Japanese tansu chests may help solve storage problems

Judging from the questions I receive, finding enough storage space ranks as the No. 1 issue bedeviling readers of this column.

I guess it’s partly because homes are designed differently today than half a century ago. Most new houses lack the basements and attics that can serve as capacious and conveniently out-of-sight storage spaces.

There’s still the garage. But when it gets too crowded to accommodate a car, you know you’ve got a storage problem.

Accumulating less and giving away more can solve the problem, of course. Yet how many of us actually change our lifestyles in this way — despite repeated resolutions?

Q: I need storage space for linens and blankets in a hallway off the master bedroom of a contemporary-style home. The space is long and wide. Can you suggest a suitable storage piece?

A: A built-in cabinet would be one possibility. It may actually be the best option for meeting your specific requirements and aesthetic preferences, but custom-designed furniture of any sort is seldom simple to commission and it’s always expensive to purchase.

An appropriate storage piece shouldn’t be too difficult to find on the commercial market. A Mediterranean-style armoire would be something to consider, as would a painted decorative wardrobe. You might be able to locate reasonably priced pieces of these kinds in a shop specializing in high-quality second-hand furniture.

And are you familiar with the Japanese tansu? If not, permit me to introduce it.

As the photo shows, a tansu consists of a variety of storage compartments, some of which are enclosed by sliding doors. The components can be separated and stacked into whatever configuration may be most serviceable.

Furniture for a traditional Japanese home is quite different from the American norm. But the characteristic low tables and storage pieces such as the tansu can be wonderfully practical as well as beautiful additions to a contemporary American home. After all, Japanese design has been a highly influential inspiration for Western furniture makers for the past 100 years.

The diversity of furnishings in today’s interiors — in terms of both styling and countries of origin — is highlighted in a recently published book from The Taunton Press entitled “Celebrating the American Home.” The tansu photo is taken from this beautifully illustrated volume, which was compiled by Joanne Kellar Bouknight.

A tansu that fits the dimensions of your space may prove elusive. The range of choices in the United States simply isn’t very wide, despite growing demand for this Japanese import. You might get lucky by searching the Internet, however.

And if not, there’s always the custom-design approach.

Rita St. Clair is a syndicated columnist with Tribune Media Services Inc. E-mail general interior design questions to her at rsca@ritastclair.com.

An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women at WestCare Women Children Campus in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Former 51s manager Wally Backman chats about new job
Former Las Vegas 51s manager Wally Backman talks about his new job with the independent league Long Island Ducks during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Roy Choi on cooking for Park MGM employees
As he prepares to open his new restaurant Best Friend later this month at Park MGM, celebrity chef Roy Choi took the time to cook for the resort’s employees Tuesday. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Great Santa Run
People participated in the 14th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run which raises cubs for Opportunity Village.
World Holidays Exhibit At The Natural History Museum
Migratory Bird Day teaches adults and kids to celebrate birds
Different organizations offered activities for kids and adults to learn about birds and celebrate their migration journey at Sunset Park. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Jackson: The Red Rock Canyon Burro" is a children's book about Red Rock Canyon
"Jackson: The Red Rock Canyon Burro" is a children's book about Red Rock Canyon (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Interfaith Amigos speak in Las Vegas
Celebrity photographer dedicates dance book to Las Vegas shooting victims
Behind the scenes with local celebrity photographer Jerry Metellus as he talks about his Dance For Vegas coffee book dedicated to the 58 victims of the October 1 shooting. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Dreamsickle Kids Foundation founder Gina Glass talks awareness
Gina Glass, 35, founded Dreamsickle Kids Foundation to raise awareness for sickle cell disease in Nevada. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Home and Garden Video
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like