Design

The Case for Armoires and Wardrobes

May 1, 2024

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The alternative title to this blog post was “That’s Armoir-e” to the tune of the Dean Martin song “That’s Amore.” What can I say? I just love them.

Armoire | Pendant Light | Leaf Branch | Jules Lagoon/Brick Rug | Loafers

Why I Love Armoires

For years, built-ins have been the “gold standard” that people are looking for in a home. Yes, you can add so much value to your house by putting in built-ins because it stays with the house. However, a stand-alone armoire is so charming and functional — I love using them in my home. Just like in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, there’s something kind of magical about these moveable closets.

I often hear people wish that they had extra storage in their home. “There’s no closet, there are no built-ins…” But I’ll let you in on a secret: Storage is a retail product. It’s so much work (and sometimes a lot more expense) to build something in. Bypass all of that, and buy storage by getting an armoire or wardrobe.

Shop the Laundry Room

How to Use an Armoire

In our home, we use armoires and wardrobes for several different things. We bought one from Wayfair that was less than $500 to add storage to the playroom for games. We just stained it to make it more the style we wanted.

I scouted out a more pricey antique one that holds court over the laundry room. It was a linen press in its former life, but it has added so much richness and character to the laundry room. We keep all of our sheets divided by shelves — king, queen, twin — with extra blankets in the drawers.

Chris Loves Julia | Antique wooden armoire open to show folded linens

Armoire (vintage) | Wallpaper | Stone Tile | Marble Tile

In Faye’s room, we actually ripped out her closet in a very controversial move and added an armoire and a dresser. The change has been amazing. I think she has more storage than ever with both of those furniture pieces, and her room feels a lot more open.

Chris Loves Julia | Blue painted armoire filled with clothes in a child's bedroom
Shop Faye’s Room

I’ve seen them used in family rooms for blankets. You can also use one in a dining room or open kitchen floor plan for dishes and table linens. They’re such a great standalone piece, like when furniture also feels like a sculpture.

What to Consider When Buying an Armoire

The one thing I always pay attention to when buying an armoire is height. You have to decide if you need breathing room around it and what kind of storage space you want. For Faye’s room, where we replaced the closet with an armoire, I went with a 72″-tall armoire as she wouldn’t have been able to reach the rack if it was taller. In the laundry room, I went with a taller armoire as I liked how it filled the room and was closer to the ceiling.

Also, think about what kind of storage you need. In Faye’s room, I was looking for a hanging rod in the wardrobe, while for the laundry room I was looking for more shelves to maximize the linen storage space. If it’s in a mudroom, you may want more cubbies for shoes. Just little things to consider.

Chris Loves Julia | Blue painted armoire filled with clothes in a child's bedroom

Armoire | Medium Bin | Large White Bin | Wallpaper | Wood Hangers

If you’re looking to increase your storage space, an armoire or wardrobe is the perfect home decor choice.

  1. Grimsby Solid Wood Armoire $418
  2. Shaker Solid Wood Armoire $628
  3. Mason Cane Storage Cabinet $1499
  4. Kiah Cabinet $1800
  5. Lennox Carved Natural Wood Kids Armoire by Leanne Ford $1999
  6. Casa Florentina Louis XVI Armoire with Mirrored Doors $2099
  7. Amber Lewis for Anthropologie Curio Cabinet $2298
  8. Levin Armoire $2485
  9. Fern Storage Cabinet $2698
  10. House of Hackney Curio Cabinet $2798
  11. Alline Solid Wood 4 – Armoire $3148
  12. Reclaimed Wood Armoire $5995
Shop Armoires & Wardrobes

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What do you think?

  1. Trish Atkins says:

    I’m on the hunt for the perfect bar armoir!!! Need the doors to slide away though

  2. Tara says:

    Is that a steamer to the left of the armoire?

  3. Laura Smith says:

    Any recommendations for a long hanging armoire (grown women’s dresses!)

  4. Molly says:

    My hubby and I have held on to a once-used wardrobe for years – it’s been in storage – and we wondered many times if we shouldn’t just get rid of it, but now we have added a sunroom to the back of our house, and we are going to haul that thing in and use it for picnic-ware & outdoor dining storage. I have a massive Longaberger basket that belonged to my mom (also in storage). I will put it on top – I can see it now. I can’t tell you how excited I am – the best part is that we don’t have to spend more money!

  5. Ellen says:

    A lot of designers in America always talk about bringing in a “European” vibe into their houses. THIS is typical European. There are no build-ins in European houses and those armoires bring in all the charm.

    • Joanna says:

      I was going to say the same thing! Closets are a very American home feature. I love them but an armoire does add a lot of character.

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Here’s the crazy thing about me and inspiration: If you were to go into my bathroom inspiration board on Pinterest, there are bathrooms for sure, but there are also kitchens, there are closets, there are mudrooms, and there are hallways of houses! I’m not looking to copy and paste an inspirational image. I’m taking notes […]

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