Don’t be fooled by the fancy name, armoires are some of the most versatile pieces of furniture around. Historically used for storing weaponry arms and armor, armoires feature a large hanging space closed behind double doors. Depending on the model, some armoires also have drawers at the bottom for extra storage (completely sold yet?). The basic structure of an armoire has made it a shoo-in in the bedroom, where it’s often used as a stand-alone closet, but that doesn’t mean this hard-working case piece can’t be used elsewhere in the home. From snack closet to potting shed, here are a handful of ways to repurpose an armoire for virtually any room in the house!
If you have the space, putting an armoire in your bathroom or laundry room can give you all the luxury of built-in cabinets without the designer price tag. Armoires make the perfect linen cabinet, ideal for storing towels and washcloths an arm’s reach from the sink or bath. Organize pretty bath salts, lotions, and soaps on the shelves, while reserving bottom drawers for less aesthetically pleasing necessities like cleaning supplies.
Wise Wardrobe Tip: Rolling up your towels will not only save space, but also make you feel just a little bit ~fancier~.
Sure, you could just use your armoire as a closet extension in your bedroom, but why not turn it into a next-level media console instead? With an armoire on media console duty you never have about choosing between an in-bed Netflix sesh or your cool and collected style. Mount your TV on the inside of an armoire where you’d traditionally hang clothes, then close the doors to hide it away when it’s not in use. An armoire with scenic painted doors also offers an ingenious way to factor artwork into a bedroom that might otherwise be low on artistic appeal.
Wise Wardrobe Tip: Drill a small hole in the back of your armoire to thread an extension cord through and minimize the appearance of messy wires that would otherwise need to drape out an armoire’s front doors.
Raise the Bar
Level up from the basic bar cart and turn an armoire into a luxurious barmoire. In a standard armoire, a single shelf can be installed at waist high to create a work station perfect for mixing drinks and displaying choice liquors or condiments. Alternatively, a wine rack could be installed in the hanging space, or a series of shelves arranged inside for holding both glassware and bottles. Opt for an armoire glass doors to show off your vintage barware, or go with solid doors to maximize the showmanship aspect when revealing to guests that your buttoned-up-looking armoire is actually a mini speakeasy.
Wise Wardrobe Tip: If you’ve got some must-have liquors that are, perhaps, less aesthetically-pleasing (looking at you, Fireball), hide them in the drawers below.
Need some more storage space for all your snacks? (Or just looking for an excuse to buy more?) An armoire can also be used as an extended pantry, so you’ll always have what you need on hand for whipping up a batch of cookies or outfitting a packed lunch with all the bells and whistles. Elsewhere in the kitchen, an armoire with glass doors can be used as a china cabinet, with enough room to display both your everyday dishes and your Turkey Day best.
Wise Wardrobe Tip: If you like buying staples like flours, pastas, beans in bulk load them into matching mason jars to make them display worthy.
Hot to Pot
Outdoors a used armoire can be parked on a covered patio and refashioned as a potting shed, perfect for stowing gardening tools like clippers, pots, and seeds. If your main concern is corralling tall garden tools like rakes, shovels, and brooms an armoire with all the interior shelving removed can make for the dream house of tool sheds. Don’t shy from a used armoire that wears its lifelines on its sleeves, here, as peeling paint and dings are prime for nailing that rakish Secret Garden feel.
Wise Wardrobe Tip: Add some simple hooks to an armoire’s doors to hang up smaller tools like clippers and trowels and prevent them from getting lost in the mix.
Lead image by Eric Piasecki / OTTO