My husband uses the word “chifferrobe” every chance he gets. He also loves old movies, old music, and nostalgia. If the word “chifferrobe” reminds you of “To Kill A Mockingbird,” there’s a good reason. Apparently it’s used 11 times in the 1962 novel. Needless to say, it’s not a modern term. But whether you use the word “chifferrobe” or prefer to say “armoire,” you probably haven’t said either word very often lately. These furniture pieces are not exactly “trending!” I met an antique collector on a plane recently who said, “what’s the difference between an armoire and a husband?” “You can get rid of a husband.”
Since moving to Bryn Mawr 2 years ago I’ve sold a few pieces of furniture on the Philly/Main Line High End Yard Sale Facebook page. Lots of towns have something like it so if you’re looking for an armoire, (first ask yourself “why?”) then start there. It seems everybody has an armoire they want to get rid of. Including me.
I made the mistake of agreeing to buy not 1 but 2 armoires from the previous owner of my home. I thought one would be great for housing a TV in my boys’ room, when they come to visit. Wrong. Millennials watch TV on their laptops. The other I planned to convert into a self-serve bar, with storage for stemware, glasses, and bottles. I thought it would lead guests out of the congested kitchen area and into our seldom-used living room… wrong again! Guests prefer to hang out where the action/appetizers are. So I’m stuck with 2 armoires/chifferrobes/dinosaurs. I urge you not to make the same mistake. Don’t agree to buy someone else’s cast-off unless you’re sure you want that albatross.
Built-in closets, bars, cabinets and shelves, not only add value to your home, they also serve as stream-lined clutter free storage when equipped with doors to hide what’s behind them. Armoires are heavy, hard to move, and even harder to get rid of. So for now, I guess I’m keeping the chifferobe, the armoire, and the husband.