What Is An Antique Wardrobe Armoire?

We all hear and use the term armoire when we refer to certain types of wardrobes but how much do we actually know about them? Not that it really matters because when we go out to buy a wardrobe it is accepted that the terms wardrobe and armoire are interchangeable.

The definition that many people accept as descriptive of an armoire is a tall wooden cabinet containing drawers and shelves used for storing clothes or other small household items. An armoire can be closed by means of two swinging doors and may be plain, simple pieces of furniture or elaborately decorated so that it will be a decorative feature in your room. The word armoire is French and it simply means “cupboard”.

Possibly the main difference between what might be classed as an armoire and what might be classed as a mere wardrobe could be the presence of a hanging rod. A rod to hang your clothes will be found in a wardrobe, with a wardrobe historically being the closet in which the king hung his robes. At least that’s the story about how a wardrobe came to be called a wardrobe.

Buying an antique wardrobe armoire means that you are going to be buying a traditional wooden stand-alone cabinet in which to store clothes. It will be a tall cabinet and is most likely going to be made of oak or pine. The great thing about these wardrobes is that they look impressive and so putting one in the bedroom will give the room a focal point around which the rest of the furniture may be based.

Antique wardrobe armoires can be found in quite large numbers in all kinds of styles from Georgian to Victorian and on to Gothic influence as well.

The great news, if you are looking to buy an antique wardrobe armoire, is that they are readily available from many different sources and at very reasonable prices if you are prepared to wait. Auction houses, particularly diseased estate sales or liquidation sales often have armoires for sale at very reasonable prices. Similarly, you can happen upon an armoire being sold cheaply at a garage sale if you are prepared to do the rounds each weekend.

For some people an antique wardrobe armoire is just a piece of old furniture that is simply taking up valuable floor space. For others it is a beautiful example of fine craftsmanship constructed in a style that is rarely seen these days. Snap up that cheap armoire if you can, even spending a few dollars on some furniture restoration will leave you with a bargain wardrobe.

Related Antique Wardrobe Reading

The Traditional Mission Wardrobe
What To Look For When Buying An Antique Wardrobe
Oak Wardrobes

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