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Lug-A-Ture — 1950s bedroom dresser that converts to four suitcases

Remember the table that Laura made from a vintage suitcase?

All across DIY-land, you see crafty 2012 folk making things out of vintage suitcases: end tables (remember Laura’s?), dog beds and recently I saw wall shelves. But our grandparents were already well ahead when it came to innovating with suitcase conversions. LoOk: Here is a true, vintage tall dresser made from suitcases — which converts to usable suitcases. In fact, the piece is branded “Lug-A-Ture“, according to reader Cindy, who spotted it in an antique shop and good girl, had her camera handy to report back. “Lug-A-Ture” — get it? — “Furni-Ture” that you can you can break apart and use as luggage when you need to get a move on. Cindy writes:

One of the most curious things I’ve ever seen, from Midway Antiques Mall in Sacramento CA. They specialize in the mid-mod stuff. A 1950’s luggage dresser by Lug-A-Ture. Take one or all pieces of luggage as needed. They have a lot more cool stuff, including a stash of pink plastic bathroom tiles.

Indeed, Cindy, not just “curious,” but one of the most odd and wonderful consumer products from midcentury America — woddities — that I have ever seen. Well, maybe just a teensy bit under push-button plumbing and of course, the Electro-Sink (bow down to the almighty E-S!)

Interestingly, I found a modern day reconception of this idea — “suitcase dressers” from the British designers JamesPlumb.  There are also “suitcase stacks”. The website explains:

A selection of old suitcases are housed individually in antiqued steel and wood cases that have been tailor made in Somerset. Every case is carefully and painstakingly repaired and repurposed – relined in Swedish linen ready to recieve their new contents.

I love upcycling and yes, this seems to be a fantastic way to repurpose vintage suitcases. Even so, I am now on the eagle-eye lookout for the one-and-only, original Lug-A-Ture.

  1. Annie B. says:

    Amy, I think you might have my fridge. Does the butter softener compartment have “Butter Conditioner” written on it? Mine is a 1964 GE with the swing-out doors. Great fridge. Really built to last.

  2. Amy F. says:

    @Tami – I have not seen the watches yet, but I will definitely have to check them out. I never seem to get a chance to really look at all the jewelry because I am so enthralled by the furniture. There is a bedroom set with a *king* size bed that I currently visit in hopes that it will be ours one day. 🙂

  3. Amy F. says:

    Oooh! That’s exciting to hear of someone else with the same (or nearly the same) fridge. I have not been able to date it exactly, as they weren’t sure at Midway, either. Ours does not say “butter conditioner,” though. It has a little yellow door with “butter” written in gold above it, and “butter control” to the left of it, with a switch for “hard, med, soft.” And then to the left of that is a turquoise door with “eggs” written above it.

  4. Amy F. says:

    Oh wait, @Tami, now I remember what you’re talking about! Right there in the front, in the red dining room? Yes! That display is amazing!

  5. Annie B. says:

    Mine has the three-way butter switch (what a hoot that is, when you stop to think about it).

    I’ve dated mine to 1964 (maybe ’63) from an ad in a 1964 BH&G magazine. This is one massive refrigerator.

  6. Guy H. says:

    I figured that, but I wasn’t entirely sure!

    I love the idea of the suitcase dressers made by the British designer. I am trying to think of a way to steal that idea for my house (somewhere other than a dresser.)

  7. Chelsea says:

    I’m pretty sure I need this. I window-shop for luggage constantly, so this would be perfect for me. Even at that price.

  8. Dan Fiorillo says:

    I loved this dresser when I saw it and had to have it, so I bought it! It goes great with all the other things I bought from Midway and my Heywood Wakefield bedroom set, too. I’ve never seen another one like it.

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