by Craig Blake
More and more canny, observant bedroom furniture buffs are paying attention to the quiet armoire renaissance that's brewing and enjoying the practical allure these unique pieces have to offer. In addition to offering the best deals and selection on armoires, Overstock.com is happy to take you on a short tour of the design features you'll want to know before you make a purchase.
Beginnings: From their beginnings as armoires specifically designed as closets to store fine clothing, armoires have become popular in a number of different styles and functions. Whether you are looking for a computer armoire to store your PC and equipment or are more interested in jewelry armoires to stylishly protect your valuables, you'll have a variety of shapes and sizes to choose from. Before you choose which armoire is best for you, let's get acquainted with your options.
Wardrobe armoires: Wardrobe armoires are perfect for storing your finest outerwear and formal wear and are available in a wide variety of styles to complement your other bedroom furniture. For a modern room, choose an armoire with clean lines and a dark wood-tone. For a more traditional look, look for a wardrobe armoire with decorative trims and elegant hardware. If you'd like to give your new armoire an antique look, you can easily distress a white or black clothes armoire by applying a slightly contrasting color and taking high-grit sandpaper to the corners, molding any edge that could have experienced wear.
Entertainment armoires: TV armoires and entertainment armoires have hitched a ride to popularity with the spread of large flat-screen TVs and affordable electronics. One of its most notable benefits is the ability to "put the television away." Many people -- especially the most electronically connected -- find that shutting the television armoire doors allows them a reprieve from the temptations of media and actually improves their outlook. To be sure your television will fit, remember that televisions are measured corner to corner by screen size whereas television armoire dimensions tend to be expressed in terms of length, width and depth.
Jewelry armoires: A practical, space-saving alternative to a jewelry box, a jewelry armoire provides storage specialized to hold your jewelry. Most jewelry armoires also include a door-mounted or hidden mirror, allowing you to make sure your accessories look perfect. Originally, jewelry armoires were just miniature chests of drawers with standing mirrors, but the term is now also applied to modern wall-mounted jewelry cases with mirrors and lockable doors. Whichever style you choose, jewelry armoires make unique, beautiful additions to a room while keeping jewelry safe, secure and organized.
Computer armoires: Sly furniture builders have applied the space, organization and security offered by armoires to another facet of modern life: the computer. Computer armoires, like entertainment armoires, allow you to close and even lock away your electronics when you want to relax, making these the perfect desks for multipurpose rooms. Computer armoires often combine aspects of the desk with armoire storage and sliding tray drawers to make the most out of the space.
Modern armoire design: Most armoires and wardrobes have the same basic design: cupboard doors on top and drawers on bottom. There are a few distinctions though, so know your options before you buy. While most armoires have two facing cabinet doors, some armoires, especially those that make excellent standing closets, manage to work in an extra, central door. This can be a great design feature if you expect to share the armoire with others and want to create distinctions in space.
Armoire storage: The key here is adaptability. If you need a wardrobe to organize your shirts and suit jackets now, but you could imagine needing an entertainment armoire further down the road, it could influence how you buy your armoire. Removable shelving, compartments or clothes rods add value to your armoire by giving your storage versatility. Also, consider if you actually need a chest of drawers. A full, floor-length wardrobe can simplify storage for your longest and most delicate clothes.
Armoires, chests of drawers and variations: Frequently, modern armoires incorporate several drawers below the cupboard doors. Depending on the overall use of the piece, you may find drawers useful for storage that goes beyond clothing.