Whether they are family heirlooms, collectible antiques, or everyday wear, the flatware you choose not only fulfills a practical purpose in your life, but it also speaks to your values and hospitality. The right flatware can enhance your dining experience by giving you and your guests a sense of comfort, elegance and style. Just as you wouldn’t keep a diamond ring in a tin can, the way you store your flatware affects its elegance, usability, and presentability for the long haul. That’s why it is important to store your flatware in an appropriate flatware chest.
When selecting a flatware chest, there are a few essential qualities that you should look for. Remember that the chest will be used not only for protection of your flatware, but also provides an elegant presentation piece as you use the flatware or as a display piece in your dining area.
As you browse through different flatware chests, look first at the external appearance of the chest. Notice the finish, grain, and assembly. High quality flatware chests will start as one piece of wood, and then the top will be cut off to ensure an exact fit and a continuity of wood color and grain. You can identify these by looking at the wood grain where the top of the chest meets the lid; if the pattern of the wood grain matches, then it is likely made of one piece of wood. Likewise, the finish of the chest is important. This piece will be used often and should be able to withstand normal wear and tear without compromising the finish.
When you open the lid to the flatware chest, pay attention to the quality and responsiveness of the hinges as well as the material that is used as lining. This lining will be in constant contact with your flatware. Most high-quality chests will include a tarnish-preventive silver cloth.
There are as many different varieties of flatware chests as there are people and distributors. Whether you are looking for an art deco or classic style, a painted design or bare wood, you have your pick. Most chests have one to two drawers, with a lid that opens to reveal another compartment. Many flatware chests have drawer pulls; others are made to highlight a sleek line. Look around your home and keep in mind the different facets of your style that are evident. Do you prefer dark wood or light wood? Bronze or stainless steel? Do your rooms feel generally elegant or casual? Every detail of your style that you can identify will help you to choose a flatware chest that will compliment your home, and that you will remain happy with for years to come.
Though the flatware chest that you choose should be in keeping with your personal style and the motif of your home, keep in mind that the style you choose may affect the quality and resale value of your chest. These choices will also affect the price of your chest; flatware chests range in price from about $30 to the high 400s.
Brass or nickel hardware, mahogany or pine, the right flatware chest will add to your home’s style and design, while providing essential protection for your fine silver. Keeping in mind these tips will enable you to choose the right piece to compliment your lifestyle.