In the Entryway?
Perfect for hats and scarves, keys and keeping other clutter out of view, this iron strap isho dansu is mixed with other Asian antiques and objects in this elegant entry by Vincente Wolf.
Even shoes or rainboots can fit if the tansu is big enough. Love the similarity between the spare Shaker-like English rush-seat chairs and the simple mizuya tansu.
In the Living Room?
The gilded doors and elaborately grained wood on this early 20th century tansu dresses up a corner of Chris Barrett’s tiny home.
In the Dining Room?
Designer and blogger Lauren Liess uses the bottom half of a tansu as a sideboard in her dining room. The big sliding doors and deep cabinet make storage easy.
In the Kitchen?
I know I’ve shown this Michael Smith photo before, but I love it so much I’ll show it again. He is a master at using Japanese antique furniture in his designs. For more great examples from him click here.
In the Family Room?
This example is a bit of a cheat as it actually a Korean bandaji (blanket chest), a family heirloom of Ally’s of From the Right Bank.
In the Bedroom?
A big tansu, perfect for clothes, blankets and pillows in the Chelsea bedroom of Ray Booth and John Shea…
or a small one on raised metal legs, making a perfect nightstand in this gorgeous Madeline Stuart designed bedroom.
Smaller chigai dana with their open staggered shelves, often laquered and decorative, are incredibly versatile too. Besides the most famous one residing in the White House, you can find them tucked in numerous interesting spaces. Check out the one in the left corner of this Markham Roberts designed living room…
…and another hidden in the left corner of Celerie Kemble‘s bedroom.
I’ve had a few questions lately from readers on how to blend Japanese antique furniture into Western interiors, so this post proves my adage that a tansu can work in almost any design style, whether modern, traditional or eclectic. Perpetually underused in the design world, tansu are great for storage and display as well as gorgeous in their own right.
So friends and readers, where do you tansu? I’d love to do a follow-up post showing photos of tansu in your rooms! Get out your cameras, do a little styling if you want and send me photos of tansu in your homes!
What’s Cooking? Tansu in the Kitchen
Sourcing Antiques for Michael Smith Interiors
A Masterful Modern Mixmaster…John F. Saladino
An Artistic Reflection…The 1860 Japanese Envoy to America and Yokohama-e
Image credits: 1. Metropolitan Home November/December 1995, photo credit: Simon Watson, 2. credit unknown, perhaps Kelly Hoppen, 3. House Beautiful July/August 2011, photo credit: Victoria Pearson, 4. via Pure Style Home, 5. via Chinoiserie Chic, 6. via From the Right Bank, 7. Elle Decor September 2007, photo credit: Eric Piasecki, 8. Elle Decor January 2007, photo credit: unknown, 9. House Beautiful May 2011, photo credit: Thomas Loof, 10. Lonny October/November 2010, photo credit: Patrick Cline