Steamer Trunks: storage and surface
The vintage steamer trunk pictured above was purchased off craigslist for $60. My original intention was to put it behind my couch as a table. After deciding to downsize my apartment, I needed to let go of some furniture but was reluctant to give up the trunk.
My desire to hold on to it was rooted in its form and function. Steamer trunks are both visually appealing and versatile. When used as a table, I stuffed it with blankets and bedding for guests. In a smaller apartment it became the TV stand. As accessing the contents of the chest was less convenient in this new role, I selected items that could not be donated but were rarely used to reduce clutter.
In this picture you can see that it has become a bench for sitting at the kitchen counter. I put felt pads on the bottom of the chest to prevent damage to the wood floor and they allow the trunk to slide in and out with ease when it needs to be used. I ended up moving the trunk based on some suggestions from the community at Apartment Therapy. Now it acts as a tabletop next to the couch.
A steamer trunk just a bit shorter in height could also act as a coffee table and with the leather side handles it is great for packing up and moving to another location.