Tips & trends

A thousand ideas in a trunk

Evoking the journey to distant destinations, antique and Mid-century trunks live a second life in the spaces of the house, where they become containers or display tables, suitable for all rooms.

Wandering among the stalls of antiques fairs and flea markets around Italy and around the world, you certainly have noticed that among the universally most popular vintage items, the old travel trunks stand out. But if you pay attention, you may find one right in your family attic, ready to be reused as a container, or to take on a new function.

Some trunks will only need a dusting, others may need a little restoration or repainting to get revitalized. Search online or browse any furniture magazine, and you will find the most varied inspirations to breathe new life into these objects. You will notice that trunks and suitcases from the past take on the most varied uses: from pieces to be displayed at the foot of the bed in your room to store the bed linen, to actual bedside tables.

Let's not forget that vintage trunks are excellent containers for children toys and little treasures, while being excellent tricks to quickly tidy up their bedroom. Meanwhile, by stacking several rigid leather vintage suitcases on top of each other, glamorous support tables are created, suitable for a corner in the living area, expressing retro elegance and lightness, which suits both the shabby chic taste and the minimal style.

If you have a narrow space that you would like to arrange and are not sure what type of furniture to place, a vintage trunk can be a good compromise between storage capacity and aesthetics, especially if you choose a model that features decorations. Through upcycling, an old trunk or suitcase can be reused, especially when large, by leaving it open, applying internal shelves and transforming it into a mobile display for books, objects, or even kitchen utensils.

Since ancient times, the trunk has had a versatile and practical role, namely as a transport element for heavy objects and necessities — fabrics, clothes, ceramics for long journeys —; from the most symbolic travels, when in the age of the ancient Egyptians the trunk acted as the precious treasure chest that the pharaoh would bring with him to the afterlife, to the first exploratory missions by sea, where people even slept on top of the trunks.

This item, which almost seems to be born simultaneously in several parts of the world and which is originally presented in wood and leather decorated with metal elements, acquires a more aesthetic and "fashionable" value from the time of the Grand Tour onwards, that is, starting from the 17th century, when the European aristocracy undertook long journeys to Italy, maintaining the role of a functional object and adapting to a particular historical moment, in which the concept of travel started to change culminating, two centuries later, with the invention of means of transport such as trains and automobiles, which would create a more modern conception of luggage.

Among the most sought-after retro trunks are those that already served, once placed vertically, as a real wardrobe with hangers and drawers, a tradition to be re-enacted in the contemporary space, perhaps to enhance precious and colorful clothes to be left in sight. A small curiosity: the first vertical trunk-closet was invented by the Louis Vuitton fashion house in 1875, designed to be able to carry the wardrobe without having to unpack, and organized with drawers and clothes hangers.

intOndo offers you different types and sizes of trunks and suitcases that span various eras and styles, from the branded to the most anonymous trunks full of charm and mystery, sometimes decorated with initials that contain the stories of those who have owned these objects for a lifetime. On the vintage market you will find trunks or suitcases for all tastes and different price ranges, and who knows... the lucky ones could find a trunk with their name monogram: a sign of destiny that cannot be neglected!