Lion Wardrobe

I really love the details in this lion wardrobe.

Lion wardrobe - So Much Better With Age

I recently inherited this gorgeous lion of a wardrobe from friends of mine.

When they bought their house, it was all in pieces in their crawlspace and they offered it to me. It was just a matter of bringing in some moving men and it would be mine.

All they said was that it was an armoire. I didn’t realize it was going to be the size of the one in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe!

So now what do I do with it?

Lion wardrobe / huge antique wardrobe - So Much Better With Age

Here is a shot of my foyer before the ‘lion’ wardrobe came in.

Lion wardrobe / our foyer before the wardrobe - So Much Better With Age

You might have noticed it on Instagram. It came in 10 pieces and at first I thought it was odd that an armoire/wardrobe was in pieces but apparently from my readers’ comments, that was normal for a wardrobe of that age and size.

The problem is that it’s been worn over time and brackets were needed to secure it in place so there are some in the back now. The glass front doors are extremely heavy and I didn’t want it coming apart with kids running around.

Lion wardrobe / picture of full wardrobe - So Much Better With Age

The details on this piece are stunning!

Lion wardrobe / close up picture of details - So Much Better With Age

Lion wardrobe / picture of the mirrored doors - So Much Better With Age

I wanted to see if it would transport me to a magical land.

I’m still waiting.

I haven’t measured the height of it yet but I’m 5’3″ and there’s plenty of headroom inside still!

Lion wardrobe / me standing in the wardrobe - So Much Better With Age

My daughter was helping me take photos with my camera remote.

Lion wardrobe / me sitting in the wardrobe - So Much Better With Age

There were so many photos with her blurry blonde hair running back and forth past the camera, it was so cute!

Lion wardrobe / open door of wardrobe - So Much Better With Age

Lion wardrobe / my daughter and I in the wardrobe - So Much Better With Age

So here are some questions for you, I absolutely love this piece but I’m not crazy about the honey color.

Do I strip it down and restain it?

Or do I (gasp) paint it?

Or do I just learn to love the honey color?

Does anyone have any idea how old it is?

I didn’t think it was going to stay in my foyer but it may be the only place in my house that it fits.

{Thanks Alex & Megan, I really hope you don’t want it back!}

{Thanks to my husband for getting it hauled out of the crawlspace and all set up for me!}

PS:  Pop by my Instagram feed this morning for your chance to win a $300 Target gift card!!

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  1. Please leave it the honey color – in fact I thought you had refinished it already.
    I love it.

    1. What a stunning wardrobe. My thoughts are to enjoy it as it is? The color adds contrast to the wall and it also picks up some of warmth of the flooring.

    2. I also agree with the lady above , I love the natural honey 🍯 color, I also thought you already stained. Is so beautiful with whites around

  2. It looks like it is in beautiful condition, I say give a little time and you might decide you love it. Good luck with your decision……

  3. I would leave it as is…of course I have the perfect spot for it if you don’t like the color…

  4. Absolutely beautiful armoire! The honey color is lovely – very soft. I also thought the same as a previous comment, that you had already stripped and refinished it to this wonderful color. If you did restain it, would you go lighter or darker? I really would not paint it, but bottom line is – it’s in your home and you are the one that has to love it.

  5. I love it!! It would be pretty just to leave it the honey color but what if you paint it white? That would also look pretty!!

  6. Too funny, as I also thought this piece had already been fixed up for your home. I think you now need to just have fun filling it and accessorizing….and posting back, of course!!!

  7. I would leave it the color that it is until you are ABSOLUTELY certain about what color you think it should be. I’d live with it for a while and then let it come to you! It always does! It might take a while of looking at it before it hits you and you know what you should do with it! It’s gorgeous!

  8. I too thought you had already refinished it! It’s a beautiful piece. I would leave it as is and try to live with it. If after a few months you really feel you cant, then refinish or paint but only if you are 100% sure what color you want. I wouldnt paint it, it would hide a lot of the beautiful detail in the woodwork.

  9. It is a gorgeous piece of furniture. I love the honey color.
    I have a large oak one in my bedroom and would not part with it.

