Chinese Armoire

Chinese Armoire

Chinese armoires – a storage solution for modern homes

Chinese armoires were traditionally used as essential bedroom furniture, but nowadays, armoires make the perfect addition to modern homes. They offer a charming combination of unique history and traditional style, combined with plenty of practical storage space. Here at Shimu we offer a wide range of both original antique and newly made armoires, with beautiful pieces designed for homes and interiors.

Chinese armoires blend history and tradition

Chinese armoires are steeped in history and tradition, presenting a significant element in the landscape of Chinese furniture design. One of the most vital pieces of furniture in traditional Chinese homes, armoires served not only as storage units but also as integral parts of the interior décor. They were commonly used in the bedrooms, living areas, and sometimes in the kitchen. The purpose was to house clothing, valuable possessions, and sometimes, food items.

The traditional Chinese armoire, or 'gui', as it was known in Chinese, was typically a large cupboard or wardrobe made of wood. The selection of wood varied depending on the geographical region, socio-economic status, and availability. While common households may have used elm, pine or southern cypress, the armoires of the wealthy were often made from more luxurious materials like teak, rosewood, and the much revered huanghuali. Huanghuali, known for its warm hues and striking grain, was one of the most prized woods in Chinese furniture-making, often reserved for the finest pieces.

The construction of a Chinese armoire was a meticulous process, demonstrating the rich heritage of Chinese craftsmanship. Each piece was carefully crafted using traditional joinery techniques, and a common feature of these armoires was the absence of nails or screws. Mortise-and-tenon joinery, dovetailing, and other complex woodworking techniques were employed to construct these pieces, contributing to their durability and aesthetics.

Decoration of Chinese armoires was another area where the artistic flair of Chinese craftsmen shone through. Armoires were often intricately adorned with elaborate carvings of auspicious symbols, myths, and motifs inspired by nature, such as dragons, phoenixes, peonies, and chrysanthemums. These embellishments were not mere decorations; they held profound meanings and were believed to bring luck, prosperity, and happiness to the household.

The creation of each armoire was not just a matter of functionality; it was a form of art, replete with cultural expressions and human creativity. The finishing touch often involved the application of lacquer, an essential aspect of Chinese furniture. Lacquer, obtained from the sap of the lacquer tree, was used to provide a durable, glossy finish that not only enhanced the natural beauty of the wood grain but also offered resistance to moisture and wear.

Today, Chinese armoires continue to be celebrated for their inherent elegance and timeless beauty. Whether used in traditional or modern settings, they offer a glimpse into China's rich history and cultural heritage, making them cherished pieces for collectors and furniture enthusiasts worldwide.

Shop for new and antique Chinese armoires at Shimu

Whether you’re looking for an antique armoire to bring a touch of original history into your home, or a new and stylish way to create additional storage, you’ll find that our collection has a wide range of beautiful pieces to choose from.

Alongside our collections of new and antique Chinese furniture we also offer a collection of superb quality accessories and homewares, ranging from rugs, soft furnishings and lighting, through to wall art, candles, lanterns and much more.

Our product range is available to order direct from our website for convenient UK-wide direct delivery, of if you prefer, why not visit our light and airy showroom located in Albion Mills, Greengates, West Yorkshire?


Nkuku Throws | Chinese Wood Panel | Chinese Wardrobes | Chinese Wardrobe Cabinet | Chinese Wall Art | Oriental Trunk | Oriental Stoneware | Chinese Storage Chests | Oriental Bedside Tables | Chinese Classical Furniture | Lacquered Armoire | Chinese Television Cabinet | Chinese Medicine Cabinet | Chinese Armoire | Oriental Armoire