When I began building our house I had a lot of grand ideas. One of these grand ideas was to create a built-in closet in my bedroom. I’ve had walk-in closets in the past and I just feel like they are a poor use of space. I wanted a built-in closet that was simple, affordable, efficient, and most important, functional. One of the challenges I faced, aside from affordability, was that I had no idea what I was doing! But, I was determined and willing to make mistakes along the way. (Phew…Because i’m ridiculously happy with how it turned out!) Hopefully this post will gives you ideas for your own closet and help you achieve the look and function you need (with fewer mistakes! 🙂
First, a bit of my thought process…
Custom cabinets would have been the “easy” way to go, but they were not in my budget. So after some time spent with my good friend google, I came across this custom wardrobe at Semihandmade. That’s when I learned I could create a custom closet using Ikea base cabinets with semihandmade door fronts within my budget! Surely, my wardrobe would function better with intentional storage.
This is how it looked framed and sheetrocked. Knowing I would install Ikea cabinets I had my builder leave the closet open and unfinished.
Lesson learned: Originally, I planned to have the cabinets and closet opening extend all the way to the ceiling. Looking back, that is something I would have had to let my architect know. Since he designed the closet with a header (which bares the weight of everything above), I needed to keep it!
My first step was to take measurements and design the closet using Ikea’s kitchen planner. I’ll be honest, their kitchen planner could be a bit more user friendly. When you order cabinets and plan to use Semihandmade doors, you will need everything that comes with the cabinets except the doors. So make sure your get the feet and hinges for the doors at Ikea!
I used 4 Sektion Kitchen cabinets for this closet. Each cabinet is 30″ wide by 90″ high. The reason I used Sektion cabinets and not the Pax closet cabinets is because Semihandmande does not make doors that can accommodate the Pax cabinets.
The next step was to pick it all up from Ikea. Thanks to my mini van for all it’s spacious room!
Next, we laid everything out and Matt got to work on putting the cabinets together. So glad he enjoys doing the work I don’t. lol!
Since my built-in closet idea came after the architectual designs of my home were completed, the closet was designed much deeper than I needed it to be. Thus, we installed dead wood along the back to secure the cabinets in place.
One of the best things about using the Ikea closets is that you can completely customize the inside. If later I wanted more hanging space or even a laundry hamper in the closet, I could always add that. With the ability to change your storage with your growing needs, living minimalist feels a bit easier.
Matt and I each have two cabinets with plenty of hanging and drawer storage. At this point in time the pandemic was in full swing so I waited months before adding the doors and trim form Semihandmade.
Since I have more projects planned using Semihandmade doors, I ordered their pro sample box that includes 24 samples spanning all of their door collections. They really do offer some beautiful colors. I am a very visual person and there’s no comparison to seeing the color and product sample in person!
With your Ikea cabinet finale plans in hand, I recommend using Semihandmades service “We Create Your Cart“. With this service they give a 30 minute phone conversation to walk through your Ikea kitchen plans. Then they take your plans and selected material choice and create a purchasable shopping cart to order your Semihandmade doors. Personally, I found it extremely helpful in knowing everything I ordered was correct! They also send you the trim and toe-kick that you need for the sides of the cabinet. That’s what really gives it the built-in look.
After placing our order the doors and trim arrived in about 4 weeks.
We ordered Semihandmade’s DIY Shaker door. It’s a fully unfinished, do-it-yourself, economical option. After unpacking the doors we wiped them down and laid them out in the garage to be painted. For the color we chose First Star by Sherwin Williams. It’s an off-white very light gray.
We installed the Semihandmade doors cabinet by cabinet ensuring all the doors lined up as we went.
After all the doors were on we began cutting the trim pieces provided by semihandmade. To give the closet that built-in look we secured pieces of deadwood along the sides in the gap to nail the trim piece to.
Finally, our finished built-in closet! So worth the extra effort to have such a functional and streamlined space!
Check out A Minimalist Closet Tour for a run down of the items I keep in my wardrobe!