The pleasing aesthetics of armoires and their various practical uses merits salvaging them. Before the 20th century, in the days before closets, armoires held clothing and bedding. They found use as decorative storage for televisions by the mid-1980s. Today, flat-screen televisions are hung on walls, relegating many of these beautiful pieces to the garage or abandoned in landfills. Retrofit yours to reflect your personal style with options for nearly every room in your home.
1. Kitchens and Dining Rooms
Retrofit your armoire to decorate your kitchen and eating areas while providing plenty of functionality. Limited counter space is the perfect excuse to turn your armoire into a new home for your microwave, hiding it when not in use. Adding a few eye-hooks to the ceiling of your armoire allows you to easily store pots and pans in it, utilizing the drawers found in many armoires as storage for table linens, cookbooks and utensils. Kitchens short on storage space benefit from an armoire fitted with extra shelves to store food.
2. Bathrooms and Hallways
Armoires provide an attractive alternative to linen closets, especially in older homes that often lack adequate closet space. They provide ample room for towels and wash cloths; they also hide personal hygiene products and toiletries. Add an upper shelf to hold makeup and your favorite styling brands. Rid the clutter around your bathroom sink by storing blow dryers, flat irons and curling wands in armoire drawers.
3. Foyers and Mud Rooms
Organize backpacks, lunch boxes and jackets. Remove the doors on up to three armoires and line them against your mudroom wall, effectively turning them into makeshift storage lockers. Each retrofitted armoire provides room for two family members’ belongings. Attach hooks to the backs of the armoires on which to hang jackets, allotting each family member her own space. In the foyer allocate an ornate armoire to store coats for your guests. Line the bottom drawer with a rubber mat, leaving it extended, to hold rain- or snow boots.
4. Playrooms and Children’s Rooms
Encourage make-believe with a colorful dress-up wardrobe or activity station. Paint the armoire to match the bedroom decor. Stencil your child’s name on the doors in conjunction with decorative geometric designs or swirls in a color that contrasts with the base coat. Attach mirrors to the interior sides of the doors and install a hanging rod from which to hang your child’s costumes. Use it in the playroom, painting it in more vibrant colors. Add shelves to store board games, puzzles and building blocks. Art paper, crayons and watercolors slide easily into the drawers. Add a finishing touch, painting the inside of the doors with chalkboard paint, for games of tic-tac-toe and chalk renderings.