Upright vs Horizontal Dressers: Which Is Ideal for Your Space?

Unless you’re the fabled Emperor from the old tale, you’ll need somewhere to put your clothes. Even in homes with ample closet space, the best place for certain kinds of clothing is usually your dresser. Whether you’re moving into a new home, furnishing a room for your kids, or just redecorating, finding the right dresser is an important step towards feeling settled in your home.

Dressers last a long time—decades, if not generations—and can be important investments. While you’re not married to the dresser you choose, if you pick the right one for you and your space, it can last you the rest of your life. Taking your time, considering your options, and finding an upright or horizontal dresser that matches your taste will help you arrive at the best option for the flow of your daily life. Every day, your dresser will be there to greet you in the morning and say goodnight before you go to sleep. So how do you find the right one?

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Augustine Dresser
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Choosing Between an Upright vs Horizontal Dresser

Fortunately, finding a dresser is easy. New dressers of all descriptions peer longingly from showroom windows, waiting for the right person to come along and take them home. High-quality, lovingly made, custom-fitted dressers can even be built just for you. With so many options to choose from, the first step is to start narrowing down your search, to focus in on the dresser that best meets your needs. To start, try asking yourself a series of questions about your new dresser, like:

-Who will use the dresser?

-How many people will use the dresser?

-How much available floor space do you have?

-How tall are your other pieces of furniture?

-Do you want to preserve vertical space for windows, art, or a wall-mounted television?

-How much space do the bed(s) take up?

-How will you move through the room, and where will you stand to dress?

-Do you hope to use the top of the dresser for storing books or other household objects?

-Do you intend to hang a mirror beside or above it? Do you have a mirror to use already?

By answering these questions, you’ll get a much better sense of the type of dresser you’re looking for. For instance, tall, narrow dressers are ideal for rooms without much floor space or walking paths, where they can tuck into corners or huddle next to other furniture. In contrast, lower, longer dressers fit well in larger rooms with more uninterrupted wall space, or at the foot of a queen or king sized bed. Also consider if you and your partner will be sharing the dresser, and how much space you both need.

A tall, broad dresser can stick out as the only piece of furniture above three feet, and can obscure windows or clutter decoration. But relocating a single, large dresser to the side of the bed in rooms with corner beds or bunk beds can be an efficient use of space, and leaves uninterrupted stretches of walls free for windows, posters, artwork, antlers, or whatever else you might want to put there.

Different dresser shapes pair best with different mirror shapes as well. Narrow upright dressers, and even broader upright dressers, work well together with full or partial vertical mirrors. Since they take up similar amounts of vertical wall space, they can be positioned next to each other efficiently. Low dressers, positioned with their back to their wall, make a good base for oval, circular, or wide mirrors above them. It all depends on how you want to see yourself in your room.

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Wilshire Dresser
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Finding the Right Spot for Your Dresser in the Bedroom

Dressers don’t just impact the layout of your home’s bedrooms in three dimensions; they impact the layout in four dimensions as well. The time spent going to and from your dresser every day shapes the way you start each morning. Will going to the dresser bring you towards the door as you start your day, or away from it? Will you and your partner dress on separate sides of the bed, or come together in the open space at its foot? How will you stand to put away your laundry—can you put the laundry on the bed easily, or on top of the dresser?

When you think about the size and shape of your dresser, think about the ideal shape of your daily routine. Remember the other steps of your routine, like going to the bathroom, and checking the mirror. When you’ve got a clear idea in mind of the best route, you can visit a furniture showroom and find a dresser accordingly. While prebuilt options exist, custom furniture makers can craft a piece that fits your day exactly, and lasts your life.

Deciding on an upright or horizontal dresser comes down to thinking about how you’ll use it. By imagining what your day will look like with the dresser in your space, you’ll know what the best dresser for your home is. When shopping for a dresser, emphasize quality. A beautiful piece of bedroom furniture can brighten every day it’s a part of.

How To Get Started

At Unruh Furniture, we believe the best furniture is handmade to suit your life. Our custom dressers, beds, and nightstands are sized to fit your space, stained to match your style, and guaranteed for life.

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