How to buy armoires
An armoire buying guide
An armoire is an attractive, versatile way to provide storage space. Learn how to buy armoires so you can choose armoires that best meet your storage needs and decorating sensibilities.
>> How will you use the armoire?
When you need storage for many types of items in your home, an armoire can be an elegant choice. When considering how to buy armoires, remember that they can be used to store clothing, computers, jewelry, china and dinnerware, bathroom supplies and entertainment equipment such as stereos, televisions and their accessories. Choose different types of armoires to suit different storage needs. Armoires are available as individual pieces, as well as parts of bedroom furniture sets.
>> What style do you prefer?
When planning to buy an armoire, consider its style. Make sure the style fits with the rest of your decorating scheme. One aspect of knowing how to buy armoires is having an understanding of the different styles available. The most popular armoire styles are listed in the chart below.
|Gothic ||Gothic is the original design for armoires. It is a heavy, formal style. || |
- Entertainment centers
|Renaissance ||Renaissance armoires use lighter woods than Gothic. These armoire designs are elaborate; they are carved with Greek, Roman or nature designs. || |
|Louis XIII ||These armoires are very ornate. Their carvings are more geometric, and they often have elaborate inlays in the doors. || |
|Regency ||These armoires feature elaborate finishing, including gold leaf and complex inlays. || |
- Entertainment centers
|Modern ||These are very simple armoire designs. They have plain, unadorned, clean lines. Unlike other types of armoires, modern armoires are made in a wide variety of woods and colors, making it easy to match various decors. || |
- Entertainment centers
|Art deco ||Art deco armoires are often used for entertainment centers. Featuring simple, sleek lines and available in a variety of woods, they boast bold designs utilizing curved lines and geometric patterns, making them excellent decorating focal points as well as superb storage units. || |
- Entertainment center
- Table linens
|Louis Philippe ||Louis Philippe armoires are simple and functional; the style dates back to the early days of mass production. Louis Philippe armoires are among the most budget-friendly armoire styles. || |
>> What size do you need?
When learning how to buy armoires, consider the type of storage you need as well as the armoire dimensions so that your new armoire fits the desired location. Armoire sizes vary with the intended usage, so measure your space before purchasing an armoire.
Wardrobe armoires: Wardrobe armoires are used in a bedroom (for clothing and accessories) or in a hallway (for outerwear and accessories). Wardrobe armoire sizes vary within a range of four to five feet wide and five feet tall or higher. You can also buy dressers with armoires that match as part of a bedroom set.
TV/entertainment armoires: TV armoires are designed to be the focal point of a room. These vary from three to eight feet wide and four to nine feet high. They often have holes in the back or removable panels for cords. Additionally, this armoire design often comes with storage spaces specifically for holding speakers, DVD/CD players, controllers and consoles for games and other media.
Computer armoires: Computer armoires are similar to TV armoires in that they are specifically designed to house equipment. Like those, they have holes or removable panels for cords to pass through. Computer armoire dimensions, however, are more akin to the dimensions of desks. Computer armoires are often outfitted with keyboard trays, CD/DVD holders, storage for computer programs and media and space for printers and other peripherals. Computer armoires are among the best armoires in terms of complementing various types of rooms and spaces. Some are designed to fit into a room's corners.
Jewelry armoires: Jewelry armoire styles are much smaller than the other types of armoires. The smallest may be 18 inches high, and the tallest tend to run about the height of a desk. Most jewelry armoires include a mirror, and they might have drawers or a tray inside, depending on the type of jewelry they are designed to store. Traditional jewelry armoires often have hooks for longer pieces, such as necklaces, to keep them from getting tangled. Jewelry armoires range from very simple boxes to elaborately carved or inlaid masterpieces.
>> What types of materials do you prefer?
A factor in figuring out how to buy armoires is the material the armoire is made of. Although the more traditional, higher-end armoires are usually wooden, modern and mass produced, armoires may be made of a number of materials. The favorite woods for armoires are hardwoods such as oak, cherry, mahogany, walnut and pine. Modern and Louis Philippe armoires may be made of synthetic woods, press-board or even metal with (or without) a wood veneer.
>> What features do you want in an armoire?
Think about the features you want in your armoire. The specific features you want will depend directly on the armoire's uses.
- Cabinets: Wardrobe armoires often have at least one side that is a cabinet or closet-like space for hanging clothing. TV and computer armoires have cabinets that are meant to house the various pieces of equipment. Jewelry armoires may have a cabinet-type space for hanging necklaces.
- Drawers: Most armoires have some drawers. These may be lined or padded to hold things in place, as in jewelry armoires, or they may be large enough to hold gaming consoles or computer/office supplies.
- Shelves: Most armoires have some shelves. In a wardrobe armoire, these might be for sweaters, hats or shoes. In a computer armoire, they might be meant to hold a printer or other peripheral. In a TV/entertainment armoire, they might be used to hold gaming consoles or music players.
- Rods: Rods are generally found in wardrobe armoires with cabinet spaces. These enable you to hang clothing.
- Mirror: Wardrobe and jewelry armoires often contain mirrors. These are usually found on the inside of a door or, if a jewelry armoire has a lid rather than the standard-style door, on the inside of the lid or in a pullout tray.
- Locks: Most high-end armoires come with a lock and key. These range from the plain to the extremely ornate. The style of the lock (and sometimes the key) matches the style of the armoire itself.
With this information on how to buy armoires, you can enjoy your home supplies shopping trip and find the best armoire to suit your storage needs and decorating ideas.