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?

Pin for later:

Traditional fitted wardrobe Ikea hack #ikeahack #periodproperty #traditionalfurniture


Linking in with:

Bloggers Homes

Home Etc


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Shane
    9th August 2018 / 12:25 AM

    This is so nice! I would like to do something like this in my bedroom alcove but the problem is that I only have 123(without skirting bord) cm to work with in width and 136 in depth. Should I go for Ikea PAX at 100cm wide or Ikea Platsa at 120cm? I would need to cut one skirting board to fit the wardroobe but then I am scared of lack of breathing air and the fact that the doors will hit the walls, because of the knobs they could open only 87 degrees.
    What would you do?

    • Louisa
      2nd September 2018 / 1:48 PM

      Hi Shane! I would go for the 100 cm wide wardrobe. I think leaving yourself with only 1.5cm either side would be much too tight and you would have problems with opening fully and door handles hitting the wall.

      If you are concerned about breathing space and potential damp (often a problem in older properties) you do not have to have the wardrobe flush against the rear wall. You could leave a ventilation space and use a piece of packing wood for stability.

      Hope that helps

  2. 13th January 2018 / 11:28 PM

    How lucky am I to come across this post as I’m just about to buy Pax wardrobes! This is a fantastic idea! Now I just have to convince the other half to do the little extra work that really makes the difference. xx

    • Louisa
      15th January 2018 / 12:49 PM

      I am so pleased that you like them! Yes, there is a little more preparation but they really add another dimension to your wardrobes x

  3. 6th December 2017 / 8:11 PM

    I love it! That turned out super cute, and looks like it fits right in with the design of your home. 🙂

    • Louisa
      7th December 2017 / 6:14 PM

      Thank you so much!

  4. 23rd November 2017 / 5:44 PM

    Love a IKEA hack! I have pinned this as I know my readers love my IKEA hack bed. This looks like it’s made for the space

    • Louisa
      27th November 2017 / 1:39 PM

      Thank you so much! I think Ikea furniture is made for hacking

    • Louisa
      8th November 2017 / 4:54 PM

      Thanks Pamela!

  5. 6th November 2017 / 9:11 PM

    The skirting board and coving extensions make all the difference. It does look good. We fitted our kitchen in a similar way, but did floor to ceiling as we have low ceiling. Mixed in with free standing, it seems to blend. Wish I’d thought of the secret compartment! #MMBC

    • Louisa
      8th November 2017 / 4:57 PM

      Our kitchen is next on our hit list and we will probably go floor to ceiling too to maximise storage space

  6. 4th November 2017 / 4:39 PM

    It’s great to feel you’ve accomplished something. Our wardrobe was already inbuilt but we’ve played with the structure within. #mmbc

    • Louisa
      6th November 2017 / 2:16 PM

      It is always useful if you can adapt them to suit your needs isn’t it?

  7. 3rd November 2017 / 9:21 PM

    The best wardrobe I ever saw was made for the individual guy and his needs by a joiner. I do like how IKEA stuff can be adapted too. It is also so amazing how as parents we all become a little obsessed with storage

    • Louisa
      3rd November 2017 / 9:24 PM

      Definitely, a place for everything and everything in it’s place!

  8. 3rd November 2017 / 9:01 PM

    What a lovely idea – love how professional this looks.


    • Louisa
      3rd November 2017 / 9:24 PM

      Thank you. We are very pleased with the finished look

    • Louisa
      3rd November 2017 / 7:15 PM

      Thank you! We are very glad we did it, it has given us lots of storage space

  9. 3rd November 2017 / 2:02 PM

    What a lovely idea. You did a great job here 🙂 #pocolo

    • Louisa
      3rd November 2017 / 7:13 PM

      Thank you, we are really happy with how it’s turned out

  10. 3rd November 2017 / 1:45 PM

    Looks fabulous! Great job, it looks so professional. #PoCoLo

    • Louisa
      3rd November 2017 / 7:13 PM

      Thank you, it does help that my husband is very handy around the house!

  11. 3rd November 2017 / 11:18 AM

    What a great idea! So so clever! And the end result is fab! Good job!

    • Louisa
      3rd November 2017 / 1:16 PM

      Thank you, we are thrilled with the end result

  12. 2nd November 2017 / 8:31 PM

    Just about to build wardrobes. These ones are so reasonably priced. Thanks for the inspiration

    • Louisa
      3rd November 2017 / 1:17 PM

      I think you can’t beat Ikea wardrobes for price and storage solutions

  13. 1st November 2017 / 11:51 PM

    This looks great – and so clever!! I’ve never hacked any IKEA furniture but there’s definitely temptation, especially after an hour or two of Pinteresting, haha!

    • Louisa
      3rd November 2017 / 1:23 PM

      Pinterest is like a black hole once you started but there’s so much great inspiration there too!

  14. 1st November 2017 / 9:13 PM

    Well done. The end look is great. The coving really adds to it. #homeetc

    • Louisa
      3rd November 2017 / 1:18 PM

      Thankfully Mr M is very handy and was able to add these finishing touches!

  15. 1st November 2017 / 4:59 PM

    That looks really amazing. We’re about to have some ikea wardrobes made to look built in too and I can’t wait. We’re going PAX like Layney and getting one of my boyfs carpenter mates to come fit it!

    • Louisa
      3rd November 2017 / 1:19 PM

      Thank you. It’s a great way to get a different look without blowing the budget. Good luck with your project!

  16. 1st November 2017 / 2:10 PM

    I love this, really nice easy instructions, what a clever idea as the PAX system is just so amazing for the price.

    Great project #homeetc

    • Louisa
      3rd November 2017 / 1:26 PM

      Thank you. It’s a great system, it’s good to know we could change the doors, for example, in the future but still keep the framework. It’s very cost effective.

  17. 1st November 2017 / 2:08 PM

    This is amazing!! It’s only really in the past year that I’ve realised the incredible transformations IKEA furniture can achieve with a bit of creativity. I love this, thanks so much for linking up to #HomeEtc x

    • Louisa
      3rd November 2017 / 1:28 PM

      Thank you. Their furniture is fab but it can look a bit ‘samey’ and I think that’s where the beauty of the hacks come in, they are so versatile.

  18. 1st November 2017 / 1:25 PM

    We’ve just installed Pax wardrobes. Love what you have done and may have to make ours look built in.

    • Louisa
      3rd November 2017 / 1:25 PM

      Pax are great aren’t they and so easy to change when your needs change too

%d bloggers like this: