In The Beginning
French in origin and dating as far back as the 16th Century, the Armoire was initially used as a cabinet to store weapons and arms. Later, during the time of the French Revolution, a tax on the number of rooms in a home was imposed and the aristocracy, in an attempt to save money, knocked down the doors and walls to their closets and replaced them with armoires or wardrobes. Although the reasoning for armoires may have changed throughout the centuries, the addition of an Armoire is still an exciting and elegant touch that will benefit the look of any room.
Whether you need extra storage or closet space, a place to conceal your television, a gorgeous way to store your valuable jewelry, or hide away a writing desk for space and convenience. The armoire has the convenience of keeping anything you would like to store behind cabinet doors while preserving the elegance that you deserve.
The Multifaceted Storage Center
Wardrobe style armoires are meant to replace or take stress away from a closet, and can be very substantial pieces of furniture, often measuring 4 ft wide and upwards of 5 ft tall. These larger style armoires are not just limited to clothes storage, however. Placed in a dining room they can serve as storage for dinnerware and fine china. Placed in a bathroom they can hold toiletries and towels. The possibilities are limitless. It is important to measure the space you will be placing your potential armoire, as well as door frames and staircases it will need to travel through, so that there are no surprises when your piece is delivered.
Jewelry Armoires are diminutive in comparison to their larger cousins, but maintain the same level of charm and class as their larger counterparts. These pieces offer many drawers and compartments that are complementary to storing jewelry, but also offer the opportunity for many other trinkets and ornaments.
Secretary Desks are a type of armoire that folds out into a surface for writing and offers a dedicated place to store and file important paperwork. Also, when combined with a hutch, these attractive pieces can serve as a china cabinet, or be used for tableware storage, and buffet service.
Entertainment or TV armoires are characteristically similar to the wardrobe style, varying only in the fact that Entertainment armoires have a panel taken out or holes in the back panel to accommodate for wiring. Entertainment armoires tend to be smaller than the wardrobe style, measuring 3 ft and wider and upwards of 4 ft tall, but more substantial models are available. These two large styles of armoire usually come in product sets that include two pieces; the top (commonly called the deck) and the base, which is usually comprised of storage drawers. It is important when ordering that you know what parts are included and if you need to order them separately.
From Bargain to Heirloom Quality
As with any piece of furniture you will find that the construction and materials used will be the first indication of its potential longevity. Fiberboard will warp and distress before a softer wood, like cedar, would. Oak and other hard woods last the longest and will maintain their shape and finish for generations. The hardware associated with these pieces, such as knobs and drawer pulls, are a matter of personal taste and if they wear throughout the years, they are more easily replaceable than the entire piece itself.