Monday, June 22, 2015


With the rain (AGAIN) this weekend, and visiting family for Father's Day, we didn't get much done.  Just moved some stuff around, organized some things and relaxed.  Might have even had a nap.  OK, so we DID have a nap.  Nothing like a nap in the afternoon on a rainy day!  

So I took some photos of things to share and ask about.  Here is an inherited piece that I thought I'd share.  A bit of back story, my Mom had a cedar "Hope Chest" when she was growing up.  But it was one of those pieces that you grow up, move, get married, move two or three more times and it stays at parents house for awhile and you just sort of don't remember what ever happened to it.  My Mom lost track of hers over the years.

So on my parents 25th anniversary, my Dad got my Mom this one.  It's the "Lane" brand (not sure if they are still around) but they've made cedar chests for years.  And side note, isn't the idea of a hope chest fascinating?  I wonder if that's still a "thing" or not?  

Lane cedar chest with pansies
This is ours, now in place at the farm.  We put it in the guest room at the foot of the bed.  It's got painted pansies on the front, in a sort of 'washed', light finish.

Cedar chest interior
Opening the top reveals a full cedar interior, all four sides, top and bottom.  What I'm curious about, and what is fun about asking all of you on the blog, what does one put in a cedar chest?  Being at the farm, and storing things in various places, we wonder what would be best to put in here?  It is large, but of course, one large quilt or two would pretty much fill it up.  Maybe better for things like tablecloths and small blankets? 

Any suggestions on the best use of cedar storage like this?


  1. cedar chest bring back such memories! when i was little, i loved going through my mom's two cedar chests. she stored our christening gowns and baby clothes in them. she kept all sorts of our 'special' items she wanted to hang on to. she died when i was little and a wicked horrible step mother came into the scene. she never let me have anything. my dad died not long after and she kept it all, even the baby clothes. but i still remember those chests and the stuff in them. she couldn't take the memories.

  2. My Lane chest is at the foot of my bed too. I keep out of season clothes in it.

  3. I received my Lane cedar chest in 1967 from my parents for a graduation gift. It is alittle worn from alot of moves, but still holds alot of treasures from the past years. Please google Lane cedar chests as there is a recall for the locks on these chests. They will replace the locks so they can't become a tragedy by locking anyone inside. Your chest is beautiful!

  4. cedar is really great for repelling moths naturally, so they are used for storing natural fiber cloths, especially wool and cashmere, silk. great for blankets, sweaters, outerwear etc.

  5. "Hope Chests" were for girls to make linens for a future marriage, actually anything for a future home. Cedar repels moths and all sorts of bugs. So, it is best to keep valued and vulnerable items.

    Contact Lane to get a lock system that won't permanently lock children inside. Tragedies have happened when a child in the house or visiting child have played in Lane chests and have died. Once a bother and sister climbed inside and died.

    I still have the chest my father made me when I was eight-years-old. I used it for toys, then toys I was saving, then for dish towels I made in 4H for a future wedding, then it was just used to store memories--toys from my childhood. The chest was not cedar, however. It is 61-years-old.

    Practical Parsimony..

  6. We have a cedar chest that holds all of our daughter's bed linens. You could use yours to store all the linens for the guest bed in it. Right there where you need them...

  7. Hope chests were first filled a bit at a time with your embroidery and other handy work along with treasured heirlooms. When they were put to use in your new home, it was used for any storage you desire, mostly quilts I think.

    Just a thought...I have collected old suitcases and they are under a bench at the end of each bed, all color coordinated, of course. In these are the change of bed clothes for that bed, clean and ready to use.

    It would be a great place for special occasion items...table cloths, etc. I also used mine to hide the Christmas presents!

    There are no rules, go wild!

  8. I have 2 large cedar chest, one of which is full of throw blankets and the other came with my full cedar bedroom set which they gave me when I was 12. I started a hope chest some years before my marriage but now I store family heirlooms along with special mementoes that my husband has given through the years along with our wedding photo album, etc. At one time I used to hide Christmas, birthday gifts in it.

    Being you said that it's in the guest bedroom why not store a couple of extra pillows and maybe a couple of throw blankets as well and maybe some house slippers for your guests.
    Cedar chests are also great in using as a coffee table.

    Before storing anything in your chest you might want to read this on what to do and what not to do in storing items .

