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The word “bureau” isn’t one that we tend to use these days. However, in the past, the word bureau was more commonly used than desk. The word originates from Latin – the word “burrus” which meant red. This was because bureaus during ancient times had a red fabric covering. Vintage bureaus are very popular today with all kinds of homeowners with a passion for beautiful aesthetics, style and quality paired with functionality. If you want to incorporate such a stunning piece into your home, browse the collection here at Vinterior.

The distinctive features of vintage bureaus

Vintage bureaus may come in different shapes and sizes, but they have a number of similarities that make their purpose clear. Once upon a time, the term writing bureau was used to describe a portable box with a sloping lid, which was used to carry writing equipment and a surface for writing on. During the 1600s, however, the bureau evolved from a simple box into a piece of fully-fledged furniture.

The writing bureaus of the late 17th century had extra storage space incorporated into them, and once the late 18th century had rolled around, they looked very similar to desks that we see today. More features were added as the years passed by, and eventually slots, pigeon holes, inkwells and secret compartments were commonly seen.

Bureaus dating from the 20th century usually feature a drop flap – a leaf that drops down to become a surface on which the owner can write. The flap will generally be supported by extending arms to each side, and there will usually be a leather or felt inlay on the inner writing surface.

In the bureau’s interior, a space is usually found where papers, letters, documents and pens can be stored, and frequently there is a secret drawer hidden below the writing surface itself.

Some vintage bureaus feature a different design. Cylinder bureaus feature a roll-up lockable lid that can be fixed in position without dropping down.

Choosing a vintage bureau

Many furniture manufacturers of today have taken their inspiration from vintage desk designs when producing mass-market contemporary furniture, however the solidity and quality of a genuine vintage piece is unrivalled.

An original vintage writing bureau will have a unique aesthetic and character of its own. Bringing a wealth of classic appeal and authentic heritage into the home, they help to recall the original owner each time they are opened up, and this brings history to life again in a personal way.

Of course, it also goes without saying that vintage bureaus were created by skilled craftsmen with an exquisite level of attention to detail. You can be confident your purchase will last a lifetime.

Find vintage bureaus at Vinterior

Perhaps you love writing and have been searching for a vintage desk that can help to inspire you in your endeavours? Or perhaps you just want a well made and perfectly formed piece of furniture that can add a stylish finishing touch to your home? Whatever your preferences, Vinterior has a stunning collection of vintage bureaus that will give you all the inspiration you’ve been looking for. With a range of options from throughout the 20th century in a variety of sizes and styles, you are bound to find the perfect bureau to complement your room.

Discover the Vinterior website today. Explore our impressive range and be inspired to create an authentic and unique home that has a distinctive edge that is beyond compare.

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