Traditional fitted wardrobe Ikea hack

When we first first moved into our house we knew we wanted to embrace its period features. However we soon realised that traditional styling doesn’t always compliment modern living. When we tackled our bedroom we found  freestanding period wardrobes were too bulky and lacking the storage solutions we have come to expect. On the flip side really modern styles jarred with the period features we had worked so hard to restore. We needed a traditional style with the modern convenience of the Ikea Pax system. There was only one thing for it. A traditional fitted wardrobe Ikea hack!

Getting started

Your first job is to decide what size and height wardrobe to purchase. Measure your skirting board and ceiling height to ensure you have enough room to create a false top and bottom. Our skirting is 7 inches deep and the ceiling is 9 foot so we chose 2 extra tall double wardrobes. Make a frame work that is roughly an inch shorter than your skirting board and the same size as your wardrobes footing. Make sure to add an inch on any sides where doors will be opening next to a wall.

Framework for false bottom

We used a laser level to make sure the base was completely level before fixing it to the floor

Slight overhang so the door can open 90 degreesThe extra inch overhang will allow the door to open at 90 degrees. If you are planning on using large door handles consider a larger overhang. This will stop the handles chipping your walls when you open the doors. With hindsight we should’ve made a larger gap because we have since put a large mirror on the adjacent wall. Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing?


Construct your Pax outer shell and place on your wooden framework. Insert extra wooden slats inside that sit level with the chipboard support at the back of your Pax frame. This extra packing will provide additional support for the bottom of the wardrobe. Screw your wardrobe to your wooden framework.

Packing to support the removable baseNow you can finishing construct your wardrobe as normal. Don’t forget to secure it to the walls! On top of the wardrobe fix a framework so that it reaches the ceiling. Pack the space where you left an overhang with wood so that you have no spaces visible.

Raised base for the skirting to wrap around

Wrap your skirting board around the bottom framework to give the appearance of a traditional fitted wardrobe. The skirting will hide where the raised base and wardrobe meet. Caulk is now your best friend. Use it to hide and seal all the joints to give a truly built in appearance.

Now, we didn’t want to make life easy for ourselves so I decided to add something extra!

Hidden storage

I didn’t want the space inside the raised base to be wasted so decided to use it for extra storage. Mr M used a coping saw to cut out a finger space. This allows you to raise the base of the wardrobe and will not catch on the door hinges.

Finger space to access the lower storage

You then have a handy hidden space to store Xmas gifts/shoes/the kids confiscated electronics etc.

Hidden storage underneath

Now add any internal fittings and the doors. Note that if you have included drawers you couldn’t access a hidden storage space so please take that into consideration.

The inside of the wardrobe

The completed traditional fitted wardrobe Ikea Hack

After painting your woodwork to match the frame you will be left with a stunning faux fitted wardrobe that not only compliments your period property but also has the added convenience of practical and adaptable storage and hanging solutions.

Coving provides the finishing effect

Coving adds an authentic period touch

Completed traditional fitted wardrobe Ikea Hack

We are thrilled with the finished result. We have the beauty of a fitted wardrobe but have the option to change the interior as our needs change. You would never know that it hasn’t always been there.

What do you think? Have you done your own Ikea hack?

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