Working With IKEA’s PAX Wardrobe Units

Earlier this year, we were hired to design and build some wardrobe units for a client in Snoqualmie, WA, using IKEA’s PAX system.  The house already had a sort of craftsman-like feel with lots of crown molding, and wainscoting throughout, and the customer was really attracted to that style.  So the challenge was to make the somewhat plain looking PAX units feel more custom-built and integrated.

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IKEA.PAX.2

We achieved this by building up the top and base, so we could incorporate the existing base and crown moldings. Then it was just a matter of getting the painter to match his paint to the cabinets to tie it all together.

wardrobe-media center

That TV looks so small!

Here we used a combination of IKEA’s PAX and kitchen cabinets (ADEL off-white) to create a wardrobe/media-center.  Using matching panels from the kitchen department allowed us to create the partitions and shelves.

wardrobe-media center

Pulling out the middle section and adding feet was a nice touch.  Elements like these add dimension, and emphasize that custom look

wardrobe-studyFor the girls bedroom we created a combination wardrobe/study area using cabinets from IKEA’s kitchen series for extra storage, and some extra panels to create the open shelves.

IKEA.PAX.1

wardrobe-studyTo create the drawer unit for the desk area, we cut down the height of a kitchen base cabinet so the desk top would sit at a comfortable 30″ this still allowed for 3 small drawers and the extra tall base.

IKEA.PAX.Closet

Someday, I’ll get a wide angle lens so I can better show off these small rooms!

Remodeling the walk-in closet for the master bedroom was a simpler affair.  Here we used the PAX units in a more standard fashion, just adding in the crown molding to tie it in with the rest of the house.

Check out our the built-in media center we made using IKEA kitchen cabinets here!

Join the discussion 15 Comments

  • Justine roberts says:

    Hi, I love these wardrobes and I’m feeling inspired to have a go myself. Can I asked what you built up the base with?
    Thanks
    Justine Roberts

    • tim says:

      Hi Justine! We just used 2x4s to create a raised base for the cabinets to sit on, and then went over that with MDF molding. The painter was able to color match the cabinets so that the molding blended right in and looked like an extension of the cabinets.

  • Hello,
    Could you send me a rough estimate of the cost for the master bedroom pax center? Thank you so much!

  • Steven says:

    Hey, great ideas and great craftsmanship!!!
    I was wondering from which IKEA line the small cabinet doors of the middle section below he TV were?

    Thank you!

    • Tim says:

      Those are the Adel Off-White doors from the old Akurum kitchen line. The equivalent door style with the new Sektion line is Grimslov. Hope that helps!

  • Ngoc says:

    Hi, I am currently redoing my place with a Grimslov and the Bergsbo door for the Pax, similar to yours. Did you use the Forbatra panel? I have very high ceiling so, it’s like a 20 inch higher than the 931/2 ” height of pax. Wondering if you had to paint or was the color the same for the doors. Thinking of possibly covering the ceiling with the panel possibly?

    • Tim says:

      We ended up using format panels for some of it, but for the rest we just used sheets of MDF and sprayed them with a color match paint. Hope that helps. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Raymond says:

      Are the bergsbo door and grimslov doors matching in color?

      • Tim says:

        this was done before the new Sektion cabinets came out. So I’m not sure, but we were able to mix and match the Akurum and Pax doors at the time.

  • Kathrin says:

    Hi, I’m amazed by what you get out of an ordinary pax. Do you mind sharing some more details?
    I’m thinking about getting a pax for a while but found it was too boring. So please let me know how you some instructions. Thank you!

  • Beth says:

    hi, I really like what you did with the wardrobes,is a great design. I’d like to do something similar. Please can you tell me what the components of the centre section are as I went to ikea but couldn’t work it out. I live in the UK but guess ikea will have the same stuff. Thanks in advance.

    • Tim says:

      Hi Beth-

      The bottom cabinet is just a 36x15x24″ refrigerator cabinet. The open shelves in the middle are custom made using 3×8 panels from IKEA.

  • Julie says:

    Hi, the walk in closet is impressive, but did the pax units fit perfectly for your room or did you have to make adjustments? The pax comes in 19, 29 and 39 inches. I measured mine and I’ll either have to cut one unit down or leave a gap at the wall… Please help!

    • Tim says:

      It’s tricky to find the right combination of units with the sizes they offer. Cutting them down is probably not the best choice, because then, none of the accessories (drawers, bars, shoe holders, etc.) will fit. The way we do it is to find the combnination tclosest, and use matching panels from the kitchen section to fill in the gaps. Good luck!

  • TM says:

    Thanks for posting this. Just bought a 1930s house with very little closet space. Removing an exiting reach closet to put in a PAX. This is by far the best I’ve seen and will try to replicate.

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