Vintage Home Decor

Antique Steamer Trunks make for Unique Coffee Tables

Antique steamer trunks make for wonderful pieces of furniture in the home. These trunks that were mainly used as luggage during the era of traveling the world by ship, has made an awesome come back as unique coffee tables, end tables or to place at the end of a bed.

They have the added advantage of offering you lots of storage space while adding some rustic flair to your space. Listed below are some wonderful vintage and antique trunks that has come across our path.

We clean them up in the best possible way by scrubbing them and oiling the wood and leather parts where applicable. Some need a little more help and that is when we refinish them with specialty paint and waxes.

These trunks normally withstand the test of time very well. They were built super sturdy and strong to make it through the on and off loading of luggage in docks where the ships came into port. It is common for us to find them with broken off handles. These leather strap handles are the only parts that couldn’t hold up from the heavy-duty handling of these trunks. Some come to us with rope or other kinds of handles that people have replaced the leather handle with. In some cases they have long leather straps that was used to be tied around the entire trunk to keep it from opening up during transit. Which actually I can’t see happening because their side latches are super strong. The main locking latches in the front is normally damaged or missing on most of these antique and vintage trunks. That, however does not take away from their use in this day and age.

This one turns into a wardrobe when you make it stand up like this. Complete with drawers and hanging space, plus a foot stool to sit on when putting on socks and shoes.

The trunk pictured below had a collection of interesting stickers plastered all over it. Obviously someone who had it in their bedroom or space for the last few decades as the stickers did not seem to be that old.

Some of them we find with wonderful markings and initials on them such as the one below that reads R.H. Macy & Co. Believed to be from the late 1800s.

The finish on the next vintage trunk was very scratched up and so we decided to enhance it with Milk Paint and Gilding Wax.

Sometimes we are lucky to find the clothing trays/separators still inside.

Sometimes we find them with interesting, vintage newspapers, magazines or books inside of them.

I can go on and on and share many more pictures of trunks that we have found over the years. All of which are now serving as coffee, side or end of the bed tables all over the USA. Some have even made it into movies to be used as props. Finding treasures is our passion! Do you like finding treasures?


  1. Terry Germain on February 26, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    How do you get the damp old smell from inside of the trunk out?

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