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Built In Wardrobe Ideas – How to Choose the Best Design for Your Room

If you are looking to optimize the space in your bedroom, look no further than fitted wardrobes. With so many designs, colors, and styles to choose from, they have come a long way from the...

If you are looking to optimize the space in your bedroom, look no further than fitted wardrobes. With so many designs, colors, and styles to choose from, they have come a long way from the shiny magnolia wardrobes of old.

With so many built-in wardrobe ideas to choose from, how do you find the perfect design for your space?

Built In Wardrobe Ideas - Planning

There are many factors that come into play when designing your fitted wardrobes and hundreds of built-in wardrobe ideas to choose from. You need to consider the size of the space, what will go in the wardrobes, how the design will look, and the cost.

Before you start planning your fitted wardrobes, the most important thing is to assess what will be stored in them. This can help determine the size of your wardrobes (which are also dependent on the size of your room!).

Fitted wardrobe planning checklist -

  • Divide what you need to put into the wardrobes into items such as jumpers, jeans, belts, hats, t-shirts, dresses, etc. This will help you decide how many sections you will need and what type of storage.
  • Decide where your shoes are going. Will they need their own section in the wardrobe? If so, keep the area low and away from clothing items.
  • Analyze the space available so you can divide it into sections if possible. You will need a higher rail for items such as dresses and coats and shorter rails for jumpers and t-shirts. If you don’t have enough room for multiple rails, look at putting in shelves above to fold up and store your jumpers and t-shirts.
  • If you want to hang up most of your clothes, think about how many single rails you’ll need for dresses, suits, and trousers. If you can’t fit in multiple rails, get clever with how to store the rest of your clothes.
  • If there is room, decide whether you can put shelves in the wardrobes and drawers for your smaller items like belts, underwear, and shorts.
  • If the fitted wardrobes are going into awkward spaces, analyze how you can best use the space. Maybe put smaller items that you don’t use on an everyday basis like ties, hats, and handbags into this awkward area.
  • Think about how you can utilize the space for maximum storage. Hang hooks on the back of wardrobe doors so you can hang belts, bags, and ties up out of the way. If you only have room for one rail, keep the longer items to one side and install drawers under the shorter clothing items like jackets and jumpers.
  • Are you planning on having a mirror on your wardrobe? Fitted mirrored wardrobes can be a great way to save space while also looking good in your bedroom.

How Deep Should a Built In Wardrobe Be?

The standard depth is usually around 24 inches (60 cm) to allow adequate space for hangers and to ensure clothes hang freely without touching the back. However, the depth can be adjusted based on individual preferences and space constraints.

You should have a better idea of how to organize your built-in wardrobes if you follow the above steps. Next, you need to decide what style of fitted wardrobe is best for your bedroom.

Here are some of my favorite designs from door designs to a fitted wardrobe for small bedrooms.

Built In Wardrobe Designs

Designing the perfect fitted wardrobe isn’t just about how the storage, shelves, and rails are laid out, it is also about the doors and how you integrate them into your room. We tend to overlook our wardrobe space and how it looks when we are buying furniture or looking for fitted wardrobe ideas.

They take up a lot of room in our bedrooms so why not turn them into a feature themselves?

Paneled Fitted Wardrobe Ideas

Paneling is all the rage at the moment. It is a timeless design and relatively easy to do. If you are not keen on paneling a wall, how about choosing paneled doors for your fitted wardrobes?

The paneling can be designed to go from floor to ceiling, providing a contemporary backdrop to your bedroom and staying in style for years to come. The hardest choice is deciding what color to go for.

Upgrade Old Doors

If you already have built-in wardrobes in your bedroom that don’t need replacing, but the doors are old and dated, why not look at replacing the doors?

When we moved into our new house, our old fitted wardrobes were extremely dated. However, the wardrobe carcass itself was in good condition and exactly what we needed. I started researching built-in wardrobe ideas and came across wallpapering the doors.

Instead of ripping out the whole thing, we replaced the wardrobe doors to make them look contemporary and more in keeping with the room.

Use Mirrored Doors

If you are looking for fitted wardrobes for small bedrooms, using mirrored doors is the perfect way to make the space feel bigger (and free up some wall space where a mirror would have gone!)

How about adding a Crittall-style frame to the mirrors to give them a modern and fresh look? This is a contemporary twist on the old mirrored fitted wardrobe.

Using mirrors in a bedroom can help bounce the light around the room, so mirrored wardrobe doors are perfect for a room that is dark or north-facing. Just try not to place the mirrors facing the bed, or you are in for a shock every morning!

Paint Wardrobes to Match Your Walls

If you don’t like the idea of making your fitted wardrobes the focal point of a room, how about painting your wardrobes the same color as your walls to give them a seamless look? I personally like this when the color is unusual or dark.

This coordinated look works particularly well in small bedrooms as the continuous color makes the room feel bigger.

