Fitted wardrobe ideas – 15 ways to supersize your storage space
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Long for a life behind closed doors, with fitted wardrobe ideas making the most of your space while banishing the clutter? There’s plenty to consider when designing a bedroom. Yet ample storage should always be factored in the planning stages, rather than an afterthought.
Indeed, many of our homes lack the storage space that we really need. Yet a fitted wardrobe is guaranteed to max out every scrap of space in a bedroom, particularly if you’re looking for small bedroom ideas.
As Cigal Kaplan, creative director at Cigal Kaplan Interiors explains: ‘Fitted furniture is absolutely a forever buy – or a very long-term option – and it should certainly add value to your home if it is done right.’
‘It’s a forever buy, which will keep “giving” in a way that freestanding furniture can’t,’ adds Natalie Price, brand & marketing manager at Sharps. ‘It creates efficiencies, ensures spaces feel stylish and tidy, and becomes a selling point if you decide to move on.’
There are made-to-measure solutions that seamlessly become part of your bedroom storage ideas, using every inch of available space. But if budget is an issue, you can opt for an ‘off the peg’ solution. This is where you can choose the number of shelves, rails, racks and drawers inside.
Regardless of what you plump for, both bedroom wardrobe ideas will streamline your space brilliantly while giving you oodles of storage to boot.
Fitted bedroom ideas – 15 brilliant ideas for storage success
1. Work with the angles
‘Most houses,’ explains Natalie from Sharps, ‘particularly period properties, aren’t perfectly symmetrical, so any furniture must work within the quirks of the room – from skirting boards and architraves to asymmetrical walls and low ceilings. Freestanding furniture struggles to cope with these idiosyncrasies.’
‘Fitted furniture on the other hand,’ continues Natalie, ‘works with the architecture of your property to create seamless designs. These feel like they are part of the room, rather than a piece which has been placed within it.’
‘From a practical point of view fitted furniture doesn’t have any gaps for dust to get trapped. What’s more, you will maximise every centimetre of available storage within the space.’
Interior designer Cigal Kaplan agrees. ‘Even under the eaves, you can still max your storage,’ believes Cigal, ‘some cupboards will be smaller or larger than others, but you can still be highly organised.’
Shelving is a great internal solution as it fits so much in the small, sloping space. It’s endlessly flexible too, should you wish to store different items.
2. Soften sliding doors with textured finishes
‘Fitted furniture works brilliantly as it saves space and looks stylish,’ says interior designer Cigal Kaplan. ‘It’s also a great way to bring in detail through choice of finish and door styles. You can get creative too, as there’s so many more things you can do with fitted than freestanding.’
While sliding doors are a super space-saving solution, they can tend to look very modern and hard. A great solution to this is to cover the front panels in fabric, like these from Mereway.
3. Blend into the background using colour
Colour drenching is a huge trend this year, with one single bold shade covering walls, skirting and fitted furniture. It creates an almost dreamy, cocoon-like look, perfect for bedrooms.
Here, a set of semi-built in wardrobes have been giving the drenched look, echoed on the co-ordinating bedspread, which gives the illusion of the furniture receding back against the matching wall.
This look tends to work well in period properties with traditional architecture and decorative mouldings. ‘Choosing a style which is sympathetic to the overall architecture,’ explains Natalie from Sharps, ‘means that the pieces will feel like they have always belonged there.’
4. Make the most of a small kids’ room
Kids’ rooms are notoriously small, and if you have two sharing a room, fitted furniture is your best bet to make the most of the space, allowing you to squeeze in a pair of beds, as well as storage for clothes and toys alike.
Look for designs that utilise the height of the room as much as the width and depth and remember to leave as much floor space as you can so the room doesn’t feel too crowded.
5. Be creative with your space
Don’t always think of fitted bedroom furniture as a row of wardrobes at one end of the room. If you have the space, fitted wardrobes can be combined with recessed cupboards and storage headboards for extra storage.
‘You can get cupboards as deep or shallow as the space allows,’ enthuses Natalie from Sharps, ‘as there’s no need for space-wasting back panels. The ability to design custom solutions means doors and shelves can be created in any depth or height to accommodate slope, beams, cornicing and architraves.’
‘Chimney breasts can become a feature or hidden,’ continues Natalie, ‘bay windows can be transformed into seating and eaves can be turned into storage spaces. There’s little that can’t be worked around.’
6. Squeeze in a handy desk
If you don’t have a spare room to house any home office ideas, one of our favourite fitted wardrobe ideas is having a secret desk space in a run of storage. Designed to sit alongside your wardrobes, it opens to reveal a desk space – that can even accommodate a handy additional mirror.
And the best bit? Come the end of the working day, you need simply close the door and all evidence of your WFH office space disappears!
