Wardrobe Armoire – French & Bone Inlay Collection

Effective storage can improve the quality of our lives and make us all feel better about ourselves. But storage does not have to be dull. What you store your possession in can be beautiful and unique, like the range of armoires at Adelaide’s Empress Homewares.


Perhaps you do not know what an armoire is? An armoire is a cupboard or wardrobe, but one that is ornate or antique in style. Frankly, “armoire” is a much prettier word than cupboard or wardrobe. Like so many lovely words, it is French and has its origins in the 16th century. Similar to a lot of modern furniture, the armoire’s origins go back to the classic wooden chest. In the Middle Ages, the clothing of Kings and nobles became increasingly more elaborate and wooden chests would no longer suffice. Robes needed hanging rather than folding. It was in the castles of Kings that the first armoires came into being. Because these were rich and powerful men, their cabinets to hang clothes could not be plain. They had to be decorative, rich looking and ostentatious. They have to send a message and convey symbolism. And like many things in life, trends and fashions start at the top and filter down. Over time, ordinary households began using alternatives to traditional chests. But ordinary people couldn’t afford elaborate decorations and rich finishes. Their armoires were plainer. So we see how simple wooden cupboards and wardrobes came into being. But the lavish armoires survived in the homes of the wealthy. Today, they remain a cut above the plain wardrobe. They remain highly decorative and desirable. The difference is today Empress Homewares makes armoires accessible to everyone with taste and style, not just the kings and nobles.

There can be beauty in simplicity

Not that lavish decoration is to everybody’s taste. A simple Shaker chair is a beautiful unadorned thing. Likewise, a pared-back armoire can be as striking as the most decorative armoire. Some might say a wooden armoire like the Hudson Almirah is a simple piece of furniture. Not so. The wood and finish are of the highest quality. There are four doors including two that fold. The technical craftsmanship and skill behind this piece of furniture are considerable. But if you have the tastes of a Persian potentate, something like Empress Homewares’ Bone Inlay Persian Armoire may be more up your alley. Oh yes, this is beautiful. This armoire is nearly two metres tall, has two doors and four shelves. Artisans in India handcrafted it and they made it from ethically sourced camel bones. It is a stunning piece of furniture, almost too good to store your clothing in. Or, you could skip away from tradition altogether and choose something a little more avant-garde. Armoires are no longer just for storing clothes, and most of us do not own kingly robes. Like all furniture, armoires evolve and what we can use them for changes. A good example is the Jules Verne Noir Bar Cabinet Armoire. There are a lot of us out there who think we should treat a bottle of wine with as much respect as a fine pair of shoes. This black steel frame drinks cabinet does that. At 176 centimetres high, with shelving, glass doors and castor wheels, this armoire is a much worthier home for your drinks collection than the kitchen cupboard!

Good storage can reduce stress and improve our wellbeing

We live in interesting times. Most of us have increasingly more possessions, more possessions than those Middle Ages Kings who needed something new to hang their robes in. But we also want to live simpler, less cluttered lives. However, it’s hard to resist those new shoes, or that handbag, or the just-released book. Pursuing simplicity in a consumer drive world is easier said than done. Well-known people such as Marie Kondo have jumped onto the trend and now advise us how to de-clutter and organise our lives. But do we need to watch television or pay someone to tell us how to do this? The secret is simple. It does not matter how many possessions you have or have not. It’s about how you organise these possessions. A sense of being organised and having your life under control reduces stress and that makes us feel better about ourselves. That’s where storage becomes important. And storage need not be unattractive, like say, a box. What you store your possessions in can be beautiful. And beauty can also make us feel better, improve our lives, and contribute to our sense of wellbeing. That’s where Empress Homewares and its range of armoires can help. They serve the practical purpose is giving you somewhere to store your possessions, but they are also a pleasure to own.

Affordable, personality driven, unique armoires

When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. There is no point having a home and caring about your environment when you have nowhere to store your possessions and everything looks cluttered and messy. Marie Kondo may show you how to fold the perfect white te-shirt, but if it will live on your bedroom floor, folding the te-shirt well will not make you feel better. It needs to be put away. And sometimes you need to close the door on everything you own. All it takes is one good piece of furniture and a classic armoire can be that piece. While choice and abundance contribute to the clutter and stress in our lives, one benefit is that choice allows us to pick something we like, rather than everyone having the same thing. Empress Homewares is Adelaide’s number one armoire store. Their armoires are affordable, full of personality, and unique. So yes, we all need storage. Good storage is important on so many levels. But you can achieve this and still stand apart from the crowd. Choosing one of Empress Homewares’ unique armoires can help you do this.

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