Buying A Wardrobe For Your Home

When purchasing a wardrobe for your home, there are obviously many things to consider, but maybe some are not that obvious. After measuring the size required (height, width and depth), it's also very important to think about the internal depth. Having to hang clothes on an angle can be very annoying, and is just not necessary if you'd found a wardrobe with at least 48cm hanging space. If you are planning to just hang shirts, roughly 44cm can be adequate, but for large suits and coats: having an internal depth of around 50cm might be the best option.

So you have the dimensions of the wardrobe sorted. Next: what other furniture do you have in the room? Your new wardrobe is going to have to live comfortably with the chests of drawers, bedside cupboards, and/or your existing dressing table. What are they made of? Pine or oak? Are they painted or wax finished? Different paint colours can work together, but often having all of your bedroom furniture the same colour is the best option. Pine or oak can easily be painted, and both can also be waxed. Oak can also be oiled.

Pine wardrobes - the best choice?

You could choose a new pine wardrobe, but there is a huge choice of old pine wardrobes for sale available nowadays.

Many of the finest quality antique pine wardrobes come from East Germany (which had massive pine forests from which to find the wood to make them). These wardrobe were made to dismantle, and were beautifully made in many different styles. The wardrobe made near the French border in the late 1800's tended to have a French influence, and used external French style hinges which allowed the doors to open fully. From other parts of Germany, the doors were held in place with pin hinges. Al though these wardrobes were not actually made to use hangers (hangers were invented around 1900), they did tend to be very deep (hanging space), so can be used in modern times just by fitting a new brass hanging rail, and with large hangers. The German wardrobes very often had drawers in the base. Usually made in 4 main sections in addition to the back (which was usually made in 3 sections). This means lifting up the narrowest of stairways is not an issue. Waxed, or painted, an antique German pine wardrobe may be your best choice.

The old French pine wardrobes tended to be much taller, and slightly more elegant, with straighter lines, less detail and embellishment, but very commonly no drawers. They also tended to be a little shallower (in depth) than German wardrobes, something to look out for when choosing one.

Very important when choosing an antique wardrobe: check the locks are working correctly, doors are not warped, the wardrobe is sturdy - doesn't rock when pushed on one side at the top, and also check for woodworm (look out for very small piles of very fine particle, just like sand. Although not a major issue nowadays because modern worm treatment is very good, it's nice not to have to do the work. A pine wardrobe which has recently been stripped properly using a caustic dip will almost definitely be free of woodworm, so ask how recently any pine wardrobe you are planning to purchase has been stripped, and if recent: you can be pretty sure it'll be woodworm free.

Feet can be replaced, keys can be found for old locks, hinging can be repaired, new hanging rails can be fitted, but if you are planning to have your wardrobe just wax finished (and not painted), deep scratches/grooves, and other prominent marks will very often never go away, so choose wisely. There are many retailers of antique pine wardrobes, so choose wisely, and be picky.