7. Create the illusion of space
When it comes to attic bedroom ideas, you can’t go wrong with mirrored doors as they make a space appear to double in size. Choose sliding doors as they don’t require any handles, knobs or pulls so the surface is flush and uninterrupted.
Plus, by their very nature, sliding doors don’t need to open out into a space so they’re ideal for cramped rooms.
8. Choose a design ready for painting
This Persona wardrobe at GoModern has film on the sides and doors so you can paint it whatever colour you like. Go for the same shade as your walls or opt for a contrasting colour.
The wardrobes are customisable so can be any size you need and filler panels can be added if you want a completely seamless look.
9. Paint to blend into the background
Fitted wardrobes like these can be painted the same colour as your walls, so they remain unobtrusive and discreet, allowing the bed to be the main feature, while clothes, shoes and other items can be neatly stored away.
‘Classic door designs – like Shaker – will of course never go out of style.’ explains Simon from Neville Johnson. ‘Look for a contemporary twist on such a traditional style, meaning it can be easily incorporated into any home.’
10. Get creative with finishes
Here reclaimed timber has been used to build frames for the huge floor-to-ceiling wardrobes at each end of the room and a panelled door to an en-suite bathroom. It’s a unique way to make the most of the ample ceiling height in this large bedroom.
12. Include a beauty bay within your wardrobe
Breakfast cupboards are a common feature in kitchen storage ideas, but why not introduce a similar solution to your fitted wardrobe ideas? Enjoy the luxury of a dedicated beauty bay for your hairdryer and pampering paraphernalia, all discreetly hidden behind closed doors.
A mirror to check your appearance and glass-fronted drawers mean you can see in an instant where items are stored, so you’ll be ready in no time.
13. Increase light with mirrors
Fitted wardrobe ideas like this design will not only make the most of every available centimetre in your bedroom, by opting for mirrored doors any natural light will be reflected, giving the effect of even more space and light. While of course giving you the ideal way to check out your outfits.
Top tip: Decorative panelling on the mirrored glass makes an attractive feature and will reduce any glare.
14. Do an audit of your belongings
‘Start your planning process with a declutter,’ suggests Cigal. ‘It will help you think about what you want to store versus what you want to show.’
Knowing how to declutter a wardrobe isn’t difficult, but it can be time-consuming, however, the results are worth it. If you know (roughly) how many dresses, jumpers, tops, hats, belts etc that you own, you’ll have a better idea of the number of drawers, shelves long or short rails that you’ll need. Plus it’ll save you time in the long run as you’ll be able to lay your hands on those things when you need them. A system like IKEA’s PAX wardrobe can be designed to suit your requirements.
15. Build in more than clothes storage
Choose a floor-to-ceiling system like this one and you’ll gain more than a home for your clothes and shoes. With all that extra storage space why not use some for a smart desk area that can be hidden away at the end of the day.
Should fitted wardrobes go from floor to ceiling?
A design expert from Hammonds explains, ‘In general the majority of installations are floor to ceiling. However, when you have a period property where ceilings are high, with decorative ceiling coving and picture rails, the wardrobes would better enhance the room if they didn’t cover over these architectural designs.’
How deep should fitted wardrobes be?
‘The minimum internal wardrobe depth for hanging clothes is 55cm this seems to be the industry standard across the board,’ Hammonds explains. Choosing a manufacturer who designs it’s own fitted furniture, allows them to manufacture any depth of wardrobe to suit the customer needs.’
Can you paint fitted wardrobes?
Having fitted wardrobes installed is a big investment, so you want to get it right. Due to the expense you may choose to play it safe with the finish, and opt for a neutral. But if later down the line you wish to add a splash of colour, that’s no problem. That is, provided you use the correct materials.
Use a specialist primer such as Zinsser to ensure the paint adheres to whatever the surface is, from stripped pine to hardwood and even laminated wood. Once prepped you can use the furniture paint of choice, which is specifically made for the purpose.
Do fitted wardrobes cause damp?
Damp can be a problem, if the wardrobes are fitted to an outside wall. Due to the nature of a wardrobe having doors, the air can become trapped against the coldness outside.
Many bespoke fitted wardrobes will be made without a back panel to help reduce this problem. Ensure you have good ventilation or splash out on a best dehumidifier if you’re concerned about damp becoming a problem.
An expert at Hammonds explains, ‘Fitted wardrobes don’t cause damp. Damp is a result of poor ventilation and occurs in older properties rather than more recent, modern constructed dwellings. Damp is a product of solid wall construction properties where natural ventilated areas have long since been hidden or blocked off. Modern properties have double glazed windows, wall vents & floorboards covered over. ‘
Can you remove fitted wardrobes?
Fitted wardrobes can be removed if you so desire, and replaced by more modern designs. Walls will simply need to be repaired and redecorated to the same finish as the remaining walls. In theory, fitted wardrobes can be dismantled and removed to relocate, say you’re moving house, but it’s not ideal due to the bespoke nature of the designs.