The search for the furniture holy grail...that's basically how I'd describe the last few months of my life after I decided I needed a chest near my entryway and the Dorothy Draper Espana chest was simply the only one that would do. Sure it's easy to find an Espana chest. Go on 1st Dibs and there are plenty of them right there for the taking. If you have $4,500 to spare. I'm nothing if not determined, though. After months of Ebay/Craiglist/resale store stalking, fruitless google searches, and plenty of 1st Dibs pouting, today I had my Indiana Jones moment, aka the furniture score of a lifetime! Allow me to introduce the newest member of my household.
It's in great shape, the lacquer is shiny, it's close to where I live, and, best of all...the price was right. The stars definitely aligned on this one when I least expected it.
Interestingly enough, Espana chests were designed by Dorothy Draper at the invitation of the Spanish government in an effort to raise the profile of Spanish design in the international market. I love these vintage ads for Espana chests, which were designed to be grouped together. The real Espana chests are finished all the way around- including the back- so that they can also be used as a room divider.
This has long been one of my favorite rooms from House Beautiful. I love how it incorporates a lot of regency items- the Espana chest, tole lamp, bamboo etagere- without looking over the top. It's nice to see these elements in a muted colorway. I don't plan on using my Espana as a bedside table, but it's nice to know that they'll work in that capacity.
Another one of my favorite rooms from Elle Decor. I love how the Espana chest is right at home here with bright accent colors in other parts of the room.
I love it when a diligent search turns fruitful...just goes to show you, you never know when your next great find is around the corner!
P.S. Has anyone else noticed that if you google "Draper chest," you get a lot of shirtless pictures of John Hamm? Ha!