Hack! Ikea Pax wardrobe and DIY West Elm bedside tables
As you all know by now, the bedroom makeover came about because I really screwed up with the first attempt. A lack of planning left me with a half-arsed room that was neither finished nor pretty. My bad.
This meant that round two, had a rather restricted budget. I mean, really restricted. Having already blown a chunk of money on a solid oak floor and some HUGE Ikea wardrobes, any major shopping trips were out the window. If I wanted to do a decent job and create a bedroom worthy of blogging about, I would need to be thrifty. But I needed more than just paint.
Luckily, I gots skills.
Well…big ideas, a fair whack of stupid and some power tools at least. Bring on my first Ikea hack!
First up though; the bedside cabinets.
Since moving in, I had been using two old units that i had hauled from a skip outside my previous flat. They were by no means ideal, however, they served a purpose. I’m not sure what my intentions were for the units originally, but they definitely weren’t made for bedside cabinets. I kind of have a plan for these now though, so don’t worry, they’re not destined for the scrapheap yet…
If the plan works out, it should be a massive upgrade. So hold tight for that one!
I knew that I didn’t want anything too ‘shiny new’ looking for the bedside cabinets. I wanted something in natural wood tones and a little bit industrial, but it also had to be very simple in style with no fussy details. Something like the shape of these…
Luckily for me, I had inherited a shed full of old wood when i bought this place. Oh, and I also had this…
This post would be MUCH better if I had remembered to photograph the ‘choppy-makey’ part.
Sawing the drawers in to three two-drawer units, I was able to fashion the framework for my bedside cabinets, using the third to help create a top for the second one. By removing the knobs and sawing off the moulding from around the drawers, this allowed them to be recessed. Using some of the wood from the shed, I cut down four drawer fronts, which I attached with glue, securing with screws from the inside. These sit flush with the sides, stopping the drawers from sliding back too far.
The whole thing was given a light wash of white paint, which helped to soften off the wood tone and blend the various parts together. I bought two sets of hairpin legs for around £40 from an online auction site to finish off. Altogether, the cabinets cost around £70 for the pair. Not too shabby, eh!
I still need to consider handles, but for now, I’m happy with the streamlined look.
Ikea Hack; The wardrobes
If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘hack’ it’s a term used for an upgrade or modification to what is usually a simple but functional piece of ‘name brand’ furniture. Usually Ikea. Google it! There are some pretty impressive hacks out there. I have to say though, I’m quite proud of this one! Mostly because it has saved me a fortune.
You’ve already seen part of the construction of the wardrobes, but I just wanted to
bore you with share a few more pics of the hack process.
Only one wardrobe really required any demolition. In order to fit it under the eaves, the whole top left section had to be cut down at an angle and removed. Although the cutting was easy enough, one wrong measurement would have rendered the wardrobe useless. That could have been an expensive fuck-up!
If there is one thing I have learned from years of DIY, it is to measure twice, cut once. I tend to measure about five times, just to be sure.
The second wardrobe pretty much remained intact, only getting a reshuffle of the interior fittings. The outside was framed up in MDF to ‘fit’ it in to the walls and to give it a more traditional look. I added cornice and skirting to make it look more bespoke and less flat-pack.
I’m not going to harp on about the process, because quite honestly, it doesn’t make for the most riveting of posts. Next post will be pretty, I promise!
This deep drawer was the hardest part to construct as an existing drawer had to be cut and glued to produce the right width to sit on the new runner position. The new door fronts were taken from the measurements of the originals and cut out of 20mm MDF. A piano hinge joins the doors on the cut-down wardrobe as it needed to open to the right to be able to clear the slope of the roof. Mouldings were added to the fronts using no-nails adhesive and clamped in position until dry. A light sand to any rough edges, then two coats of primer/undercoat, gave a sound base for two topcoats of Valspar ‘French Pavilion’ in eggshell finish. Brass knobs tie in with the brass detail on the fire.
Taking the initial wardrobe purchase out of the picture, all-in, the upgrade cost around £150. Fitted wardrobes for £150? I think I’ve just won at hacking.