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  • Writer's pictureDoriana Mazzone, Realtor

"Maximizing Space: Creating a Custom Bedroom Closet Using Ikea Kitchen Cabinets"



#condo #condointeriors #condorenovations #smallspaces #modernliving #moderndesign #design #customclosets #closets #closetdesign #storagesolutions #storagespaces #design #interiordesign #ikeahack #paxwardrobe #ikeakitchens #torontocondos #dorianamazzone #designblogs #diyblogs #yourpersonalhomeshopper


This is how I used the IKEA kitchen Cabinets, specifically the SEKTION line to build my Custom Built-in Bedroom Closet. 

Yes, you read that right. I used the Ikea Kitchen Doors and Cabinets instead of the Ikea Wardrobe system as my Closet. 



In this blog post, I will go through the following steps from start to finish:

  1. WHY I USED THE KITCHEN SEKTION DOORS AND CABINETS vs. THE IKEA PAX WARDROBE

  2. Bedroom Space details

  3. WHAT DO STANDARD BUILDER-GRADE BEDROOM CLOSETS LOOK LIKE?

  4. Preparing the Site Before INSTALLING MY BUILT-IN IKEA CLOSET

  5. THE BEFORE AND AFTER OF THE IKEA BEDROOM CLOSET HACK. 





WHY I USED THE KITCHEN SEKTION DOORS AND CABINETS vs. THE IKEA PAX WARDROBE

  • The IKEA SEKTION kitchen had the finishes I was going for in the overall look of my bedroom closet as opposed to the Ikea wardrobe system. 

  • I was inspired to have a European closet design. 

  • I wanted smoked glass doors and matte black doors, this was only possible using the IKEA SEKTION kitchen system 

  • The IKEA SEKTION kitchen cabinets are made with ¾” Particleboard, Melamine foil and Plastic edging - which are a lot more stronger and stable.

  • The PAX wardrobe is made with ½” Particleboard, Particle- and fibreboard with honeycomb paper filling (100% recycled paper), Plastic edging, Plastic edging, Paper foil - already this was a lot more flimsy. (There is a reason why the Ikea Pax closets are cheaper than the Ikea Kitchen Cabinets.

  • The IKEA SEKTION kitchen tall cabinet is available in a deeper dimension, 24”, versus the PAX Wardrobe being 22-⅞” 




Did I spend more money using the Ikea Kitchen Cabinets? 

YES!

Just an FYI, Ikea has a Kitchen Sales event 3-4 Times a year, where they offer 15-20% off after you spend $2000 on Ikea Kitchens. This is when I purchased all my cabinets for my Built-in Bedroom Closet and my Built-in Front Closet (I talk about the front closet in a separate blog) I then used the credit in gift cards to buy all my interior fittings and accessories.



The Ikea Pax wardrobe has a lot of nice interior closet fittings and accessories, but overall I do find the quality of the Pax wardrobe to be a little flimsy. There is no room for any mishaps because they can easily be scratched and damaged. But this is not the case with the Ikea Kitchen Cabinets. Those are thicker and stronger. Hence why there are a lot of custom home builders and renovators that use the Ikea Kitchen line.


 

The Bedroom Space Details


This is my 461 sqft. home. 

This is a 1 bedroom Condo in Downtown Toronto.

My place has 10’ ceilings throughout. 

Typical interior closets are only 8’ high. Floor to ceiling.

Standard closet door heights are 7’ tall.




Condo, condointeriors, condorenovations, smallspaces, modernliving, moderndesign, design, customclosets, closets, closetdesign, storagesolutions, storagespaces, design, interiordesign, ikeahack, paxwardrobe, ikeakitchens, torontocondos, dorianamazzone, designblogs, diyblogs, yourpersonalhomeshopper
Custom Closet Sketch

This is a condo that I purchased during the pre-construction phase.

This means that I bought this in a presentation center off a floor plan and waited 4-5 years for the building to be built!


It took 4 years for the Developers to construct the Condo Development and during those 4 years, I didn't waste any time getting onto my drawing board and deciding what changes I needed to make to maximize the efficiency of this space. 





WHAT DO STANDARD BUILDER-GRADE BEDROOM CLOSETS LOOK LIKE?


Here's the thing, in Toronto or all of Canada, actually I think this is a U.S. and Canadian thing, our closets suck. 

Our builder's grade, standard closets that typically come in our Canadian homes are designed with the same concept:


All Interior residential Closets including; Bedroom, Linen and Front closets, have headers above the doors that simply block you from storing things on the top shelf. They don't block you 100%, I know you can still reach into it but it's impracticable and annoying to reach up into.



Condo, condointeriors, condorenovations, smallspaces, modernliving, moderndesign, design, customclosets, closets, closetdesign, storagesolutions, storagespaces, design, interiordesign, ikeahack, paxwardrobe, ikeakitchens, torontocondos, dorianamazzone, designblogs, diyblogs, yourpersonalhomeshopper


Essentially, to accommodate our regular interior doors, or sliding doors that are standard 7’ high, closets are then built and framed around the door sizes. At the same time this is also a building code requirement, however if you just changed the design then we would have to deal with it!




