Friday, April 22, 2011


Design by Charlotte Moss

The poor armoire. Once a prominent fixture in every well-decorated living room or den, the perfect storage for the big, boxy CRT television. Nowadays, most of us have switched to the magazine-thin televisions that are affixed to walls. We were all so used to covering up our tellies that when the flat screens arrived and were hung on our walls, we tried to conceal those, too, with artwork or screens. Now, we just accept that the television is a part of our home life, and we incorporate it accordingly into our decorating. But now, what do we do with our beautiful old armoires?

Here are some examples of armoires -- a couple are new, most are old, and many were never designed to hold a television. But hopefully, these images will spark some ideas for repurposing your now television-less cabinet.

Below, from the British version of Country Living magazine. What a nifty idea -- a liquor cabinet. It can also be locked up as well. I just love the finish on this piece.

From Country Living magazine, British version

Below are a pair of antique Chinese red-lacquer cabinets in a commercial installation by Barcelona-based interior designer Lázaro-Rosa-Violán's. I love this look in a kitchen setting! The Chinese cabinets give such a great textural element and patina to a modern, sleek decor.

Home studio of  Barcelona-based designer Lázaro-Rosa-Violán

This barn-door armoire looks so fabulous in this room, I wouldn't care if it sat totally empty! This room would also look smashing with a modern, fun element added, like an acrylic chair or side table, a piece of modern art in place of the mirror, or pagoda lamps on the parsons table. Still, a perfectly gorgeous room as it is.

Courtesy of The Enchanted Home blogspot

From chef Michel Guerard's restaurant located in an old chateau in the Grand Sud Ouest region of France. What a gorgeous table, setting, armoir - all of it.

Courtesy of Cote de Texas

From the Welsh home of art dealer Guy Morrison and his interior designer wife Penny, this antique French armoire has chicken wire in place of front panels to better showcase a charming hat collection.

From the Quintessence blog

Designer Carol Raley created a custom armoire for displaing vintage gowns and toys by first painting and distressing the piece, then replacing the front panels with chicken wire, upholstering the interior, and hanging a mini chandelier.

Courtesy of Carol Raley

From a house in Belgium, this armoire, which has been painted white, panels removed and fabric added, manages to look light and appropriate for the room. If it were in its original unpainted state, it might add too much heaviness to the room with its size. Great chandelier, too.

London designer Lisa Giles' French armoire has transparent doors, a la library storage. Love it!

Courtesy of Citified blog

Below, this beautiful armoire, from the home of John Dransfield and Geoffrey Ross, featured in Elle Decor's July/August 2010 issue, is painted black, and inset with wavy glass panels and gold trim. This image was inspiring enough to blogger and designer Patricia Shackleford that she decided to give new life to her own little-used and outdated armoire.

Courtesy of Mrs. Blandings

 Below, Patricia Shackleford's armoire before painting.  

After priming, two coats of paint and a gloss:

Courtesy of Mrs. Blandings

And, after applying goldleaf, voila -- an updated armoire. Nice job!

Courtesy of Mrs. Blanding

A Swedish armoire repurposed as a linen closet.

Courtesy of Cote de Texas

In a shabby chic bathroom.

Courtesy of 58 cherries

And in a French country bathroom. Pure Charles Faudree perfection.

Charles Faudree


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