A Christmas Memory

One of my favorite Christmas memories actually involves an armoire, or as my mother would say, wardrobe. Growing up in a traditional, old New England style house, closets were not abundant, so my mother had a wallpapered wardrobe in the angled hallway, just outside her bedroom.  I remember thinking it was beautiful and enormous.

Is there a difference between an armoire and a wardrobe, you may wonder?  Not really.  Basically, they both have doors and can contain a rod for hanging clothes.   Webster’s Dictionary actually defines an armoire as a type of wardrobe. Leaving us with a free-standing, closet type piece of furniture with multiple names. Allowing us vocabulary freedom along with form and function freedom.  Not something readily found in the world of furnishings.

Did you know that something that seems a bit humorous in today’s times, was the rule of thumb more than two centuries ago, to base an armoire or wardrobe size on the ‘eight small men method’?  A good sized, double wardrobe would be able to hold eight small men, and in my case, three small children.

So much could fit in my mother’s wardrobe, including my siblings and I, during a rousing game of Hide ‘n Seek.  However, the wardrobe suddenly became off-limits for hide-n-seek around Christmas time.

So the story went, “Santa’s elves need a bit more workshop room at this time of year, and they like to use the extra space at the bottom of our beautiful wardrobe.  The elves only work in private, so no one can ever open the wardrobe until after Christmas.”

Being around the age of five, and wonderment still vividly alive, we heeded my mother’s words and never asked again.  But you can bet, several times throughout the year, I checked that empty space beneath my mother’s clothes.  I was secretly hoping to catch a jingle bell from an elf hat; just for proof.  Now as a designer, I think I understand and fully agree with that old method of wardrobe measurement:  eight small men.  Wink, wink.

I want to wish you a very festive and fond memory filled Holiday Season.  We look forward to a 2015 designed for success, love and abundance.

Best Wishes,
Jane