Today I’m sharing about how we used an Ikea PAX wardrobe unit for a small reach-in closet makeover and organization.
Some makeovers are all about the pretty.
Some are all about the function.
But I have to tell you; I think a good closet makeover bridges both these things.
Not only does a well organized closet scream out with amazingly function, but it’s really really pretty to look at!
At least for the few minutes that it’s as clean and organized as this one…
This is Finn’s closet! It now contains his entire wardrobe of clothing. He does not have nor need a dresser. And, because I love organization so darn much, this part of the project ranks huge on my list of things to be excited about in this room.
Truthfully, the whole room is ranking pretty huge right now… if you’ve been following along for a while then you know that we are working on making over Finn’s new bedroom in six short weeks as part of the One Room Challenge.
So far I’ve shared the “before” of his space along with plans, some surf style bedroom inspiration, a check-in on my limited first week’s progress, and the huge wave wall mural that we installed last week. This week’s focus is on the FUNCTION. So let’s talk about this new closet system!
Here is how this closet walk looking before; remember that it had all kinds of shelving because it used to be the closet in my craft room before we moved Finn into this bedroom.
I always love a terrible BEFORE like this…
Right? The only clothes we stored in there were his sweatshirts, which needed a space to hang. He had a big dresser at this point, though it was fairly shallow and proved quite difficult to fit all of his clothing into. Although I did love this cute nautical Ikea Tarva Hack dresser, I also wanted to free up space in Finn’s room, so getting ALL of his wardrobe into the closet is a huge win!
To begin we measured his closet – it is 38″ wide by standard 24″ depth and 8′ height. Because we have a bifold closet door that takes up space in the opening, and I knew that we wanted drawers, we went with an Ikea PAX size smaller then the actual closet width. This allowed for room for the drawers to slide in and out free and clear of the bifold door when it’s fully open. Make sure you account for that width if you are using drawers (which I highly recommend! they are the perfect size for storing SO. MUCH. STUFF. in such a small area).
Based on our measurements, I ordered one PAX wardrobe frame in the following size: 29 1/2″ (width) x 22 7/8″ (depth) x 93 1/8 “(height). In retrospect, I would consider using the shorter height (79 1/4”) instead as we lost a good deal of the height inside the closet.
Then we added two Komplement solid shelves:
And four see-through Komplement drawers to fit it:
Ikea sends as-clear-as-mud-wordless-instructions, as usual, but we had built these units before for our own small walk-in closet makeover, so we managed to get through it following their instructions. We built the unit IN THE CLOSET, as we did not have enough room to build it outside the closet and then angle it in, given that it was the tallest wardrobe height. If you were to order the 79″ unit, you MAY be able to build it outside and slide it in after, but make sure you follow the Ikea instructions about this part.
It went together quite quickly and we had it built in less then two hours. We used our nail gun to trim the PAX unit out with some MDF trim that I picked up at the hardware store. The side where the closet door is has wider trim that completely covers the dead space between the unit and the wall of the closet. I plan to touch up the nail holes and use some white paint to clean up the trim and edge of the closet wall (that you can see is still the original grey wall color). Trimming it out gives it a completely clean and built-in feel that you just can’t beat.
We went with glass drawers just because I really love how bright and fresh they look in our own closet. You can also get doors with white fronts, or there are wood-finish PAX units (though I think the crisp white looks best in a small reach-in closet scenario). These drawers, you guys… I just love them! They store SO MUCH! And they are really quite easy to see everything in, especially when you use my favourite folding method…
Here’s the part where I admit that Finn doesn’t keep his drawers quite that neat, independently, YET… We are working on it. And maybe I need to purge some of his shirts? Ya, we can talk about that later. Let’s just gaze at his pretty, organized closet again… goodness knows it won’t stay this pretty for long.
And because a good before and after might be my favourite thing in the world…
What a difference, right? And truly, I find these units JUST. SO. FUNCTIONAL. I’m still totally in love with the one we installed in our fairly small walk-in closet, and was thrilled to get this installed in Finn’s room. We have one for our other son’s room as well. In fact, they have completely replaced both of their dressers.
Looking for some more closet inspiration?