Global Icons: The Apothecary Chest

Apothecary chests, which have a number of square pullout drawers, have been utilized at the Middle Ages in Europe and the Far East by predecessors of our pharmacists and general practitioners. The chests, often wall mounted at stores or taken from house to house, stored medications, tobacco, herbs and spices.

Today’s apothecary chests come in many shapes and styles, and their utility as functional storage systems which makes them a favorite decoration addition.

Plow & Hearth

Apothecary Chest – $399.95

This white pine apothecary chest is ideal for this small corner. It provides lively colour, and of course a 15-drawer storage program, into a conventional area dressed in plaid and neutrals.

Tip: Don’t be turned off with short and stout apothecary chests. Insert elevation to a chest that is too close to the ground with a stand or place the chest on top of a sturdy wood block. This chest comes with a 42-inch iron stand.

Jessica Bennett Interiors

In this Newport Beach, California, home, the apothecary chest at the dining area functions as both a storage system and a small tablescape that extends the home’s hand-me-down theme. The chest, photographs and dining table all belonged to members of the couple’s families.

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Here is another example of how an apothecary chest adds to an overall theme. The distressed chest speaks the exact same warm and rustic-chic decoration language as the natural fiber shades, earth-tone painting, hardwood flooring and cowhide armchair.

Justina Blakeney

Tastemaker Justina Blakeney brought the outdoors inside with this pine apothecary chest. Located at a thrift shop in Los Angeles, the chest was repurposed within her”jungalow as a planter. It pulls up the eyes to papier-mâché animal heads and is purposely placed by the window, exposing the plants into natural light.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to utilize apothecary chests creatively. Pull out drawers to form a dimensional, three-dimensional display.

These apothecary drawers return to their own spice roots within the homeowner’s kitchen remodel. The owner states the drawers weren’t originally part of the cabinet layout, but were inserted as a place to store the numerous coffee and tea bins which would usually occupy space on the countertop.

Ruby Plaza

Suchow Apothecary Chest – $499

This white apothecary chest will make a beautiful wardrobe storage alternative. Line the insides with shelf liners and keep your delicate hosiery, silk underthings and cashmere socks indoors. I’d use the center cabinet as a place to store journals, snail-mail letters and other important printed matter and sentimental tchotchkes.


Apothecary Chest – $874

Here’s a Chinese apothecary chest in elm wood which doesn’t need anything but a home that enjoys its ageless beauty.

DIY blogger Nicky Pittman yearned for more pattern and color with her apothecary chest, so she decorated each drawer with paper, cloth and other embellishments.

Tip: Get crafty with your torso’s drawer surfaces. Most seem great as is, but in case the drawers don’t quite fit within your room’s decoration, take things into your own hands with a DIY upgrade.

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