    1. your cedar chest is gorgeous by the way

    2. to save storage space think about using those Vacuum Storage Bags

  9. I have a miniature Lane cedar chest that a furniture store gave out to new HS graduates. I keep special letters and mementoes in it now. I don't have a large cedar chest and the one my mom had went to my sister. Cedar chests are great for storing wool blankets and sweaters to keep the moths away. I put cedar planks in an old trunk and it works the same way.

  10. My mother who will be 99 this weekend, got her first hope chest when her older sister got hers. My mother was 11 years younger and had a temper tantrum til she got the same thing as her older sister. I have her small chest in which I keep the family picture albums and school mementos. Be careful as things stored long term in cedar do stain. Her wedding dress and my baby clothes are irredeemable because of the stains. The items for a Hope chest were towels, sheets, blankets, quilts and other linens necessary for setting up housekeeping. Julia

  11. That's a particularly pretty cedar chest. One item I've never really let out of my sight over the years is my Lane cedar chest. It's cherry. It's in my living room. My mother had a Lane. I don't know what happened to her when she died, but I sure didn't get it.


  12. Lovely.
    We don't get (or I haven't seen) cedar chests here. Camphor chests though. And we have one, with linen stored in it - but I can't open it because camphor and I don't get along.
    Other people have already told you about Hope Chests. I suspect they are a thing of the past pretty much, because we make so little now... Sad. And bad.

  13. They make a wonderful mini office space. You can put hanging files in them and use them as a file cabinet. Check Pinterest as you will find one there. I think the idea came from Martha Stewart.

    Hey- have you guys put in your outdoor tub yet??

  14. They'd hold quite a few of those fortune cookie fortunes for you ;). I'd store anything I needed extra storage for. Don't be afraid to break the rules, if you need a place for bags of cat litter, store cat litter there. I inherited a few myself, and have used them as window seats, to store piano music, games, and as a base of a hall bench/organizer for the entry way. Here I intend to put them in the guest rooms to hold bed and bath accouterments.

  15. A million years ago all young women were given a miniature Lane chest upon graduation from high school. Mine went missing but I found one at a flea market even had its key.
    What to put in a cedar chest......out of season bedding, afghans, anything wool as the cedar deters moths

  16. Your cedar chest is very beautiful & unique looking. Lane went out of business in 2001 after they were bought out by a competitor. They opened for business in 1912 and the cedar chests were most popular during WW I & WWII. Lane's motto was "The gift that starts the home". My Mom had a Lane cedar chest, but I was not fortunate enough to inherit it.. My Mom used to keep blankets & sweater made of wool in her chest. I think chests were made of cedar because cedar would repel moths and prevent them from eating holes in wool sweaters & blankets popular at the time.

    I graduated HS in 1976 and I can still remember dreaming about getting a Lane cedar chest as a graduation gift. My Grandmother told me that when she was a young woman around the turn of the century, girls would begin receiving gifts for their future married life and these gifts were kept in the cedar chest. These items included clothing linens, china settings, silver serving pieces and decorative items for their future home. Cedar chests are one of the few pieces of furniture that I think of as being romantic. Imagine how many young woman would open those chests and dream of the day they were married & could begin using the things they had collected over the years. Sadly, I think the tradition of having a cedar chest has almost disappeared. I recall reading that some of the earliest settlers to the US, like the Dutch and German immigrants, brought the tradition from their homelands. The handmade chests were decorated with hand painted designs & contained everything that a woman would be contributing to their future marriage. The husband was expected to provide for their wife by earning an income & the wife contributed everything she had in her hope chest as her contribution to the household.. The French called the contents of these chests a trousseau.

  17. 1st Man,

    I love your cedar chest, it's gorgeous. We used to use ours for guest linens, several new blankets, and extra throw pillows for the guest bed.

  18. I was lucky enough to receive my Great Aunt's Hope Chest when she passed away nine years ago. She received it in 1915, so it's 100 years old this year. I'm sure she collected items for her future household as a girl but after she'd been married for years she began to keep all of the family history items in hers. This included newspapers, announcements, diplomas, pictures and keepsakes. I now have mementos in it including my son's coat when he was 2, and every little thing that my boys made for me with their own two hands. Often I open the chest and hold each item and remember when they were young. Someday, I'll give it to my granddaughter and it can hold her memories.

    Yours is beautiful. Enjoy it.


  19. Hi - I recently found a Lane miniature with the same pansies on the top of the chest. It was dated 1993 on the bottom. Your's is very pretty!


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