Shopping for Armoires – The New York Times


When your closets are stuffed, and it’s a struggle to hang even one more shirt, an armoire or wardrobe can provide relief with a little extra storage space.

“I end up using at least one in almost every project,” said Sean Anderson, an interior designer based in Memphis. “It’s one of those pieces that serves a purpose, both functionally and aesthetically.”

And a handsome wardrobe can be used to hold more than just clothes, Mr. Anderson pointed out. It could contain a television in a living room, tableware in a dining room, bedding in a bedroom — or overflowing work material in a home office.

Different models come with different configurations of hanging rods, shelves and drawers, so think carefully about how you will use the piece. Or be prepared to make some D.I.Y. changes.

“We do a lot of antique armoires,” Mr. Anderson said, noting that they frequently need customization, from cutting out shelves to drilling holes for power cords. “I’m always happy to adjust and modify as needed, as long as it makes sense for the space.”

  • How big is too big? If it fits against a wall, even an oversized wardrobe can work in a small room when paired with a minimal selection of furniture: “I like to play with scale,” Mr. Anderson said.

  • What’s the best depth? If the armoire will be used for hanging clothes, “you need to be able to put a hanger inside without squishing everything,” Mr. Anderson said. That usually requires a minimum depth of 24 inches.

  • How do you update the appearance of an antique armoire? Change the hardware, Mr. Anderson suggested, and choose pulls with a clean, modern look.

Moroccan-inspired armoire with white-varnish finish

$2,480 at ABC Carpet & Home: 212-473-3000 or


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