The concept of the armoire is not a new one. Originally designed as a place to store clothing and apparel in an organized space, the use of the armoire has evolved over time. A very popular adaptation of what were once called handkerchief dressers, jewelry armoires serve much the same function. The jewelry armoire solves several problems related to safely storing your valuable jewelry.
In general, armoires are nothing more than freestanding closets. The architectural concept of a closet or a separate room to store clothing is not very old. The clothing armoire served the same purpose as other cabinet furniture. Storage space in older homes mostly consisted of separate pieces of furniture. Sideboards and buffets often held everything needed for the dining table. Utilitarian furniture like pie cases, dry sinks and other freestanding cupboards once provided all the storage one would need.
Jewelry Armoire Basics
For those folks who are unfamiliar with jewelry armoires, a brief, basic description may be helpful. Most jewelry armoires are freestanding pieces of furniture. Small jewelry boxes have always been a popular way to store jewelry. Think of the jewelry armoire as a series of individual jewelry boxes stacked one atop the other. Traditionally made of wood, the average jewelry armoire stands between three and five feet tall. A series of small drawers some no more than two inches deep are typically lined with felt, silk or other soft fabric material.
Jewelry Armoires and Gender
It is important to note that the jewelry armoire knows no gender boundaries. Down through history, women, men and even children have needed a place to keep treasured pieces of jewelry. Traditional thought of as being a feminine furniture piece, more recently, more and more men are collecting and wearing jewelry of all types. In general, both men and women have been sporting more jewelry, everything from chains, watches, rings, earrings to a wide variety of body jewelry. Tongue studs, belly button rings and other types of ornate body jewelry have become extremely popular.
The design and construction of jewelry armoires has varied over the years, from the simple and utilitarian to the ornate. Like many types of fine furniture, antique jewelry armoires have been become very collectible. Vintage jewelry armoires are typically made from solid hardwoods and could be quite decorative. A unique style of jewelry armoire combines the traditional womens dressing table with a series of small drawers. The idea being that while dressing for the day or retiring for the night, jewelry can be donned or removed in the same convenient location.
Wall-Mount Jewelry Armoires
A style of jewelry armoire that is gaining in popularity is the wall-mount jewelry armoire. Wall-mount armoires are very similar in design to clothing armoires with a combination of small drawers and hutches. The hutches allow you to hang chain, necklace and bracelet jewelry pieces. Wall-mount jewelry armoires are a space efficient alternative to the freestanding styles. Some wall-mounted designs can be quite ornately finished with bevel glass mirrors and other decorative embellishments. Beautiful and functional, the wall-mount jewelry armoire can add a unique design touch to any bedroom decor.
With all the different types of jewelry being worn today, keeping track of it and storing it safely can get to be quite a chore. Making a jewelry armoire part of your essential furniture makes the chore of keeping necklace and chain jewelry organized much easier. The common practice of hanging necklace and chain jewelry can often result in a tangled mess, which is not only frustrating but can damage your valuable jewelry.
Having damaged jewelry repaired can often be an expensive proposition. With a jewelry armoire, those chains and necklaces can be laid out safely and neatly laid in the drawer. No more tangles, no headaches and no more damaged jewelry. Though small, earrings can often be quite valuable, and when it comes to jewelry, nothing is more frustrating than to losing one. A jewelry armoire is the perfect way to organize those little pieces of jewelry in one place.
In addition to a series of small drawers, some jewelry armoires are designed to use all of the available space. Such features can include small side doors with hooks that let you hang your chain and necklace jewelry.
There is no reason to let your fine jewelry collect in a pile on the dresser. Using a jewelry armoire can help you keep your jewelry collection safe and organized.
Keeping Your Jewelry Safe
Many jewelry armoires are designed with hidden compartments. These hidden spaces are perfect for keeping your most valuable jewelry pieces safe and secure. False fronts have been used for thousands of years to hide secret valuable items from prying eyes and potential thievery. Locking devices for your jewelry box or armoire can be effective deterrents. Having a secret hidden panel or drawer bottom adds another layer of security that can help protect your most valuable pieces of jewelry.
Vintage Jewelry Armoires
Many different styles of antique and jewelry armoires are quite popular among collectors of fine furniture. Over the years, jewelry boxes and armoires have been crafted from exotic woods such as teak and mahogany. More common hardwoods such as oak, maple, cherry and walnut have also been used to create beautiful vintage jewelry armoires and jewelry boxes. Design styles vary along with the wood. From French Colonial to English Victorian, antique and vintage jewelry armoires can be found in wide variety of styles.
Like collectible clocks and other fine cabinet style furniture pieces, there are less expensive copies of classic designs. If you are in the market for a truly antique jewelry armoire or other type of jewelry box, the rule is always buyer beware. Doing your homework before you buy can go a long way. Some buyers can be taken in by a rich looking finish, the appearance of old burl wood or other features. Adornments such as drawer pulls and other hardware like hinges can give away the true age of what is being billed as a vintage or antique piece. Books, trade publications and the internet can provide buyers with a wealth of informational resources.
For those of us who are of modest means, there are some very fine quality reproductions available. It is not uncommon to find truly beautiful reproductions of vintage jewelry armoires. As with any piece of finely crafted furniture, prices can vary depending on the materials, hardware and manufacturer.
So whether you chose a freestanding piece or a wall-mounted jewelry armoire, there is no better way to protect you valuable jewelry organized.