I was lucky enough to buy a fixer-upper last year. The property needed serious renovations and that was my opportunity to make changes to the layout and design of the place. Today I want to share with you something I learned after I went through a stockpile of catalogues and sleepless nights browsing Pinterest. How to re-think your bedroom layout to make space for a walk-in closet.
First of all, this trick works best if your room has a rectangular shape; but it will also inspire you to think outside the box regardless of your space.
How It All Started
Let me show you how the master bedroom looked like initially. There were some old styled built-in wardrobes that did not really make the best use of the space and height. So the first step was to get rid of those and get a clean 4 wall room.
Once I got four straight walls, that was the canvas for me to think of the best use of space and light. And this drawing, as imperfect as it is, tells you my thought process.
The idea looked good but I still had to answer two challenging questions: first, do I want to close the walk-in closet with a door at the end to make it a separate room; and how am I going to get a custom-made wardrobe to fit both my space and my budget?
For the first question, I believe it depends on personal taste. I love bright spaces, white and light everywhere; so closing that little space with a door would have made it a dark room and the door needs space to open too, taking away valuable space in the closet. I went for an open wardrobe, as open as possible, and with natural light in it during the day (I’ll explain later). For the second question, the answer was IKEA!
IKEA To The Rescue!
I must say I was in a lucky position because I could choose where to build the wall, so the furniture could fit in perfectly. In case you didn’t know, IKEA has online planners to help you visualise your ideas in 2D and 3D. I used the IKEA PAX Wardrobe Planner. The key things you need to know is that PAX frames (and their elements) can be either 201cm or 236cm high, 58cm or 30cm deep and 50cm, 75cm, or 100cm wide. And they all come in White or Dark Brown. Everything can be mixed and matched as far as you are consistent with the sizes of each piece, but the planner will warn you if you make a mistake.
There was a problem though, IKEA only has 90 degrees L-shape corners frames now. The 45 degrees corner frames aren’t in the catalogue anymore. I really wanted a 45 degree corner, although I know it is an inefficient use of space. I just like it that way. So I went to a marketplace website and found someone selling the old corner piece in good condition. With that sorted, this was what I created in the IKEA planner, excluding the corner piece.
Once you’re done, the IKEA planner will let you export the list of all the items you used in your drawing, show you the total price and even let you place an order. Otherwise, you can go to the store with the code of your drawing and they’ll help you find all you need. It is that simple!
Let There Be Light
The other thing to consider was how to illuminate this small space. Well, IKEA has specific led lamps that you can add to the PAX frames (on top and inside). I went for the top ones as you can see in the 3D. Still, I didn’t want the walk-in closet to feel crowded and claustrophobic so I added a window to the dividing wall (Thank you Pinterest!). The window allows for some daylight to flow in from the room, keeping the closet area still separate but with an airy feeling.
There was a doubt about how many panes should I divide this window for. The answer was “less is more”. Eventually I got the window made to order by a local company; however, I also looked for frames in second-hand shops and online market places. I couldn’t find what I was looking for but those are good options too to stay in budget.
Of course we had to build all the IKEA wardrobe ourselves. It was challenging at times and super fun at others.
This is the final result in real life:
I look forward to knowing what you think in the comments!