  10. If you absolutely have to change it’s color, please do not use paint! I could see it maybe a deep Cherry stain or maybe a nice dark Walnut. Of course, the decision is all yours. At least you do have the house to have it in. Lucky you!

  11. It’s absolutely beautiful! If it had serious condition issues I’d say paint it, but it’s perfect just the way it is.

  12. I’m one who has to live with a new piece for awhile so I say leave as is and live with and see how you feel about it after a few months. I think the wood is beautiful but if it’s not your thing it would probably be just as pretty painted too. Regardless of what you decide, have fun with it, it’s gorgeous.

  13. I thought it was already refinished!! Excellent condition! Although I love this armoire I’m not a fan of the honey color. I have one myself that I can’t stand the color. With the French country look I think a pale yellow or white and then maybe something brushed onto the details to make them pop more and not blend in with the color.
    Let me know if you find Narnia, I would like to go!

  14. I have a china hutch in a similar wood tone. I was totally planning to paint it and was bubbling about it to a friend who stopped me and said, “You need to relax! That piece is beautiful just the way it is.” I wasn’t going to take her seriously, but the more I put off painting it, the more I started to like the honey-colored wood. Now, three years later, I’m glad I left it as it is. 🙂

  15. You shouldn’t have to learn to love anything Jamie! It’s a beautiful piece but if the color isn’t speaking to you then paint or stain it and make it your own. Its just wood, it could always be stripped and painted or stained again. I have a feeling you already know what you want to do with it though….just go for it, you won’t regret it!

  16. I love the wardrobe. I love white, white, white and that is whats in my house. But if I had the wardrobe I would leave it be it’s so French Nordic style. Perfect as is. 🙂 Jo

  17. SO GORGEOUS! That is the most dream piece of furniture ever! I vote leave it as-is. And I am always for painting furniture, so that says something.

  18. Don’t touch it, it’s gorgeous!

    I also have a pine armoire that breaks down into pieces. I was told by the dealer I purchased it from that they were made this way so if the owner chose to move a long distance it could be easily shipped or depending on it’s age placed in the back of a wagon to travel cross-country!

    Enjoy it,

  19. It’s a wonderful piece! I like the honey color wood with your whites. It’s a nice warm color that fits with French country.

  20. What about just painting the inside. Then, if you leave the doors open you’ll have a nice pop of color.

  21. That is one amazing piece of furniture. I was so excited to see what it was going to look like all put together. Old furniture has so much more character and detail than most of what is made today. As someone who spends a lot of time painting furniture, I have to say that for once I love the look of the wood. But if the honey isn’t speaking to you, than you should absolutely change it up. Like someone said in a previous comment, maybe you should live with it as is for a little while until your inspiration strikes. Whatever you do, it will be beautiful! Great photo shoot with your daughter, too! 🙂

  22. That is an exquisite piece of furniture and I think you will grow to love it just the way it is. I think it’s value would go down if you changed it. I can’t imagine anyone parting with this treasure, you are so lucky to receive it as a gift!

  23. Learn to love it. The piece is magnificent and the honey color is nice but not orange like so many old pieces that are lacquered or varnished. It’s wonderful to have a stunning piece like this that doesn’t mirror your other wood pieces with their greyed tones.

  24. Go with your heart… but don’t rush it. Ponder it and listen to your soul. It doesn’t really matter what others think because you have to walk past this beautiful piece every day and have your heart sing … but, seeing as you asked I’d strip it and lime-wash it.

  25. What a delight to look at! Whatever you do with it, it’ll look pefect, I think. It just has the right proportions and the decor on it is not overdone. However, mind the signs of furniture beetle or some other “wood-loving creatures” – I can’t see from the photos if the holes are fresh. If they are, some chemical to get rid of furniture bugs might be necessary. Good luck!

  26. Hi! Do you still have this armoire?? Honestly I have no idea how to go about this, but… I’m in love with it.. like.. I’ve been searching for this exact armoire (not knowing it existed) for over a year. I stumbled upon your blog in the happiest of accidents.. and now I just have to ask if you would ever be interested in selling it??

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