Sunday, May 2, 2010

Apothecary Cabinets: Storage with Many Small Drawers

antique Chinese medicine cabinet

My acupuncturist has a lovely storage piece for his herbs, as I've mentioned before. When someone commented that they'd like something similar, I went looking to see what's out there.

Such pieces are usually called apothecary cabinets or medicine chests. You'll see a lot of them that are either Chinese antiques, or replicas of those antique pieces. The one above is an antique Chinese medicine cabinet being sold by Ron Miller Furniture.

apothecary cabinet

Eastern Curio has a number of apothecary cabinets; this is one.

Chinese medicine chest

Here's a 96-drawer medicine chest.

close-up of Chinese medicine chest

Look at the detail on that one! The same company has a smaller 41-drawer medicine chest. These are reproduction pieces, and they can be found on other web sites, too.

modern apothecary chest / cabinet

But not all apothecary chests have this Chinese look. Furniture maker Stan Pike specializes in lovely apothecary cabinets; he has quite a variety.

apothecary cabinet

And here's an apothecary cabinet with another very different look.

apothecary cabinet base with other storage on top

Sometimes apothecary cabinets get incorporated into other pieces of furniture, as with this piece sold by TR Hayes in the U.K.

apothecary cabinet media stand

And here's an apothecary media stand from Southern Enterprises, Inc. Update on May 18, 2010: In the comments, Jennefer points out that these are false drawer fronts. Darn!

apothecary-style CD storage cabinet

The Leslie Dame apothecary-style CD storage cabinets are widely available.

storage piece with numbers on the drawers

And finally, here's a lovely piece, called Toolbox, from EmmeBi Design. The company doesn't call an apothecary cabinet, but fortunately, Monoscope did - which let me find it. (See Design Milk for a picture of the whole unit.) This is a modular piece, so you don't need to have 90 drawers, but you could - with numbered drawer pulls for each one!

Related Post:
Ode to the Library Card Catalog


Christin@Pregnant with power tools said...

Hi Jeri!
I've been a follower for a while, but never left a comment before.
I just love apothecary cabinets! They are usually very pricey$$$ though. Thought you might like to see how you can build your own "faux" apothecary cab thanks to Knock-Off Wood (she's awesome too!)
- Christin

Unknown said...

I love these cabinets but have always wondered what can you really put in them since the drawers are so small but there are heaps of drawers, love to hear from other readers other ideas on what to put in them.

Jeri Dansky said...

Christin, I personally am SO not a power tools/DIY type of person! But thank you for reminding me that other people are (thank goodness) and pointing to that informative post.

Jeri Dansky said...

Angelica Joy, the person who commented on my first post with an apothecary cabinet said she wanted it for a combination craft room/dining room. While not all craft supplies would fit in those drawers, I can think of many kinds that would.

Anonymous said...

Ideal for quilters fat quarters (a short length of fabric); fabric scraps sorted by colour; thread storage; storage of most smaller notions - zippers, etc. Some things stored in smaller containers (beads, buttons, pins, etc) are also ideally stored in drawers rather than shelves.
I would love one, if I could just work out what to get rid of so it would fit.

Jeri Dansky said...

Thanks for you list, Suebk!

Jennefer said...

I'm late to the game on this one, but did you know the media center you highlighted does not include small drawers? They're all false fronts. I was disappointed to learn that...I've been looking for a card catalog style media center for awhile now!

Jeri Dansky said...

Jennefer: No, I didn't realize the one from Southern Enterprises is all false fronts; darn, I should have caught that. Thank you for pointing it out.

joy said...

I have just started making jewellery, I think these chests will b ideal for keeping my swarovski elements in colour & size order as well as keeping my sterling silver findings in order too.