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. Carole says:

    I’ve never seen anything like that, and what a fabulous idea! Usable all the time, no need to store it some place ‘out of the way’, and removable for usage on trips.

  2. Beth Putnam says:

    To cool for school. In my dreams those would be mine. I do use vintage leather luggage of my moms as a side table.

  3. TappanTrailerTami says:

    OMG! Hubby and I were planning to ride our motorcycles somewhere today, and I was half-toying with going to Midway in Sacramento. I think this just “sealed the deal” LOL~ I LOVE that place, it is one of the best antique malls anywhere, but tends towards the pricey side for cool MCM stuff.

    I may have to HAVE this!


  4. Just another Pam says:

    There are very few things I’d say this about but I’d pay retail for that and I have no where to put it….the latter I have to confess to a lot…

    The JamesPlumb ones I could make and actually have everything needed to do it in the house or garden shed but the original….be still my heart. What a find!

  5. Guy H. says:

    Is the last sentence supposed to say you are NOT on the lookout or NOW on the lookout? I can’t decide if it’s a typo or if you just wouldnt have a need for these…

    1. pam kueber says:

      “now” of course. this is what happens when i make a post late at night and have no editor. but i have you all so all is good! many thanks!!!

      1. 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.)

  6. Ann-Marie Meyers says:

    I would love this. The way I am always traveling back and forth between Texas and Wisconsin, I could just take my drawers along with me, and not be always packing and unpacking.
    It feels like I am living out of a suitcase anyway. I might as well do it for real, and be proud.
    I will keep my eyes peeled for something like this at a reasonable price in my auctioning and estate sale hunting.
    Thanks, Pam and Cindy!

    1. pam kueber says:

      woopsy, after I made this post, Cindy sent additional info (price tag writeup) that clarified the name is indeed “Lug-a-Ture”. That makes even more sense! Thanks for the catch, Katherine: Fixed!

  7. Heather Staas says:

    I love the look of it! It’s neat, tidy, the color is so pretty, the rounded corners… it’s just lovely!

  8. chris says:

    Very neat! Love the tug-a-ture piece best!

    But I’m baffled. How did the drawers work? Were they able to slide out, somehow? Did Cindy try it?

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