Built in wardrobes can revolutionise your bedroom where freestanding designs can’t. They can be made to fit that tricky corner with the sloping roof and come in a myriad of colors, finishes and materials. There are endless configurations and customizations available so you really can make it as individual as you like to suit your lifestyle and bedroom space.
To help inspire your bedroom storage overhaul, we've rounded up our favourite built-in wardrobe ideas, below.
1. Make glass doors a design feature
Glass doors enable you to see what you want straight away which will make that morning rush a lot easier, and they shake off that rumor that built-in wardrobes are old fashioned. This stunning clear glass-and-green design is perfect for a modern scheme.
2. Opt for sliding doors if you're short on space
Not strictly built-in, but the PAX (opens in new tab) system from Ikea does have the look of a fitted wardrobe, so if you’re on a budget and can’t afford a bespoke affair then this could be a great option. Their system wardrobes are also a great small bedroom idea - sliding doors allow more room for furniture because they don’t take up space to open.
3. Hate folding? Choose rails inside
The interior of your wardrobe is key and it’s worth spending a bit of time considering what you need to store. We’re not all a whizz at folding, so having more inner rails than drawers could be the answer to your non-folding dreams! Half-height rails for blouses, shirts, skirts and jackets will make your life much easier, and if you wear dresses have one rail that’s full height.
4. Open up your space with mirrored wardrobe doors
Having mirrored doors is useful for two reasons, the first being that they help to bounce the light around if your bedroom is small, and secondly, it means you have full length mirrors to check outfits in and no need to invest in a floor-standing mirror - win win!
5. Go-open plan if you love to colour-coordinate
We generally like to close the doors on our wardrobes so they can hide a multitude of badly folded sweaters and numerous blouses hanging from one hanger, but if you love a bit of organization and ‘everything in its place’ then consider an open plan built-in wardrobe. It will have the appeal of a shop with everything hanging beautifully and neatly folded.
6. Utilise an awkward loft space with a built in
Loft spaces and built in wardrobes go together like bread and butter. If you want to create a seamless yet stylish wardrobe that will make the most of every inch of the tricky space then it’s a fabulous option. You can also choose to make a feature of it, or keep it subtle as shown here.
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7. A bright wardrobe idea
Sometimes built in wardrobes are tucked away in an alcove which means they can be dark, which of course is the last thing you want when trying to find your favourite top. Invest in lights with adjustable arms that highlight each section and consider strip lights too, IKEA’S NORRFLY (opens in new tab) LED lights are ideal for this.
8. Consider the overall design
It’s easy to get bogged down with the miniature of the interior of your wardrobe, but the outside is just as important. How it looks when the doors are closed is key to creating a cohesive look. The built-in wardrobe space should seamlessly fit with your bedroom scheme. We love how these deep green doors and island area in this Neville Johnson (opens in new tab) wardrobe design match and are linked by the brass handles and accessories.
9. Make a feature out of a corner design
Although it’s lovely to have a co-ordinated look, sometimes it’s good to make a feature out of an aspect like a wardrobe. We love how this corner wardrobe has been painted white from ceiling to floor, it makes it stand out as a design element and it ties in with the white painted window seat.
10. Use wardrobe doors as a design feature
"With regards to finish and material options, we now offer more than ever before, meaning that you really can tailor your furniture to your style and taste.’ explains Simon Tchernial, Senior Designer at Neville Johnson. ‘Too often people purchase shelving units and free-standing furniture that fulfil the requirements of immediate storage needs but do nothing to enhance the appeal of the room.’
We love this panelled-door wardrobe idea that add texture and interest to this bedroom, and how they match the dressing table.
11. Create a multi-functional space
Not only is the inside of your wardrobe for storing your clothes, it also needs to hold your shoes, overnight cases, watches, jewellery and keepsakes. When you consider your shelving layout make sure you have enough room for these important pieces. They can be of varying heights and needn’t take up much space but are worth considering.
12. A budget-blowing wardrobe idea: Go bespoke
If you have the budget then going completely bespoke will ensure you can choose everything from the hinges to the door knobs. You can also be on trend with the latest trends - like wicker weave for your doors as Chris Spink, founder of Hush Kitchens (opens in new tab) explains:
‘These beautiful bespoke rattan wardrobes really elevate the dressing room, adding a luxurious finish. As well as hanging cupboards, there are pull-out drawers that reveal solid oak drawer boxes with traditional dovetail joints. The fitted wardrobes also reflect the ‘Japandi’ trend with their restrained colour palette and seamless storage solutions.’
- Keep reading: 15 top storage ideas for a small house
13. Inconspicuous design for a modern built-in wardrobe look
The beauty of built in wardrobe designs is that they can seamlessly fit into your existing scheme, or stand out - whichever you chose. Here, a wardrobe by Brayer Design (opens in new tab)sits between the bedroom and ensuite and when the doors are closed you’d hardly notice it. But a clever feature here is that when you open the doors the light comes on automatically - a great design feature to consider.
14. Incorporate a dressing table
If your bedroom is small with little room for extra pieces of furniture like a dressing table, then consider having it incorporated into your built-in wardrobe. It’s a fabulous space-saving wardrobe idea and you can have shelving designed to accommodate make up, perfume and scents. A mirrored glass door can conceal it all and a glass top will give you the ideal space for storing your hairdryer and straighteners.
15. A floor-to-ceiling wardrobe for the ultimate storage solution
The beauty of built in is that you really can tailor it to your needs and maximise the space from floor to ceiling. We often see designs that have doors from top to bottom too, but having doors for each section as seen here also looks great and will work particularly well in a period property as it has more character visually.
How much does a built-in wardrobe cost?
This can be a ‘how long is a piece of string type answer,’ and will depend on how custom and grandiose your wardrobe ideas are, but as a general rule of thumb, prices start from around £500. Again, this is completely dependent on size, material type and finish.
Are fitted wardrobes worth it?
Yes, there are many advantages to having a fitted wardrobe - most noticeably when your bedroom space is awkward. They are a fabulous option for loft bedrooms especially when sloping ceilings are an issue.
Simon Tchernial, Senior Designer at Neville Johnson explains:
‘Built-in storage is designed to make the most of every 'nook & cranny' and to maximise every inch of your space to meet your exact storage needs.
People are asking us to be a lot more creative with designs these days - adding asymmetrical elements, mixing wood grain with solid colours, glass shelves and lighting. Open dressing rooms without doors have become more popular over the years; being able to see what you have without having to open and close doors is a practical advantage of this arrangement. With regards to finish and material options, we now offer more than ever before, meaning that you really can tailor your furniture to your style and taste.’