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The Intriguing Engineering Behind Drawers


The visual appeal of these mechanisms is dependent mainly on aesthetic designs within their finishing materials. It can be seen through the different types of casings used in each category. The materials used for casings also contribute to visual appeal by adding additional lightness and a feeling of openness to a drawer’s design.

With these varied designs and purposes, much can be learned about engineering practices developed over decades for these mechanisms, and even more, one can extrapolate them for industrial applications.

Examples of Drawers and Other Storage Mechanisms

There are many different styles and designs of drawers out in the world. However, they can be divided into a few categories: Wardrobe Wardrobe Drawers, Pantry Drawers, Dresser Drawers, and Wire Drawers. The drawer rails themselves also have many different designs and purposes.

1. Wardrobe

The earliest type of drawer mechanism is still used today in older homes and homes built in the late 1800s up until the present day. This drawer style is secured to the right-hand side of interior walls in all standard bedrooms. This type of drawer allows for storage within a wardrobe, where it is held in place by an ornamental mantelpiece or by a decorative wall hook. The mirror that is often used to hide the mechanism in this type of design also provides a visual pleasure via someone’s reflection as they open and shut the drawer.

2. Pantry

The earliest drawers that one used before the advent of the dresser pantry drawers were developed to allow for storage within the kitchen. Pantry drawers are typically bolted to a kitchen cabinet, with the sliding of spacers on top of those bolts allowing for horizontal storage within this category. Pantry drawers often use decorative knobs to give them their aesthetic appeal. Pantry drawers have been around since the 17th century and have been converted into more contemporary styles to be more appealing to the homeowner.

3. Dresser

Also known as nightstands, dressing table chests, or jewelry chests, these drawers allow for storage within a bedroom’s interior walls and function in areas of the home, such as bathrooms and guest rooms. Whereas pantry drawers are designed to fit into a standard kitchen cabinet, dresser drawers are precisely shaped to fit inside a dresser-style cabinet. Dresser drawer mechanisms were first developed during the mid-15th century, with the design still being used today in modern homes.

4. Wire

Wire drawers are used to store and organize larger quantities of items. Wire drawers allow for more excellent storage in the form of columns within this mechanism. Many times, wire drawers are used by companies instead of traditional pantry drawers because they provide more space than their pantry-style counterparts.

Why is Drawer Design Important?

1. Visual Appeal

Storage mechanisms such as drawers can be attractive additions to the home and create a feeling of security in the same way as a safe. The aesthetics of these mechanisms, precisely the aesthetic appeal of their material, can help to make one’s home more pleasing to look at.

2. Functionality

Decorative features such as pantry doors and knobs are often used on drawers for their functional value. Pantry doors usually cover an internal compartment within the design to conceal any mechanism.

3. Cost Savings

Homeowners can save a lot of money by using drawer mechanisms. The fabricated drawers can be built for next to nothing, ultimately removing the need to buy a new piece of furniture. Drawer mechanisms are even available to allow for storage within dressers and nightstands or on the floor if one wishes to do so.

4. Aesthetics

Drawer mechanisms are available in many different styles, shapes, and colors than most other types of furniture. The design offers versatility in terms of the full potential that a drawer mechanism has compared to other designs of storage units.

Drawers provide great potential and versatility to the modern-day homeowner. By identifying and understanding the engineering principles behind these mechanisms, homeowners can better look at their designs.

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