Mar 10, 2009


I've been trying to sell this armoire on Craig's List for as long as I can remember! People just aren't in the market for armoires like they used to be now that flat screens are more prevalent....but I mean seriously how could someone NOT buy this armoire? Isn't it gorgeous? Beautiful wood finish, an antique circa 1990, large and bulky- there's just NOTHING like it out there- a true gem!!!

At least that's what I tried to tell the shoppers on Craig's List; however no one could be convinced- it truly is an eyesore.

So when I started thinking about turning my dining area into a design library, I figured I would need a big piece of furniture to hold catalogs, samples and all of the other stuff that designers need to keep handy (but also hide from the public). I didn't want the first thing people saw when they came in to be my workspace- so that's when the idea of the armoire started to look better and better (and not to mention, nice and free)

I began to think how great it would be if I revamped it...and once I have something set in my mind, there's no stopping me. I had it moved from my sister's house to my house within a day and started working on it the day after that. I wanted to make the armoire nice, but also low cost and a quick and easy project.

I ended up painting it off white (about four times) then added some crystal hardware from Anthropologie. But as the armoire became whiter, the neutral wall behind it made it disappear. So that's when I decided to go BACK to the paint store and buy some mossy green paint to lend a background to my armoire. Don't you just love how one project quickly turns into another?

The green wall color is much lighter and brighter in person- it was a really gross day today in Dallas so hence the horrible pictures! (don't worry, it's not 80's forest green!)

Then I started to think of all the different things you could do with armoires and the possibilities are endless...Within them, you could store..

Arts and crafts/scrapbooking materials, office supplies, kids toys, sewing supplies/fabric, table linens, a wet bar, clothes/accessories, movies/tv, home accents, etc etc. Whatever your fancy! So before you haul off your bulky armoire to the resale shop, here are some pretty ideas below on what to do with that mangey old armoire...

Paint it in two colors or lacquer it....make it fun like Jamie Drake's pink and black armoire!

{photo via Alkemie}

Add in some mirrored glass and paint it white for an updated crisp look
{Image via Domino}

Love this gray armoire (and the hardware) in this dining room by Hickory Chair.

I want this Windsor Smith armoire!!

Windsor Smith designed this room (one of my all time favorite rooms). A white mirrored armoire in the corner is the perfect touch to this space.

This feminine armoire featured in Country Living houses a whole bar inside! Who would have thought such a sweet looking armoire would contain so much liquor! Cute idea for those who like to entertain a lot.

This room, featured in House Beautiful contains a pretty robin's egg blue armoire. If you are thinking your armoire is hopeless, just remember that a fresh coat of paint can go a long way on an old piece of furniture.

I saw this room over at La Dolce Vita blog, and love the angular lines on this armoire piece.

This painted and distressed French armoire from French Country Living, looks right at home in this space. Aside from standing there and looking pretty, it serves a purpose too! It holds linens.

{Image via Velvet and Linen}

It wouldn't be right if I didn't show you at least one armoire image from Cote de Texas!

House Beautiful showcased the beautiful Neirmann Weeks Quatrefoil Armoire.

These glass-paned geometric, white armoires really seem to be everywhere! We keep seeing them...another House Beautiful image...they must really like their armoires!

A Mary McDonald room...a black armoire displays classic and subtle accessories in the background.

Before clicking that "Post" button on Craig's List, you might want to reconsider- armoires are really great to have handy and refinishing them can make a world of difference!


Things That Inspire said...

I have an armoire that used to house my old tv, and when I upgraded the tv I got the biggest flatscreen that would fit inside. It works very well, and the armoire fits perfectly into the space - it just would not look right with a flatscreen on the wall.

I adore the NW quatrefoil armoire. But, then again, anything that has a quatrefoil motif captures my heart!

Colour Me Happy said...

Love that transformation - and the green colour you picked for the room! Fabulous! And you found some really great images for your post. Thanks for sharing them.

housewears said...

I, too, have a gorgeous armoire that is in need of a bit of an update. I have decided to take the doors apart and install some glass, and add some interesting wallpaper that I can change when I change wall colour.I'm thinking I will do mine in black, white inside on shelves, with some leftover Cole & Son Woods wallpaper....thanks for your inspiring photos!


hollylynn said...

oh, divine. i do love giving old furniture new life. and i lalalove a white piece of furniture against a colored wall. you're making me have all kinds of ideas!

Kylie.x said...

Fantastic post!!! Just what i needed to see, some insperation for my old armoire sitting in the garage. xo

Thank you

alishagwen said...

i have an armoire i recently snatched up from a fmaily friend who was going to trash it... it has the most awful white wash finish (but in excellent shape) and i can't decide what exactly i'm going to do to refinish it... so thank you for the lovely ideas!

and also a big thank you for your all you do with your blog... i ran across the blog back in the fall and became hooked... i then later started reading your favorites and decided to start my own... so again, thank you for inspiring me to branch out on my own!

Emily Johnston | EJ Interiors said...

Jillian, I was going to do wallpaper on the inside too! Such a cute idea- but then I got lazy :) Would love to see how yours turns out!

Alishagwen, I'm glad you got into blogging- isn't it so much fun?! So glad you found our site and good luck with your armoire!

laurelstreet said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one where one little project spins off even more little (and big) projects...

I love the armoire against the green wall - it's so fresh now!

ShockTheBourgeois said...

I love free-standing storage furniture. I recently snagged a petite gray 50's hutch for $50 on craig's list. I'm using it to store and display all of my sheets and bath items. I'm taking pictures tonight, and it will soon be posted on my brand new blog!

Mango Gal said...

It looks fantastic! Great job!

Cote de Texas said...

sweet - thanks for the shoutout. you are so right about tvs and armoires. what to do with tvs used to be the biggest problem in the world! now it's solved - just hang it on the wall like a necklace~

Love Where You Live said...

Great re-use. Your armoire looks wonderful, especially against the green. I bet you'd have buyers lined up now. Natch. I want to go paint something now....cheers, -susan

Queen B. said...

I wish I had room to repurpose china hutch i loved ....
I iamgined painting it a beachy color and using it for something cool........

Painted Armoires said...

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