Keep Wardrobes Open

If you like to organize and have quick access to all your clothes and shoes, how about installing fitted wardrobes with no doors? These PAX wardrobes were created with open plan in mind and although they aren’t strictly built-in, you can make them look fitted.

Creating an open-plan wardrobe space is perfect if you love to color-code your clothes and admire your organization. Leaving the doors off can give it an element of luxury and create your own dressing area without having to dedicate a whole room to it.

If you don’t like to organize and use doors to hide a multitude of sins, this style isn’t for you!

Bespoke Fitted Wardrobes in a Bedroom Alcove

A lot of period properties have chimney breasts in the room (one of my favorite features in an old period house!), so the bedroom will have alcoves which are ideal for bespoke fitted wardrobes. To make the most of this space, built-in wardrobes will help you maximize the space and give the impression they’ve always been there!

You can either paint them the same color as the walls or make them a feature in their own right and use a contrasting color.

Sliding Doors

Is your bedroom a bit short on space? How about installing built-in wardrobes with sliding doors, the perfect fitted wardrobe for small bedrooms?

These are perfect if you have a long wall to play with and can help you optimize a small space. Your fitted wardrobe interior can then include a mixture of rails, drawers, and shelves.

Cordon off an Awkward Space with Sliding Doors

Bespoke fitted wardrobes are perfect for loft or attic conversions and make great use of the eaves space in the room. Clever planning will give you more than enough space to place all your storage behind these doors.

Hang a rail at the tallest part of the roof to hang your clothes from and use the lower part of the loft space to put drawers, shelves, and storage boxes for your shoes, bedding, and other bedroom items.

Use Wardrobe Doors to Conceal Areas of a Room

If you have a period property, but like so many homes I see, the fireplace is no longer there, how about cordoning off the whole chimney and alcoves to give your room a modern makeover?

If you prefer the sliding doors or paneled door look of fitted wardrobes, you can still create this with a chimney breast. Fit the wardrobe space in the alcoves on either side and use the shallower space of the chimney breast to insert shelves for toiletries, makeup, and jewelry.

Create an Open-Plan Dressing Room

We all dream of having a dressing room, but often we don’t have the space to give it its own dedicated area. If you have a corner space crying out for some wardrobes or an awkward space that doesn’t allow you to put in furniture, why not use open-plan wardrobes to create a dressing area we all dream of?

IKEA PAX wardrobes are ideal for this. You can easily plan the fitted wardrobe interior to suit your needs and use all the space given to give your dressing area a luxurious look!

All there is left to do is to get color-coding your clothes!

Mix It Up!

If you are lucky enough to have space for several wardrobes, why not mix it up? Fitted wardrobe interiors can include rails, drawers, and shelves and provide a seamless look in the bedroom. It will provide all the storage you need.

This is also perfect if you are looking for a fitted wardrobe for small bedrooms. If you are short on space, squeezing as much storage as possible onto one wall will help free up space in the bedroom for your bed, bedside tables, and a desk or chair.

Update Bespoke Fitted Wardrobes

If your bedroom has fitted wardrobes but you don’t like the color, paint them! Fitted wardrobes are extremely popular and most wardrobes that are installed will probably be just one color - magnolia!

Instead of ripping the doors off or replacing the wardrobes themselves, it is amazing what a lick of paint can do. Decide on the color scheme of the bedroom first (you don’t want to be painting the doors again if you decide to change your mind!) and paint your doors accordingly. Easy!

Fitted wardrobes in the bedroom with a crystal chandelier and parquet flooring Fitted wardrobes in the bedroom with a crystal chandelier and parquet flooring

Storage is extremely important when planning a room, so having fitted wardrobes installed is always a good idea.

Try to fit in as much storage and wardrobe space as possible; you will never regret putting in too much space for your clothes, shoes, and bedroom items! In fact, storage and bespoke fitted wardrobes are one of the top priorities when people are looking to buy a new house, so having bespoke fitted wardrobes will benefit you in the long run.

They might be costly to put in, but choosing the right design will stand you in good stead for years to come.


Q. What are the benefits of a fitted wardrobe interior over a freestanding one?

  • A bespoke fitted wardrobe for small bedrooms can be customized to fit the exact dimensions of your room, optimizing storage space.
  • They can be tailored to your specific storage needs, from the number of shelves to hanging spaces.
  • They offer a sleek, seamless look, often increasing the perceived value of a room.

Q. How do I ensure the built-in wardrobe matches my room’s decor? Customization is key. You can choose the material, finish, handles, and design features to match or complement the existing decor. Additionally, built-ins can be painted or refinished to evolve with changing decor styles.

Q. Are built-in wardrobes more expensive than freestanding ones? While the initial investment for built-in wardrobes can be higher due to customization and installation, they often add more value to the home and offer superior space optimization.

Q. Can I install built-in wardrobes in a room with uneven or slanted ceilings? Yes. One of the advantages of built-ins is that they can be designed to fit unconventional spaces, including rooms with slanted ceilings or alcoves.

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