2 STEPS I NEEDED TO TAKE BEFORE INSTALLING MY BUILT-IN IKEA CLOSET


STEP 1: PURCHASE UPGRADES FROM THE BUILDER


Just so you're aware, when you purchase a pre-construction condo here in Toronto from a Developer you will have a personal Decor Appointment while the building is in construction in case there are any upgrades you want to make before the builders go ahead and apply the finishes. 

This includes Electrical, Construction changes, upgrade appliances, fixtures and finishes.

Here they will provide you with a list of features and finishes that you may upgrade to. 

There were no options for any closet upgrade being offered at the time. 

However, I see now some great developers are offering more customization when it comes to closets. So this is great to see. 


THE UPGRADES  

  • The Built-In Ikea Closet needed a rough-in electrical box in the ceiling where the closet was going to be installed because I was going to add lights in my closet.

  • Because I was adding lights to my Custom Ikea closet, I needed to add an extra light switch for this. 



Condo, condointeriors, condorenovations, smallspaces, modernliving, moderndesign, design, customclosets, closets, closetdesign, storagesolutions, storagespaces, design, interiordesign, ikeahack, paxwardrobe, ikeakitchens, torontocondos, dorianamazzone, designblogs, diyblogs, yourpersonalhomeshopper
Typical Builder Grade Closets

Here you can see in this image, this is what a typical standard closet looks like before they put in the sliding doors. 











STEP 2: 

PREPARE THE EXISTING SPACE FOR BUILT-IN CLOSET


Condo, condointeriors, condorenovations, smallspaces, modernliving, moderndesign, design, customclosets, closets, closetdesign, storagesolutions, storagespaces, design, interiordesign, ikeahack, paxwardrobe, ikeakitchens, torontocondos, dorianamazzone, designblogs, diyblogs, yourpersonalhomeshopper
BEFORE PICTURE: Original Closet Space before finishes

Now here is where I got lucky, or maybe because I manifested this closet dream for 4 years I walked into this opportunity.


Closets are never a decor upgrade, that's why I was only able to upgrade the electrical. 

However, getting the header removed was something that I didn't want to do after moving in. Fortunately, I had a friend who did me a huge favour because they worked for the developer, they brought me in to see my place while it was in construction and I was able to pull off this favour. (THIS NEVER HAPPENS - Hence why I say I got very lucky for this part!)





With this luck, I was able to have the crew on site do the following:


  1. Remove the header above the closet doors.

  2. Remove the backing that would support the standard wire shelf and rod that the builders were going to put in. 

  3. Told the crew to not put in the sliding door. (ps. If you're going to ask if the builder will credit you if you don't use any of their standard finishes, the answer is always NO!)


All I was left with was the exact point I needed it to be for me to continue installing my custom built-in Ikea Kitchen closet myself. 






Condo, condointeriors, condorenovations, smallspaces, modernliving, moderndesign, design, customclosets, closets, closetdesign, storagesolutions, storagespaces, design, interiordesign, ikeahack, paxwardrobe, ikeakitchens, torontocondos, dorianamazzone, designblogs, diyblogs, yourpersonalhomeshopper
Finished Niche Space ready for Built-In Closet

This small demolition now turned this space to an open niche.

I now had an 8’ floor-to-ceiling niche that was ready for my built-in closet.




Now came the fun part. 

I had already predesigned my closet design using the IKEA Kitchen planning tool. So I knew the height, width and depth of the closet. 








WHAT IKEA KITCHEN CABINETS AND DOORS DID I USE FOR MY CLOSET?


Condo, condointeriors, condorenovations, smallspaces, modernliving, moderndesign, design, customclosets, closets, closetdesign, storagesolutions, storagespaces, design, interiordesign, ikeahack, paxwardrobe, ikeakitchens, torontocondos, dorianamazzone, designblogs, diyblogs, yourpersonalhomeshopper
Ikea Kitchen Tall Cabinets. Left 15" WIde, Middle/Left 24" WIde

Very simple, from the SEKTION cabinets I used the Tall Cabinet variations. 

  • I needed a 15” cabinet for my linen closet (far left) and

  • I needed 2x 24” Wide Tall cabinets, that came complete with shelves. (Middle cabinet & Far Right Cabinet) 

  • I wanted the middle section and the lower section of the cabinets to have smoked black glass doors. These doors do not come full height, but I did get some hardware that allowed me to attach them to the doors so that I was able to open one side fully and

  • I wanted the top cabinets to have a simple and sleek matte black door.






I am convinced people don't move because their house is too small. I am convinced it's because there is a lack of storage space. I'm not talking about just one room or area of the house, I'm talking about all the rooms. 

How many times do you complain about something as simple as putting your clothes away in your closet and drawers only to say, “In my next home, I better have a walk-in closet, or I need more storage space?”


Okay, well here's the thing, can the solution be “Just buy less?” Of course. Problem solved. 

But it’s not. 


Redesigning a space or an area to maximize efficiency is a possible solution if the space allows it. Even with my space being only 461 sq. ft I managed to find more room. Sometimes instead of looking out on the floor plan, all you have to do is look up!


If you liked this Ikea hack… wait till you see what I did with the front closet in my Condo!



BEFORE AND AFTER THE IKEA BEDROOM CLOSET HACK. 

The Original Built-In Closet was installed in 2019 and here we are 5 years later in 2024 and this is closet still looks like it did on her fer day of install, just more clothes now ahahahaha!!





That's your story for the day, my name is Doriana and I’m outta here! 




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