Thursday, June 30, 2016

Getting a customized look with Ikea Pax wardrobes + bedroom updates

Summer is in full swing around here and so are the projects. I feel like we have about 50 different things we're working on when we're not tied up, you know, raising 3 kids that are 4 and under :) But, we did finally check a good size project off our to do list.  Thanks to Ikea's handy Pax system and a little hack we did, we now have a real, grown up useable wardrobe .

Please ignore the temporary green tape hardware and enjoy the concealed storage. Just picture oversized (likely brass) sleek pulls instead...

We made the hike to Ikea in Chicago Memorial day weekend, leaving the oldest two kids with family to make the trip a little more doable. I loaded Vera up with snacks and she was happy as can be the whole day. We might have reminisced a little about how easy life used to be with just one kid :)

Since we had used Ikea's planner online, it made the shopping pretty easy. It gives you a handy list to print so you know exactly what you need when you get there. After looking around at some of the closet systems in person, we made a few minor tweaks and then loaded up our carts and unloaded our wallets! Much cheaper then having something built, but even at Ikea it all adds up. After a visit with some awesome friends who let us stay the night we headed home and started to put it together.

To make it look built in, Cam built a platform so that we could set the units (we used 4 of their largest and tallest ones) on top of it and wrap our baseboards around that.  He assembled one unit first to get exact measurements.  We also rigged the unit a little in that instead of the toe kick piece being set back like it normally would be, we screwed it in flush with the front so that there wouldn't be a space between the baseboards and the unit when you opened the doors.

Once everything was level and secured to the wall we assembled the rest of the units (was pretty easy) and installed all the interior pieces. You can bet I was going behind Cam filling them in with clothes.  Not at all excited or anything ;) I do love how you can customize each unit for what you need. We seriously have more closet space then we do clothes!

We tried to maximize the high ceilings by using the taller units. Since we knew that you can't easily reach the upper part of the wardrobe we added storage for out of season items, kids gear that doesn't get used often, extra blankets etc. Old houses aren't known for closets, so this definitely helps.

Pre-wardrobe, these ties were always a tangled mess (well so was everything) and now they each have their own little spot! OCD much? Might be my favorite part of the whole thing....that or the glass front drawers or the little LCD light strips that turn on/off when you open or close the door. So fancy.

After it was all installed and the clothes put away, I painted the baseboard and the crown molding Benjamin Moore's Decorators White like the rest of the millwork in the house. We had Sherwin William color match it in their Pro Classic oil based semi gloss paint as it's my favorite for trim. It levels nice and stands up really well.

You might have noticed the crown is stepped back.  We didn't realize the fire alarm was going to be in the way and this was the only solution since you can't really just moved them once installed...not ideal but oh well.

The rest of the room is still a work in progress. I finally got all the trim painted a few months ago and painted the walls Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore.  It's a pretty warm white and at first I wasn't sure about it, but I think it's grown on me.  The transom frames just got a couple coats of black and we're going to spray the window frames and doors black soon too.

I also picked up these Ikea linen like curtain panels (around $30/pair!), they're extra long so I'm going to hang them close to the ceiling (Little trick BTW to make your ceilings look higher.) and thinking of adding some greek key trim to the leading edge.  As for the rest of the room, we need to pick out a ceiling fixture, order a duvet cover, find a comfortable reading chair, add hardware to the wardrobe, etc, etc....

So, there's still a few things to do before I can call this room finished but I love the progress we have made.  No more piles of clothes and clutter. Shades on the windows (hello privacy!). Nightstands for all my knickknacks. It's all good :)

And now I take a deep breath and embarrass myself by showing you the mess we lived with before adding the wardrobes. #keepingitreal #slobs #pleasedontpinthis

That's what happens when you're always busy working on other parts of your house, this room was a dumping ground for clutter. Whenever company came over and I needed to clean up quick, it all got thrown in here!

But the point is, it all takes time and money and DOESN'T happen overnight. Especially if you do the work yourself or you don't want to take on debt and are paying for it as you can.  Hopefully that encourages you if you're trying to fix up/decorate/furnish your place, just keep plugging away at it!

6 comments on "Getting a customized look with Ikea Pax wardrobes + bedroom updates"
  1. I love this on so many levels, Janna. Wardrobe looks fab and I'm definitely OCDing alongside you about the tie compartments. I'd be sorting top to bottom by color (red to violet). It actually looks like a display table at a classy men's store! And the curtains...RITVA is my mom's given name (Finnish, not Swedish, but close enough). Can't wait to see those in place, too. Nice work...keep the blogs coming!

    1. Thanks Dana! We said it felt a little like a department store too! So neat about your mom's name :)

  2. Fan-freakin-tastic! Thank you for your great ideas!

  3. Did you paint the Pax doors the Decorator's White as well?

  4. Hello!
    We had PAX for many years and they have survived 4 house moves, we've just bought an Edwardian house and you have just inspired us to re-build them instead of giving away/bring to recycling centre... THANK YOU!

  5. First of all, I love this post, thank you for sharing this project! Can you tell me approximately what the ikea portion of this project cost (pax plus lights I assume?) and how much you may have spent on extras (wood, trim, paint)? I am looking to do something like this, and it would be nice to have a dollar value in mind before I head to ikea.


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