Storing, displaying, and organizing items are determinants of function. Storing and displaying are separate functions that can occur simultaneously, as in a jeweler’s display case. Boxlike furniture such as chests of drawers, dressers, bookcases, storage units, and buffets are case goods (Figure 2.21). Case goods are freestanding elements, generally made of wood. The early seventeenth-century cabinet shown in Figure 2.22 is a decorated case good used to store personal or valuable items. The detail in the cabinet contrasts with the conventional white painted pedestals used to display art in many gallery settings (Figure 2.23), which, in turn, reveals fundamental distinctions between storing possessions and displaying art. But both examples demonstrate the shared necessity to organize items.
Storage and display solutions can be inexpensive, sustainable, and ready-made. In the 1970s, wooden orange crates and plastic milk crates were popular as simple ways to store books, record albums, and clothes. They were portable, lightweight, sturdy, and stackable.
Containing: Storing, Displaying, and Organizing 27
Many contemporary societies find it difficult to live with few possessions. Furnishings are needed to provide adequate storage and function to contain, display, and organize personal possessions acquired in this modern age. These furnishings include armoires, buffets, chests, coat racks, coffee tables, commodes, credenzas, cupboards, filing cabinets, flat-files, gallery pedestals, hutches, shelving systems, storage bins, and tambours.
Built-in storage and display units, wall-mounted cabinets, and kitchen pantries are considered casework. Casework is typically custom-fabricated for the specific contents and environment in which it resides