best ofInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: best of luggage in homes

by Amy Azzarito

Grace and I are about to become intimately acquainted with our suitcases as we pack our bags and hit the road for the West Coast leg of the Design*Sponge book tour. Although my carry-on bag may be hidden away in a closet, I do have a couple vintage suitcases from my grandmother that make the perfect bedside table. I’m not the only one who loves the look of vintage suitcases for added storage. I combed our Sneak Peek archives to find the best examples of luggage in homes. I hope it inspires you to hunt down a vintage suitcase (or two!) of your own! — Amy A.

Image above: A vintage suitcase provides extra storage in this Manhattan bedroom from Sneak Peek: Susan and William Brinson.

Image above: At the end of the black couch, a vintage Louis Vuitton steamer trunk acts as a side table. From Sneak Peek: Andrew and Gemma of Ingalls Photo

Image above: There’s virtually no storage space in this Parisian apartment, so this 19th-century steamer trunk gets put to good use. From Sneak Peek: Gabriel Wick and Olivier

Image above: Stacked leather suitcases stand in as side tables in Greg & Grey’s Portland apartment.

Image above: Trunk coffee table in Emma Cassi’s London home

Image above: The suitcases in Johanna Clark’s Philly home were once carried by her husband’s grandfather, who was a traveling lingerie salesman.

Image above: Vintage leather luggage in a 1795 home in the Hudson Valley. From Sneak Peek: Sisse Jonassen

Image above: A leather briefcase in Helsinki, Finland, from Sneak Peek: Vera & Riikka Sammalisto.

Image above: A vintage trunk from “Capitaine Castets” bought at an auction in this Parisian apartment from Sneak Peek: Morgane of Les Composantes.

Image above: Travel bags in Sweden from Sneak Peek: Maja Atterstig.

Image above: A vintage suitcase provides storage at the foot a bed. From Sneak Peek: Raymond Biesinger and Elizabeth Hudson

Image above: A wicker trunk as toy storage from Sneak Peek: Nineteen Seventy Three

Image above: The suitcases under this desk in Melbourne, Australia, were found on the side of the road and now provide office storage. From Sneak Peek: Charlotte Swiden and Clem Stamation

Image above: Thrifted suitcases in Sweden from Sneak Peek: Hilda Grahnat

Image above: A vintage trunk under the stairs in northeast England. From Sneak Peek: Di Overton of Ghost Furniture

Image above: Vintage luggage as a nightstand in Mississippi. From Sneak Peek: Erin Austen Abbott

Image above: A trunk for display in Paris from Sneak Peek: Ma Mamie Hippie.

Image above: The vintage suitcase was once Alethea Morrison’s sample portfolio. It now has a new life as her son’s bedside table. From Sneak Peek: Alethea Morrison

Image above: This old Hungarian trunk was found at an estate sale in Australia for a song. It had been used by a couple of refugees fleeing Europe just after the war. They shipped their whole life in this one trunk and arrived in Australia without speaking the language, far away from home with this one piece to their name. The trunk had been kept in pristine condition since unloading from that ship. It’s now filled with keepsakes from the homeowner’s family — tiny baby shoes, photos and children’s drawings. From Sneak Peek: Sarah of A Beach Cottage

Image above: Hatboxes in the New York home of Amy Sedaris

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  • How beautiful! I’ve had my eye out for a vintage trunk to put at the end of our bed- there is next to no storage space in our house save for 2 crumbly plaster & lathe closets I can’t use until they’re renovated. Something like one of these would be great for storing our linens. Thanks!

  • I love all of these… I have an old truck that I would love to use in my house but it is really bowed on top. Any ideas of how to fix it? I might use a piece of glass like a picture above.

  • I grew up with vintage stacks of luggage and old chests through out the house (i would always store my winter clothes in there and use the chest as a side table in my bedroom). I thought it was cool, but i was used to it so it didnt seem to be such a big deal. Now i see them everywhere. Of course…i have my own stack of vintage suitcases, and i love it.

  • I love the large trunk with the glass top used as a side table, genius idea! I always see vintage luggage at my local bootfair and wish I had somewhere to use it!x

  • This is amazing timing, I just bought a vintage suitcase this weekend! I know I want to do something with it, I just haven’t decided what yet so these are some great ideas!

  • I love seeing luggage used in this way! The luggage at the end of the bed or as a side table are my favorite uses: easy to access what’s inside, and still very pretty! Vintage trunks are definitely my favorite.

  • For contest:

    …be secret and exult, for that is the most difficult

    William Butler Yeats

  • OH I do love luggage as home decor. I have been using my vintage cases as bedside tables since my college days when you could find them in thrift shops for $1.00 or $2.00. I will never tire of them or my old trunks which now make great toy boxes for my son. Lovely post! Thanks!

  • i love seeing luggage used as tables and of course as a chest. i’d love to find one. i’d put it to good use so quickly

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  • thanks for the post. I found an old suitcase at a tag sale recently and would love to see a DIY post on how to revamp an old suitcase, get that musty smell out and perhaps update it with some cool fabric inside or out~ thanks!

  • I don’t feel good to see stuff looking really old and ancient. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because I don’t like the era of our ancestors.

    These luggage are really sad. :(

  • B and Leah!! I just ran across that very duvet on all modern.com on clearance!! I hope you each are able to get it. Free shipping, Yeah!

  • B and Leah, the duvet is made by Dwell Studio, I just ran across it by accident and remembered that it was asked about here.

  • Hat boxes aren’t hard to come by…I got one for free, of the 1960s-1970s variety, at a thrift store. The lady just gave it to me! I use it of course to store hats…but it sits hidden away i the closet, not out in the open. But a good grouping along with some display model heads wearing vintage cocktail hats would be a great display. Btw, does anyone used old luggage to store yarn or roving?

  • Gorgeous wooden flooring in the above images and the suitcase idea is one of my favourites at the moment – storage and design in one-perfect!