Doing Living

Hold The Presses; Five Reasons To Love Letterpress Drawers

5 reasons to love letterpress drawers ideas trays interiors trends

What the frickin’ frack are letterpress drawers? Oh, only the awesomest way to store your unstorables. Back in the Stone Age it was some poor sucker’s job to line up every letter of every word that was going to be printed in a newspaper. The letterpress types (the letters) were numerous and what this poor guy lacked in job satisfaction was more than made up for with vintage-industrial furniture, although it would have been modern-industrial at the time or, as it was know back then, ‘just some crap to make my tedious job less lucrative’. Obviously this guy is pretty much unemployed these days but letterpress drawers (or trays) have found a whole new role. Placed upright on a wall the drawers make perfect little shelves, like tiny Billy Bookcases, for all the trinkets we could possible want on show. Not convinced? Here are five pretty good reasons to love them.
Letterpress tray 1. AWESOME, AWESOME STORAGE
There are certain things in the world that just don’t want to be arranged neatly and aromatherapy bottles are one of those things. Little bastards that they are, they’re too finicky to stack, too leaky for horizontal positions and used too regularly to be chucked in a storage box. Even apothecary cabinets are pretty useless because the small wooden drawers don’t allow you to see what’s inside them and you’re left lifting every single bloody one to check the label. This is where letterpress drawers come into their own. They were, after all, originally made for storing tiny and finicky objects while keeping them visible and close to hand and off the newsroom floors they continue to do a damn fine job of displaying your knickknacks that are in everyday use. Spools of thread, makeup and nail polishes are but a few of the similarly tricky objects a letterpress drawer can spank into line.
letterpress tray storage 2. THEY LOOK REALLY GOOD
Really, really good. Pretending our grandparents had wicked ass taste in homewares by kitting our gaffs out with antique trunks and side tables is one thing, but letterpress drawers take the whole heirloom thing to fantastic new levels. Nothing says “Nanny used to print a radical literature for the Black Panthers in the sixties” quite like some letterpress parts hanging in the living room. So not only are they quite useful, they’re quite decorative.
Decorated letterpress tray DIY 3. YOU CAN DECORATE THEM
If you find a good example and choose to paint it you could well be set alight from the collective bad karma you’ll get from the Pinterest-atti but if you happen to find a pretty crap version, its fair game. A lick of paint is one thing but you could go all Billy Bookcase on your drawer by decorating the cubbies individually with maps and wallpaper and the like.
For the most part letterpress drawers are suitable for smaller whosits and whatsits galore but if you’ve got larger thingabobs (I’ve got twenty) you might want moooore. Now to say that in a way that isn’t a bastardisation of The Little Mermaid’s Part of Your World; it’s worth keeping an eye out for pieces with larger spaces that would house CDs, DVDs and maybe even some paperbacks. Letterpress cabinets, as pictured, are particularly roomy and stand on their own. They mightn’t be as easy to source as the drawers and trays, but they do exist.
Affordable letterpress drawer ideas 5. They’re cheap
A thorough investigation (quick search on Etsy) reveals that letterpress drawers are available for as little as €11 before postage, although expect to spend at least €50 all in. The one pictured is €32 from Cupola Vintage. Keep an eye out on eBay and you’ll probably find something cheaper. I’m guessing that the aforementioned (p)interest in letterpress trays will start raising the price pretty soon so get in early before the bandwagon late check-in fees kick in.

Images via; 1. This Vintage Thing. 2. Little Red Chair. 3. Things Bright. 4. I Adore It. 5. Cupola Vintage.

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  • Reply Sarah June 26, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    I’m convinced! I’ve got so many whosits and whatsits that need some creative space. Great post, thank you.

    • Reply Niamh July 2, 2013 at 11:15 am

      Thanks missus. Let us know how you get on with your thingamabobs. x

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