3 Ways: How to Style a Campaign Dresser

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY The Havenly Team

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Published on March 19, 2015

Did you know that campaign furniture was originally designed to be assembled and disassembled for easy transport by traveling British armies in the 1700s?  The army officers did not want to entirely sacrifice the comforts of home during military operations.  This style of furniture– often composed of the most durable wood, leather and metal– was thought to achieve the perfect balance of “form and function.” Refer to this Apartment Therapy post for a really illuminating overview of the origin and current day use of campaign-style furniture.

Needless to say– a campaign chest is truly a classic, timeless item to have in your arsenal.  You never have to worry about this baby going out of style.  In addition to its permanence, the campaign chest is incredibly versatile.  Yes, it makes a beautiful and functional chest of drawers, but the sky’s the limit!  Consider one of these styling options…


I mean…who wouldn’t want to see a beauty like this as soon as they walk through the front door?  Plenty of room for a gorgeous table lamp, fresh blooms, a tray for keys/ spare change, and anything else one might want to greet them after a long day out.  The drawers are a practical storage solution those last minute necessities you’d hate to leave home without– mittens, sunglasses, etc.

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Image via The Everygirl and Katherine Vo


Gone are the days of ugly, bulky entertainment centers.  Media systems are sleekier, slimmer and more easily disguised.  Distract the eye away from your tv (sigh. a necessary evil) with something pretty and repurpose a campaign dresser as a media console.  Bonus– store any unsightly media accessories in those life-saving drawers!

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Image via Pencil Shavings Studio


How very frustrating is it to purchase an expensive piece of furniture only to have no use for it shortly thereafter?  Even more so if the piece isn’t particularly covetable…if it’s not a representation of your personal style.  The process of decorating a nursery can be a fun but stressful one for an expecting mother– understandably, the changing table is usually not given much design consideration.  These creative home decorators have fashioned a timeless piece for temporary use…and the results are lovely.

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Image via Grant K. Gibson

Side note– we’ll take the giraffe, too.

The best part?  They’re readily available at a variety of price points.  If a newly constructed or refurbished campaign dresser isn’t within your budget, don’t worry.  These gems tend to surface at almost every resale shop with some regularity.  Or hey– take a trip to Ikea and some tips from Almost Makes Perfect.  Roll up your sleeves– you can DIY this!