ar·​moire | ärm-ˈwär

What is an Armoire?

Noun - a cupboard or wardrobe, typically one that is ornate or antique. – Oxford English Dictionary

Armoire is a French word, from the Old French armarie, "cupboard or bookcase," with its Latin root armarium, "closet for storing implements or tools." –

The History of Armoires

Can you imagine a time before wardrobes?

In medieval times, clothing, tools, weapons and personal belongings were stored in a piece of furniture called presses. Much like a bookcase, it was usually made out of oak and had shelves for storage. Presses were tall and wide, and they sat directly on the floor, without feet.

Eventually, doors and drawers were added, with elaborate hinges. They were painted inside and out, and sometimes sculpted. In French chateaux and castles, armoires became something of a showpiece. Intricately painted and/or carved armoires with extravagant hinges meant that you were very well-to-do.

During the renaissance, armoires became narrower and taller and space was created for hanging clothes.

Over time, feet were added, and the armoire evolved with the fashions of the time, but always keeping the basic shape and form.

Even now, an armoire is considered a piece of furniture that holds great value and is passed down through the generations as an heirloom.

Armoire Styles

Today, the armoire is available in different styles and used for different purposes. From hanging and storing clothes, to displaying crockery to hiding away entertainment media in the most stylish way possible, the armoire is a versatile piece of storage furniture.  There are now more modern versions of the armoire, but we’ll always believe the peak of its design was the ornate French one you see in our store.

With us you’ll find a variety of armoires:

Rustic Vs Opulent

Our Provencal mahogany wood armoires are perfect for that French country aesthetic, they are elegant in style and pair with a white French bed and a toile bedspread for an idyllic, relaxed, pick-your-own-eggs-in-the-morning smell the French lavender outside the window kind of feel. If you’re more of an eggs-served-on-a-platter-in-your-bed girl, then our ornate, carved mirrored style armoire is for you.

These French armoires are a big statement piece for your bedroom, and although they go beautifully with surrounding French bedroom furniture they will also stand alone as a bold statement in an eclectically themed French bedroom.

Doors Vs Mirrors Vs Wire Fronted

Similarly, you can choose between a number of different types of door fronts. Solid wood means that you can cover everything up, whereas a wire fronted armoire is much more of a showcase and will allow you to see inside at a glance.

Mirrored doors offer a dual use – both to help light bounce around a room, and to allow you to check your appearance. As is always the rule with mirrors, take a look at what you’d be framing within the mirror frame. Is it the sight of your beautifully made bed? Or is it a part of the room that you’re not so keen on?

Choosing the Perfect Wardrobe

When it comes to choosing the right wardrobe or armoire for your space, it’s important to find one that meets your needs. We’ve put together a series of questions to ask yourself to help you find the right one for you.

What are you storing?

The first question to consider is what you’ll be storing. Armoires in particular are very versatile and can be used in a number of different ways. They work well in baby’s room to store tiny clothes, in your dressing room or bedroom to store linens and regular-sized clothes, and even the dining and living room to store blu-rays, crockery or glassware. The list is endless!

How much storage space do you need?

Similarly, how much space will you need to store your items effectively? Think about whether what you’re storing will grow or change – baby clothes for instance will eventually turn into bigger items of clothing, and that film collection may grow.  

What kind of storage space do you require?

Consider whether drawers, shelves, hanging space or a combination will work best for what you’re storing.

What style is the one for you?

This is the fun bit! Deciding on the right style can be tricky but consider whether you’re going more for fancy Parisian apartment or French chateaux, or you just want a standout piece to contrast against the rest of the room. The choice is yours!

The Practical Stuff

Measuring your space

The armoire is a large and heavy piece of furniture, and can be quite imposing so measuring your space is really important. Measure the width, height and depth of your space, looking also at how you’ll get the piece there as well. You could use paper or cloth to place on the floor or hang in the space to give you an idea of how big the armoire will be in your room.

Looking after your wardrobe

Just like any other piece of furniture, an armoire likes to be regularly dusted and cleaned. If your armoire is an ornate one, you may have to take extra care around the carvings to keep it both intact and looking beautiful – you don’t want a dusty armoire.

Delivery options

Here at The French Bed Company, we only deliver our fully assembled armoires to ground floor rooms, and if they can’t be delivered, they may have to be returned. Some of our armoires can be disassembled, taken upstairs in pieces and reassembled, for a fee.    

If you’re looking for the perfect armoire for your space, then take a look at our exquisite armoire collection today.