New Technology impacts Old Furniture Market

Art & Antiques by Dr. Lori

One of the most common pieces of antique furniture is the armoire or as it is called in Europe, the linen cupboard. They are beautiful storage pieces that have enjoyed a major place in the world’s homes since before the advent of the closet. Armoires have a varied history and have served as wooden storage lockers for everything from coats to coverlets since the age of the Renaissance.

Today, many people are sad to learn that one of their most beloved pieces of furniture is not worth as much as it once was. For instance, many antiques lovers purchased large scale armoires for big bucks in the 1990s, intended to use the piece in a bedroom. Many owners purchased armoires to hide an oversized tv set behind wooden doors. Now, the technological advancement known as the flat screen television has changed the face of the bedroom and has ushered out most oversized armoires. If you are like many other people, you may be thinking about how to make the most out of your antique, though still beautiful, armoire now that you don’t need it to store you old television.

Here are a few tips for those of you who would rather keep your armoire rather than lose money selling it in today’s market. Although the market isn’t paying top dollar for armoires anymore, the style and function of this versatile piece of furniture remains desirable in many rooms of the house.

Armoires in the bedroom are great for storing clothes, purses, accessories, hats, hanging shoe bags and other articles of clothing. If you want to hide unsightly objects in the bedroom as you enjoy that flat screen tv, armoires can keep your DVDs and CDs in order and out of sight.

Many people want to place a wooden armoire in the bathroom, but the moisture and humidity from the shower stall can damage the finish of the antique’s wood over time. Armoires are great for storing lightweight items like sheets, pillowcases, shams, and towels but, make sure that you place a barrier (shelf lining paper) between your linens and the wooden shelves.

I have seen armoires serving as baking pantries in kitchens, paper and file storage in home offices, and used as sports equipment storage in the playroom. Don’t over stack it and don’t store books in an antique armoire as the weight of the books can damage the integrity of the structure.

When it comes to interior design, armoires are large enough to act as room dividers and slim enough to be placed in a hallway or on a second floor landing area. These versatile pieces of furniture are simple, typically with a door or two and a security lock. Dress your armoire up with a dried flower or silk leaves on the top of the piece and a decorative tassel on the lock and key.

When technology changes and our homes are redecorated to make room for our changing tastes, consider new ways to use an old faithful piece of furniture, like the armoire. Don’t just take a beating on the sale of an armoire or linen cupboard, take a moment to repurpose it.

Celebrity Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, and award-winning TV personality, Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events nationwide. For a full schedule of Dr. Lori’s antiques appraisal events, visit,, or call (888) 431-1010.

Armoire (Photo credit:


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