Dressers are really unwieldy things, right? They’re the Dawn Weiner of furniture: awkward and clunky. And they usually cost an arm and a leg. And a but. That but being But when done right they can really ground a room and even free up a lot of space.

I’ve never had a dresser in New York so this is new territory for me. I’m not thrilled about the idea of owning one. I tend not to see the potential for storage so much as how obnoxious it will be to hoof it up to my apartment and the very real possibility of pulling a Meryl down the stairs à la Death Becomes Her.


I have to get something for this wall. At 13 1/2 feet it’s a big canvas to fill. It needs to be long enough to handle the space and comfortably house a flat screen, but too big and it will look oppressive and cramped.

At first I found this extremely handsome sideboard at Restoration Hardware:


What a stud, huh? It’s a massive 6 foot long, 200 lbs thing of beauty. It has 3 banks of drawers—12 total—the wood has character and it would give enough room on each side of the TV to throw a lamp or three if I need it. My only concern was the hardware. Used sparingly bin pulls are evocative but as repetitive as this can be a tad kitschy. I would’ve liked to have replaced them with more understated ceramic knobs but RH couldn’t tell me how the pulls were fastened to the drawers or whether they could be switched at all. At $1295 that just didn’t fly with me, so I moved on.

Next I looked at West Elm. Again, a little pricey at $899 but it has character and I have yet to replace anything I’ve bought from them so far:


It’s rougher, which I dig, but it kind of just sits there, like a tube sock full of nickels. THUD. Also the drawers are not set on casters. For 900 spanks you should be getting a little more razzle-dazzle than just wood tracks, in my opinion. Know your worth and what’s important to you. Set standards and go from there.

Which brings me to Ikea. I hate to fall back on them because it feels sort of lazy of me, but in the end I’ve been defeated by the dresser Gods and Ikea offers affordable, workable solutions and I’m not Nate Berkus so don’t judge me:


They got it right with their Hemnes series. It’s substantial yet light and creates a presence without pulling focus, like any good supporting character. And at $269? That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.

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