Organize your clothes with an armoire

A wardrobe closet can be a lifesaver in houses without adequate built-in closet space. Wardrobes are typically found in older homes, which are known for minimally sized closets, but wardrobe furniture can be used for additional storage as well as an enhancement to decor in any home.

Wardrobe Cabinet Basics

Also known as an armoire, a wardrobe closet is an enclosed piece of furniture that functions as a closet, often with cupboards, drawers and hanging space. Bedroom armoires or wardrobes are generally substantial in size and frequently, but not always, constructed from wood.

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Since wardrobes tend to be large, be sure to measure the available space carefully to determine the best location for a wardrobe. If there is a chance the wardrobe might tip over, it's an excellent idea to secure it to the wall. This is especially important if you live in earthquake country or if the wardrobe will be placed in a child's room.

The basic design of an armoire or wardrobe cabinet consists of a hanging space, like that of a built-in closet, which is usually covered by doors, and two or three drawers below. Special features found in some wardrobe closets can include:

  • Mirrors on the inside of the doors
  • Adjustable shelving
  • Cedar lining to repel moths
  • Shoe racks

Wardrobe closets also offer protection from dust, grime and pet dander, as well as from the fading that sunshine can cause. Some wardrobes feature louvered doors to allow air to circulate inside the wardrobe while still protecting the contents within.

A jewelry armoire is a special type of armoire that is used to store jewelry. It often has many shallow drawers, since jewelry tends to be smaller than articles of clothing. Jewelry armoires often feature a lock to secure the valuables within them.

How to Buy a Wardrobe Closet

The first step in purchasing a wardrobe is to figure out your budget. A wardrobe closet is a substantial piece of furniture and can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Higher-end wardrobes are made of more expensive wood, have more special features and are often even crafted by hand.

Furniture retailers generally carry a selection of wardrobes; import stores are another good source, as many wardrobes originate overseas. For affordable used armoires, check estate sales, your local newspaper's classified ads and Craigslist.