This is how to hack the Ikea Pax wardrobe for a period look

The simply IKEA Pax wardrobe gets an elegant update thanks to one homeowner's budget-savvy skills

Jade Rodrigues bedroom
(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies © Future)

If you're taking on a period home with no original features, chances are you're keen to restore a bit of character to the space without spending a fortune. Tasks like restoring plasterwork and repairing old windows can be pricey, but there are ways of injecting classic style into your space for less – and one homeowner has done just that with an Ikea hack for timeless yet inexpensive fitted wardrobes. 

Jade Rodrigues and her husband Darren took on their Victorian ex-council house with a small budget, but thanks to a great carpenter and an eye for design, they've managed to create a stunning space for less. And the star of the show? Beautiful fitted wardrobes made from the humble Ikea Pax range.

Check out how they did it below, then head to our gallery for more bedroom storage ideas

Rodrigues Bedroom in Victorian house with a fireplace, large circular mirror and full length wardrobe doors

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

Jade and Darren had always wanted a period home, and they fell in love with the high ceilings, chimney stacks and large proportions of their Victorian terrace. The property needed a lot of work, so the couple decided to start with the primary bedroom. 'We wanted to have a space to be comfortable in while we tackled the main kitchen and bathroom projects,' Jade explains. 

She admits they're not DIY people, so when it came to building built-in storage for their room, they called in help. 'We did all the painting, but had carpenters in to do the technical work, she says. 'By employing individual tradespeople and paying a day rate, we saved a lot of money.' 

The room has a statement fireplace on the far wall with alcoves either side. The couple were keen to utilise the space for built-in wardrobes, but wanted to get the look for less – so they turned to Ikea. 'The wardrobes are Pax wardrobes,' says Jade. 'We had the carpenter cut them down to fit in the alcoves and box them up with MDF.'

To bring the new wardrobes in line with the era of the house, the couple asked the carpenter to add beading onto the doors. 'We also added a picture rail to make it all look like part of the walls,' Jade adds.

Rodrigues house: bedroom with picture rail, soft grey walls, grey bedding and grey beaded upholstered headboard

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies © Future)

The wardrobes and the walls below the picture rail were painted in Dolphin by Little Green, while the ceiling and the space above the picture rail were painted in Mid Lead from the same company. 

The palette is a softer take on the monochrome scheme through the rest of the house, which was inspired by an unusual source. 'I like bold colours and take a lot of inspiration from old pubs – lots of dark blues and blacks,' says Jade. 'I wanted the house to be traditional and in-keeping, but also cosy.'

Jade finished off the room with an upholstered bed from, a circular mirror from Ikea and a ceiling shade from Habitat. The couple are thrilled with the final look. 'It’s exactly what we wanted – bold and neutral colours in balance,' says Jade. 'We didn’t want to go too safe, so the two-tone walls and painted ceiling make a statement. We chose the colours to make the room feel cosy, and it almost encapsulates you – it’s sleep-inducing, which is ideal!'

Ellen Finch
Former deputy editor

Formerly deputy editor of Real Homes magazine, Ellen has been lucky enough to spend most of her working life speaking to real people and writing about real homes, from extended Victorian terraces to modest apartments. She's recently bought her own home and has a special interest in sustainable living and clever storage.