Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Ikea Pax Built in Wardrobe Hack- Part I

There hasn't been much happening on the DIY front lately, mainly because the house has now sold meaning that most DIY activities have ceased. However, there are still a few projects I wanted to share with you. The first project is the built in wardrobes in the master bedroom.

The wardrobes have been built either side of the chimney breast in what unfortunately transpired to be unequally-sized gaps with no 90 degree angles whatsoever. This may or may not have something to do with having plastered the room ourselves...!

In Thrifty Lodge, we had a set of Ikea Pax wardrobes, which hadn't weathered the move to Thrifty House very well and hadn't been enjoying sitting disassembled in the damp downstairs. So we decided their parts could be donated to the new wardrobes, in a thrifty circle of life. The main components we required were Komplement drawers and Komplement clothes rails. Here are the (messy!) wardrobes from Thrifty Lodge below:

The first job was to construct the 'ladders' that would form the wardrobe frames. Each ladder was built from four by two and was then screwed together, all holes were filled and the frames were given two coats of knot-blocking primer:

Once screwed to the walls, some careful measuring took place and two further four by two pieces were cut to size to form the 'roof' and screwed in place. As you can see, they're strong enough to support my friend Colin:

This process was then repeated at the bottom of each wardrobe, to make the structure even more sturdy:

We'd designed the wardrobes to meet our individual needs (I wanted fewer drawers and space for longer hanging items, e.g. dresses), but the beauty of using a modular system like Pax is that you can change the fittings to suit your needs.

Our Pax fittings were all for either a 50cm wide single (too narrow for this space) or a 100cm wide double wardrobe, but the gaps are around 80-90cm each, so some adjustments would need to be made width ways. We designed the depth to be slightly bigger than a standard Pax (60cm) in order to accommodate the doors and hinges and give ourselves a bit of room for error.

The next job was to fit the Komplement drawer runners- this was fairly simple, except that instead of having pre-drilled holes like you get from Ikea, we had to drill our own:

Once this was done, it was time to shorten the Komplement drawers to fit snuggly. To do this, we removed one end of the drawer and slid out the base. The base was then measured to the width of the gap, cut down to size using a table saw and slotted back into the base. The end that had been removed simply needed a couple of new drill holes to re-fit:

The picture below shows an 'original' Pax drawer (from the double wardrobe), one for my new built-in wardrobe (the bigger of the two new ones, naturally!) and one for the smaller built-in wardrobe. We made sure the new screw holes were on whichever side was against the wall, so they wouldn't be visible:

Unfortunately I was too excited to take any pictures of all of the drawers in place, so this one will have to do for now, until I reveal the finished wardrobes in a later post:

PS Maybe you'll be able to picture them all in place by looking at this pile of Komplement drawer offcuts!


  1. I would love to have a built in wardrobe right now. I live in a teeny apartment that I can barely fit all of my stuff into. It would be awesome to free up some space by adding a built in wardrobe. It would also make the place look a whole lot nicer. I'll probably have to wait until I have my own house to be able to do any remodeling like that though.
    Shelly Slader | http://www.rebelwardrobes.com.au/our-services/wardrobes

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