An antique or vintage wardrobe or armoire is what we would call a statement piece of vintage furniture. By definition a wardrobe is basically a tall cupboard used for storing or hanging clothes. An ornate, decorative or antique wardrobe is often referred to as an armoire. Antique wardrobes and armoires started as simple wooden chests that grew in size, form and functionality. They can be very small or exceptionally large and have single, double or triple doors that are either glazed or fully paneled with wood and occasionally with wire mesh, with a single drawer or banks of drawers. Styles vary widely from ornate and decorative antique French armoires to simple and modest pine wardrobes to Georgian oak wardrobes with a more conservative decorative style. Scaramanga’s original vintage wardrobes and armoires were crafted for storage and to look impressive. All are either vintage or antique cupboards from the early or mid 1900s and were used for storing clothes and other household items. Each piece is unique and original and they were expertly handmade by skilled carpenters and cabinet makers using traditional tools and techniques.
Carl has been buying vintage and antique furniture for ten years and no buying trip is complete without buying a carefully selected collection of armoires and old cupboards. Each large cupboard has either a single door or double doors with or without glass and shelves. The styles will vary widely from elegant colonial teak cupboards with straight lines and subtle carved upper and lower moulding and details to stunning art deco armoires with decorative geometrical patterns and shapes to simple rustic country farmhouse cupboards with their original faded paint to wildly decorated and painted armoires with motifs and animated colourful Hindu deities.
Carl buys our antique wardrobes and armoires from vintage furniture dealers and restorers he has been buying from them since he started Scaramanga in 2006. Most restorers and dealers have been sellers have been sourcing antique furniture for over 20 years and have an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience of Indian style and woodworking restoration techniques.
They have got to know how we like our furniture repaired and restored. We insist on the original paint finishes left on as we don’t paint armoires to look old. Our armoires and wardrobes all have their own history and story to tell and stripping away the years of patina, they layers of paint and the way they were used would be stripping away some of their individuality. So our restorers will ensure they are washed, made structurally sound and sturdy, damaged panels are replaced with old teak wood.
As all our vintage armoires are unique and we usually have over 40 in stock we are confident we have a style, size, colour and budget for most people. An original Scaramanga vintage armoire can usually be bought for the same price or less than a reproduction shabby chic armoire that has been made to look vintage.
We have off-white or grey cupboards for a simple Scandi interior look or bright blues and reds for an original traditional Indian look and traditional golden teak armoires for a more traditional classic look that would work with furniture made from English hardwoods like oak and elm.
Carl’s top tips: Traditionally armoires were used for storing clothes in the bedroom, but don’t confine your armoire to the bedroom – they make striking bathroom cabinets and display cabinets for towels and bed linen. They make great free-standing cupboards in the kitchen for storing plates and glassware. A shabby chic armoire against the wall in a hallway will look stunningly grand whilst also providing an abundance of hanging space for all of those jackets and coats, and shelving for shoes and boots. A brightly painted compact armoire will work well in a kids bedroom too.
Remember a home is all about being surrounded by personal and meaningful objects. People collect pieces through their lives and these should be kept and used in their homes. Everyone has different tastes and it would be dull if everyone wanted to have the same wooden cupboards and off-white country style interiors. There is no right or wrong way of blending style and eras. Be bold and try mixing it up a little!
If you would like speak to Carl please call him on 01334 657642 and he’ll be happy to discuss what you are looking for and what we have in stock.