Thursday 4 July 2013

The "Compactom"

First of all, I'd just like to stress that I don't normally take pictures of the furniture when I go away on holiday. Is that quite clear? Yes? Good. Sometimes however I come across something so splendid that it's worth recording.

Mr Tulip and I are in the Costwolds for a week, staying at Park Farm holiday cottages, near Stow on the Wold. The bedroom in the cottage contains this truly magnificent 1930s double wardrobe.

Lots of 1930s goodness

The label inside states that it was made by Compactom Ltd, 143 Regent Street, London, telephone Regent 1028.

Patents and registered designs to spare

The doors have simple handles of some sort of plastic, and are decorated with  burr walnut veneer panels, now slightly cracked in places, set into frames of another figured wood.

Sleek deco door knob

Door detail

The veneer detailing carries on to the inside of the doors, each of which has two diamond-shaped panels.

One of the veneer panels inside

The right hand wardrobe is a fairly normal wardrobe, with a mirror on one door and two racks for clothes hangers, albeit racks on a sliding mechanism so that they can be pulled forward.

One of the hanger racks pulled forward

The Compactom name appears here as well

Clearly the 1930s man-about-town had a wide selection of ties.

Not one but two drop-down tie racks

It is the left hand section however which sets the Compactom apart from other wardrobes.


So much storage! And all with handy glass panels so that you can see exactly what's in there.

As if the little windows on each cupboard and shelf weren't enough, there are labels to tell you exactly what is (or should be) in each section.

A shelf for dress shirts

A drawer for collars

Yet more collars, and handkerchiefs

Unfortunately however this section, with its layers of horizontal hinged leaves, is not labelled. I am mystified as to what might be stored in here, and even though it appears to be a man's wardrobe, Mr Tulip can offer no suggestions either.

Mystery storage

Even the space in the base of the Compactom is not wasted. On the right, it is part of the wardrobe.

Shoe racks in the wardrobe base

While on the left . . .

The indentations provide a clue

Yet more drawer space

Finally, each wardrobe has this little metal bowl attached to the top. Presumably it could be filled with something to keep the wardrobe's contents smelling fresh.

Keeping your clothes (and collars) sweet-smelling

As you may just have guessed, I love this. I like to think of it as designed for a 1930s block of flats, the very height of modernity. Presumably the idea was that all the storage requirements of an up-to-the-minute chap could be met in this single item, hence the name "Compactom".


  1. I have just bought one of these amazing wardrobes and I believe can solve the mystery of those unlabeled layers of horizontal hinged leaves ... in my compactom, there is a label on this section that says SHIRTS!

    1. Ah, thank you so much for commenting, Anna. The mystery is solved at last!