may have to get used to open shelving or to the two-door storage compartment.

However, a few specialty furniture makers still cater to those of us who want a convenient place for storing odds and ends. In fact, when it comes to establishing a degree of order in life, there's simply no substitute for the wide and properly partitioned pencil drawer.

The Schacht Spindle Co. of Boulder, Colo., has paid attention to this basic need. The people at Schacht will now custom-build tables or cabinets to meet customers' specifications. The components must be part of the company's line, but the options are plentiful in regard to style and finish.

Clients can pretty much design the front of a piece, along with the configuration of its legs and the shape of its top. A wide variety of drawer pulls is also available. The overall look can then be easily integrated with Shaker, Queen Anne or Scandinavian styling.

The drawer table shown in the photo is superbly functional. Its shallow drawers are ideal for storing jewelry, gloves, eyeglasses, CDs and numerous other small objects that always seem to slip to the bottom of regulation-size drawers.

Are the big furniture manufacturers going to deprive the mass market of such a wonderful amenity? Are consumers willing to forgo something so fundamental just to save a few dollars? Let's hope not.

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