So, you’ve bought your first armoire. Or you’re thinking about buying one. Congratulations! Welcome to the wonderful world of French style. Do you want it to be a statement piece or something that blends into your décor? The good news is, there are many different styles of armoire, and a plethora of styling options to suit your taste. Read on to find out about different types of French armoire and how to style your armoire’s interiors to add a touch of French-style chic to any room.
What Is An Armoire?
Put simply, an armoire is a special kind of wardrobe that can serve various purposes. Traditionally, armoires were used to store weapons and armour, hence their sturdy structure and elaborate finishing.
The armoire is often an overlooked piece of furniture. When grouped in with wardrobes, armoires are thought of as functional, not fashionable. When considered as a statement piece, they are viewed as something elite, only for those who live in a sprawling French chateau. But French armoires come in varying styles and sizes and are fantastic styling pieces for any room.
What Is The Difference Between an Armoire And a Wardrobe?
A wardrobe is generally a functional piece of furniture, simpler in style than an armoire and designed primarily with hanging space intended for clothes. A luxury armoire is intended to add a certain je ne sais quoi to a room, so it typically has a more ornate aesthetic. An armoire has both shelving and hanging space and is generally larger than a wardrobe. They are also much more fun to style than a wardrobe! Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can style your armoire's interiors to maximise your décor.
Channel Cottagecore with a Rustic Wood Wardrobe
Showcase your armoire’s interiors with a rustic wire-fronted wooden wardrobe. This open style is great for storing linens as the air flow helps keep them fresh. Stack your luxury bed linen in complementary colours and in ascending size, with the smaller items on top to create a pyramid effect. Roll up faux fur blankets into French roulade shapes and place these next to your linens. Stack luxury cushions on top or in the available spaces. On the bottom shelf, which is traditionally the tallest, we love to arrange a small stack of books and a vase of flowers. Viewed through a filter of delicate mesh panelling, your armoire’s contents will look straight out of a French country cottage.
There is also a closed-door version of this beautiful rustic wood wardrobe, for you to enjoy the grain and unique characteristics of reclaimed wood. Extra handy if a busy lifestyle and rambunctious household means that your armoire’s interiors are not always picture perfect!
Make A Statement With A Carved Painted Armoire
Perfect for your bedroom, hallway or kitchen, this French armoire will be a piece to treasure for years to come. Carved from sustainable mango wood and hand-finished in Farrow & Ball James White paint, the artisanal Dahlia Armoire has stunning detailed Indian carving across the two front panels. The warm-toned mango wood interior and the pure white painted exterior create a strong visual contrast that makes a style statement for any room.
The solid structure can accommodate contents of any description. Pile thick woollen winter jumpers on the wide shelves, and hang coats, dresses, blouses, and trousers on the rail above. A deep drawer beneath makes a very handy addition for smaller items.
Explore French-Nordic Style with a Gustavian Armoire
Gustavian furniture is a blend of French and Swedish style that pairs elegance and practicality. It uses a muted colour palette and a lightly distressed paint finish to create an effect of pared-back luxury. It’s less extravagant than its contemporary French style, so the subtle elegance of Gustavian furniture makes it simple to pair with other interior styles. If you’re searching for subtle feminine flair, this is the armoire for you.
While it is a delight to style the interior of luxury armoire such as our Avenue Montaigne 2-Door French Armoire, the frame itself showcases beautiful design details, in true Gustavian fashion.
Scalloped corner detailing on the double doors and delicate fluting on the drawers beneath attracts and delights the eye, all beautifully accented with a painted finish of mildly distressed French fawn and antique stone. There’s also a hidden surprise among the bottom drawers – a third, central mini drawer. Referred to by our designers as the ‘nail varnish drawer’, this hidden gem serves both purpose and style. The style comes with a delicate drop pull handle; the purpose is up to you!
Now you know how to style an armoire and the different designs available, which one will you choose? To learn more, why not check out our ultimate guide to the armoire, find out the best way to store bedding, or discover more about what is Gustavian furniture.