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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 December 9, 2019

            5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

            5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

            Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

            Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

            Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

            1. Get Rationally Optimistic

            Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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            This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

            In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

            The result: no more mental stress.

            2. Unplug

            Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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            How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

            It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

            Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

            3. Easy on the Caffeine

            Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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            Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

            4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

            That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

            How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

            • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
            • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
            • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

            While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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            5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

            This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

            The result: mental stress will be gone!

            So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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            Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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