Tansu step chest
Cherry, maple, varnish.
Tansu is a 300-year old form of Japanese cabinet-making. These chests were designed to be mobile so they could be moved between storeroom and house. The tansu step chest, or kaidan dansu, originated in the Edo period (late 17th century) and serves not only for storage but as steps for accessing an upper floor.
When my sister asked me to build a cabinet to be placed alongside the staircase in her home, I immediately thought of a tansu step chest, not only for aesthetic reasons but to maximize the amount of storage space.