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Five Creative Ways to Use Your Armoire

Five Creative Ways to Use Your Armoire

One of the most frequently asked questions we get from homeowners is, “How do I add more storage to my space?” It seems that even with shelving, closets, cubbies, and cabinets, storage is always scarce, especially in homes that don’t come equipped with many stowing solutions. Enter armoires. Often seen as pieces meant more for their ornate design than added function, armoires have resurfaced as a prime storage space for houses that need extra hiding spots. Here are some of our favorite ways to incorporate these double-duty pieces in home decor.

1. Stow Linens

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    Hiding extra linens, blankets, and even articles of clothing is easily one of the best ways to use the space provided by your armoire without overstuffing its silhouette. Armoires typically have wider bodies that allow blankets and bedding to be neatly stacked instead of twisted and shoved to fit. While they are traditionally more vintage in style, some armoires very contemporary with stylish brushed metal handles and a sleek finish, perfect for transitional or modern spaces. To keep your linens fresh while in storage, make sure they are clean and dry and the armoire is placed in a cool, dark, and dry area of the house.

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    2. Use It as A Hutch

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      Whoever said armoires belong in the bedroom clearly never tried stowing their favorite dishware in one! If you have an armoire that speaks to your style, put it on display in the dining or living room to show off your favorite chinese dishware or collectibles. Not only does this offer a storage solution, but it also keeps your valuables out of harm’s way and lowers the risk of them breaking.

      Pro tip: Take the doors off of the hinges and stain the armoire with a new finish to create a unique hutch that allows you to store dishware that won’t fit in typical displays.

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      3. Substitute for A Closet

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        Especially helpful for vacation homes or guest bedrooms, armoires doubled as closets allow you to display clothing and linens beautifully while also providing functional storage. Store your smaller items like socks and accessories in baskets and stack sweaters and more fragile articles on the shelving or in drawers. Add visual interest to the doors by painting or staining them, or take them off altogether to show off your wardrobe.

        4. Add Storage in The Bathroom

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          If your bathroom is large enough for added shelving, then it’s large enough for a beautiful armoire. Using glass doors and updated hardware, turn your armoire into a super stylish medicine cabinet and linen closet combination used to store towels, toiletries, and bathroom must-haves effortlessly. For a modern update, paint your armoire bright white and use nickel hardware. Add some organization with white baskets and white shelving.

          5. Create A Study Spot

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            Many antique armoires come with whimsical features like extra cabinets and hidden compartments. Should yours come equipped with a fold-out bureau flap, use it to your advantage! Place it in a space you would use to study or do extra work on the weekends, and create a mini-office centered around your armoire. Flip down the fold-out to turn your armoire into a small secretary and storage combination. Stow your computer, a few files, and some writing utensils in the bottom half and dishware or valuables along the upper shelving.

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            Still at a loss as to how to use your armoire for storage? Try placing it in a recessed wall area to fill space and keep household items accessible and organized. Armoires also work well as added storage in a kitchen in need of another design element and storage. Don’t be afraid to kick it up a notch by applying removable wallpaper to the backing of the armoire for instant invigoration or a boldly painted hue to liven up the room. Walk through your home and peek at corners and wall space that could use extra storage or added visual interest. Instead of adding floating shelves or cubbies, opt for a beautiful armoire.

            Featured photo credit: http://www.homedepot.com via homedepot.com

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            Kerrie Kelly

            Interior designer

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            Last Updated on January 21, 2020

            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

            Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

            your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

              Why You Need a Vision

              Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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              How to Create Your Life Vision

              Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

              What Do You Want?

              The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

              It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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              Some tips to guide you:

              • Remember to ask why you want certain things
              • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
              • Give yourself permission to dream.
              • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
              • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

              Some questions to start your exploration:

              • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
              • What would you like to have more of in your life?
              • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
              • What are your secret passions and dreams?
              • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
              • What do you want your relationships to be like?
              • What qualities would you like to develop?
              • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
              • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
              • What would you most like to accomplish?
              • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

              It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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              What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

              Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

              A few prompts to get you started:

              • What will you have accomplished already?
              • How will you feel about yourself?
              • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
              • What does your ideal day look like?
              • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
              • What would you be doing?
              • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
              • How are you dressed?
              • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
              • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
              • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

              It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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              Plan Backwards

              It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

              • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
              • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
              • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
              • What important actions would you have had to take?
              • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
              • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
              • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
              • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
              • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

              Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

              It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

              Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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