Wednesday, April 21, 2010

DID FLAT SCREEN TVS KILL THE ARMOIRE MARKET?

Dealers report that armoires have become very hard to sell. They were popular with decorators for the past twenty years because they could be remodeled into storage units or enclosed cabinets for TV sets. The flat screen television set probably killed demand.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

There was an article at least one year ago in the Wall Street Journal describing thousands of these being removed from hotels. Their market value has gone to nearly zero.

Anonymous said...

That's good news for all of us OLD HOUSE owners that have little closet space or none at all! Maybe the way to market them now is for the reuse in all of the old houses being revamped rather than torn down! PLUS there are many uses for the armoire - we have a large one with shelves added inside and use it in the kitchen for our canned goods, another used for bedding, and still another used for craft supplies. If the supply built up it could be that there were many people that had to sell their armoires when they couldn't afford their mortgages or downsizing among the now retiring baby boomers into smaller houses. Not all is related to the TV - too complicated a world today and all areas of antique furniture were impacted. If a seller can't move the armoire inventory, maybe the price is out of sync with today's repriced market - try lowering your prices and use the decorating magazines to update the suggested uses - or they went too far into the shabby chic market and painted nice attractive wood.

Larkin Vonalt said...

Armoires are still wonderful for the purpose for which they were built -- storage.

Kitty said...

I seen one the other day that the front door was converted to glass and shelves where put inside with a mirror in back and made a stunning cabinet.

Marjorie said...

I wish I could figure out what to do with an ultra modern flat screen in my tiny antique filled front room. I hope your readers have some ideas; I thought of a rolltop desk, but don't really have the space for one.

Anonymous said...

Now we sell more sideboards - Works Great - Large flat screens fit nice on top and the inside is great for all the DVD's and stuff.

Anonymous said...

perhaps these decorators are missing a very common feature to most homes, the computer. these armoires are generally equipped with a pullout, that the tv sat on, and a clever individual can figure out a way to turn it into a computer desk. and the best part is , when equipped with doors you can hide the computer and any clutter!

lphilman said...

Five years ago, I purchased a large, liquor cabinet with 4 doors and hidden compartments. I was told that the cabinet was used on a sailing ship to India. In the top, I asked my husband to remove the shelves and install a flat screen tv mount and a 42" tv. It's quite impressive and hides the tv when not in use.

Anonymous said...

I notice that second-hand armoires are still selling well in my area (Gulf Coast FL)and being used for storage, and probably also for flat screen tvs...can't speak for the antique/decorator trade, just regular folks who are looking for a lot of storage for not much $$. Even though they are not "antiques" the older pieces are made much better than new storage cabinets from the big box stores-- and they don't have to be assembled!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the ideas! We're having a flat-screen delivered today and I have been wondering what to do with my beautiful, enormous armoire! Unfortunately, it has pocket-type doors (which I loved becaused the kids didn't bump the doors with their noggins!) so I am challenged on how to convert it into storage. Thinking of having a box built that would cover the hold in the back and give me shelves too. Wish me luck!

I appreciate your articles so much!
Mimi

Anonymous said...

Another consideration in larger pieces, whether antique or second-hand, is the logistics of moving them after purchase...I have seen many great armoires and would have purchased one in a heartbeat but for the problem of getting it home. Private sellers usually won't move it even if payment is offered, hiring a professional mover is too expensive, and renting a truck wouldn't work for me as I would still have to find someone to help (I am a senior citizen and don't have family nearby). So, I very reluctantly bought a large ready-to-assemble cabinet from a box store; they put the flat box in my car; when I got home, I opened the box while it was still in the car and carried the pieces one at a time up to my condo. I would SO MUCH have rather had the lovely older armoires!

Anonymous said...

I need 4 of them; 1 for clothes storage, 1 for crafts storage and 1for my PC system plus accessories; 1 for my TV and accessories; I can't have a flat screen PC monitor and/or flat screen TV due to severe headaches; if there's someone in my area giving them away, I'd like to know about them; I'm disabled and don't have the money to buy them ...

Anonymous said...

By the way, as an interior decorator, I recommend narrow, long hall tables, legged sideboards for the new flat screen tvs. They come in many lengths and styles. Some have drawers for remotes, tv guides, etc.

Anonymous said...

In the 1960's I received a walnut cedar-lined (armoire)from an ancestral estate in Virginia, originally acquired about 1825 or so. It now sits in a bedroom of my home along with a platform rocker and carved headboard bed also from the same home. Priceless !

Steve said...

To Marjorie and others,
We love our antiques and since downsizing, our armoire is now a fixture in our living room. It nicely accommodates a 40" flatscreen and no one is the wiser when the doors are closed.

Anonymous said...

We've sold over 3000 French armoires over the past 40 years. They slowed in sales about 3-4 years ago but have picked up again in the past 18 months as people realize their value. I'm still getting returns from 3-30 years ago on armoires(all pieces, really) but I'm down to 10-12 in the shop, used to have 40-50 in stock.

And as mentioned, we're selling buffets of all sizes for under flat panel TVs, either mounted on the wall or under the TV itself.

And most armoires(real ones anyway) come apart with 4 bolts or wood pegs(not always recommended as those are usually 200-300 yrs old) so moving them is usually a cinch ancd even lighter than MDF garbage made today.