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Arts and Crafts Bedroom
Furniture in the late 19th century bedroom bore witness to the prevailing belief that dust was unhygienic. Bedsteads were high off the ground to facilitate cleaning beneath (offering great storage options today) and other furniture usually stood on plinth bases to prevent dust wafting underneath. The later 1800s also marked the appearance of ‘suites’ of bedroom furniture, some of the earliest being produced in the Aesthetic style, often in ash, oak or pitch pine. By 1900 the catalogues of makers and retailers carried illustrations of a host of bedroom suites in various sizes, styles and levels of embellishment. At their most basic these suites comprised a Dressing table or Dressing chest (essentially a chest of drawers with mirror), a Wardrobe – double, singe or triple, and a Washstand, often marble topped. All the pieces in a suite shared a matching design, including features such as inlay, copper plaques or decorative carving. These items can found today in good Arts and Crafts designs with detailing in the Art Nouveau style and are reasonably priced. They add a touch of authentic depth and creativity to a bedroom and can be combined sympathetically with more contemporary items. A Washstand can often be repurposed as a Writing or Console Table and put to use in other parts of a contemporary home. Occasionally matching Bedsteads with Headboards, as well as pairs of Bedside Cabinets or tables were part of the original ensemble, and these come on the market from time to time – not to mention the solid wood Chest of Drawers which has proved itself too dependable to ever go out of fashion.