This Vintage-Style Wardrobe Is Actually an IKEA Hack in Disguise

published Jun 13, 2023
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Wooden stool in corner of bedroom. Large closets sit behind.

A common complaint among those who live in older homes — like, 100-year-old homes or older — is that they lack storage space. While the ceilings might be tall and the rooms might be grand, the closets are often puny (if they exist at all). A century ago, the people that lived in these homes simply didn’t need the same amount of storage space that people do today, so closets weren’t a necessary feature. Instead, the people would use dressers or wardrobes to store their clothing items.

While some renters and homeowners are content to roll in their own portable furniture to stash their stuff, other intrepid DIYers create their own built-ins that provide the functionality of a closet. Nadine Bacchus, who shares her 1901 two-bedroom South London house with her partner, Juls, was one such DIYer.

Nadine says the house they purchased together three years ago boasted plenty of special details. “It amazes me how much detail was put into these houses. Lovely brickwork, high ceilings, coving, and cornicing,” she says. But as with many homes of this era, the bedrooms lacked closets.

Nadine decided she’d create one herself using the IKEA PAX wardrobe system. She used online tutorials to draft up her plan, choosing to attach her wardrobe straight to the wall and build around the existing baseboards without removing them.

What transitioned her PAX from plain old storage to a stylish built-in architectural feature was Nadine’s use of molding. Crown molding on top added a sense of grandness; picture frame moldings installed on the doors are in keeping with the Victorian-era roots of the home.

Finally, Nadine added fresh hardware — something more in line with her modern-meets-Scandi sensibilities — to finish the look. Hungry for more intel on how she pulled it off? Check out her Instagram story highlights for the project, which cover the entire process from start to finish. Then, find even more inspiration from these smart ideas for stylish IKEA PAX wardrobe hacks.