While times may change, the hope chest is an accessory that still remains in favor. Some may call it a blanket chest and it may be sturdy enough to use as seating, but it is always a useful and beautiful accessory. Hope chests are traditionally crafted in wood, but with wicker furnishings finding such a popular niche, the options for creating a treasure chest filled with dreams are expanded.
Hope Chest History
Hope chests in one form or another have been around for centuries. When fathers arranged their daughters’ marriages, a dowry was typically the enticement, rather than the bride. The price tag might include cattle along with pieces of gold and valuable heirlooms. A chest to hold smaller items was necessary as the happy couple left for a new home. Later, the hope chest became a spot to hold items such as linens and dinnerware that a wife would need to fulfill her household duties.
Dreams were also part of the contents of a hope chest. As times changed, it became the repository for a trousseau that would see a newlywed through her wedding day and honeymoon. At the beginning of the 1900s, girls began choosing paths other than marriage once they came of age. Discovering the workplace, they may have still dreamed of that special day, but the need to prepare quite so far in advance waned.
Today, mothers and daughters are rediscovering the joys of collecting heirloom items and creating their own pieces to fill a specially selected hope chest. With all the styles available, wicker is a choice that will fit into any setting. Crafted from rattan and grasses, they feature sturdy, protective wood interiors and beautiful exteriors in a variety of patterns. Chests with cabinet doors instead of lift lids are a stylish option along with vintage inspired trunks that look as if they have been rescued from the old family homestead.
Starting With A Wicker Chest for the Nursery
The nursery is a wonderful starting point for a new wicker hope chest. One day, girls will love the thought of having a storage piece that is as old, or older, than they are. Blanket and storage chests, including benches, make wonderful shower gifts as well. Filled with mementos and extra linens, they can complement wicker chests and other pieces for modern and traditional baby decor.
Chest Uses in Toddler and Youth Bedrooms
Transitioning a keepsake wicker chest into toddler and youth spaces requires some rearranging. It may be time for conversion into a toy box. While the future hope chest waits its turn to become a prized possession, it can still serve a purpose while creating memories that will be handed down for a generation or more.
Traditional Hope Chest Choices for Tweens
Many girls reaching the tween years become enamored with thoughts of creating items for their hope chests. Mother-daughter bonding can mean finding hand-me-down treasures in the attic or receiving pieces from grandparents or great-grandparents that have special meaning. Pre-teens who love light and airy bedroom styles will also love having a spot for wicker. Even if they are not yet ready to fill chests with traditional items, there is plenty of room for accessories of their own choosing.
Heirloom Treasures are Forever in Wicker
In a few years, it all comes together, and wicker hope chests will begin to have sentimental meaning. The wicker piece that started with a family member or as a new nursery accent will be appreciated as an heirloom treasure that evokes memories and becomes a spot for new collections.