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The Corner Wardrobe – How to Build a Corner Wardrobe

CLICK HERE FOR TIPS ON BUILDING A CORNER WARDROBE

There seems to be a bit of a trend these days amongst my friends. Almost everyone I know is either moving from a house into an apartment, or downsizing their apartments and moving into smaller ones.  It could be because money is a little tighter than it was previously. We moved into an apartment to save time more than money. The upkeep on the big, old house we were living in was getting out of hand and the two of us, plus two high-school age children who had more than enough homework to keep them busy every day when they arrived home from school, were not able to manage all the needed upkeep.

So, we have downsized to, into what we refer to as our four and a half bedroom apartment. There are four decent sized bedrooms and one tiny room that most likely is meant to be a maid’s room but that will soon be converted into a storage room come pantry.  Two of the bedrooms are on the smallish side and when looking for ways to conserve space we came up with the idea of L shaped corner wardrobes. Fortunately our youngest daughter who by default inherited a slightly smaller bedroom, also liked the idea as she had seen some great corner wardrobes on sale at Ikea.  We tossed around the ideal of building a corner wardrobe ourselves, but then decided to take a look at what was available before going ahead with that project.

Most of the corner units we saw were L shaped corner wardrobes and the smaller units looked like they would fit nicely in the bedrooms that needed them. We finally settled on getting one corner wardrobe from Ikea that was not L shaped but was made to have equal size on either side of the corner for the guest room as guests usually do not need a lot of wardrobe space and the guest room is the smaller of all of the bedrooms.  We picked up a nice, dark wardrobe. The only thing I do not like about it is that, like a lot of the furniture you pick up from Ikea, it is made from particleboard and therefore will not be all that long-lasting. Still, we do not get a lot of guests, just the occasional overnight kid visiting our children, or sometimes a brief relative visit, so it should hold up alright.

The Ikea Hopen Corner Wardrobe is 24 inches deep and 46.5 inches wide on either side, so it is a reasonable size for what we need and it does look nice, being new and unused so far.  It took hubby a few hours to assemble it with the help of a friend. I could not have put it up, but I am not really much of a handywoman.  Still, any man with a few DIY skills and someone to help should have it assembled and attached to the wall pretty quickly.

Instruction manuals on assembling the unit should come with the wardrobe pieces. If they do not you can find the instructions online.  For our wardrobe, we followed the plans that are here.

For the girls room we chose a slightly larger L shaped corner wardrobe.  One side was half the size of the longer size.  It was still small enough to not be the main overpowering object in the room but it provided plenty of space for hang up clothes and had ample shelves and other storage place as well. We were lucky to find one that went pretty much floor to ceiling and that was thin enough to not take up too much space.

45 degree wardrobeAnother option for corner storage space is the 45 degree wardrobe. We looked at a few of these, but realized that they were too deep to put in the room, and we would also probably have to tag on two smaller regular sized wardrobes to either side in order to give enough space.  It would have appeared a bit too bulky in the bedroom which is why we opted for the larger L shaped wardrobe. It was already assembled, and the shop we bought it from was kind enough to deliver to our door the following day.

I thought about getting a 45 degree wardrobe for our storage and pantry area as it is set right off from our back patio which is where we have currently installed the washer and dryer. It could be useful for storing laundry items as well as for our visitor sheets and linen.  I am still deciding whether it would be a good idea or not. The room is very small and 45 degree wardrobes do take up quite a bit of space due to their depth. But after all, a pantry or storage room needs lots of storage space.  I am undecided as of today, but will most probably decide to get one as soon as I begin organizing (or trying to organize) that room.

Of course, if you are a handyman or there is one in your family, it would be very easy to design and build a corner wardrobe.  The design looks very simple and if you are handy enough to build any kind of wardrobe then building a corner wardrobe should not pose any more problems. Hubby had a look on line for simple instructions on how to build a L shaped wardrobe but decided that he did not have time to do so.  He did find some good plans though, but as he only had half a day to give toward the project and as the need was fairly urgent (or so our girls said) we opted to buy.

For those who have basic handyman skills, here is a simple outline of how to go about building your own corner wardrobe:

Simple Instructions on

What You Will Need: Tools
Circular saw or crosscut saw
Stepladder
Measuring tape
Pencil
Framing square
Chalk-line box
4-foot spirit level
Utility knife
Straightedge
Drywall screws or nails
Joint compound
Taping knife
Sandpaper

What You Will Need: Materials
2x4s for studs, wall plates, and braces Door and hardware
2x lumber for header
Shelves, clothes poles, and storage units, as needed
Door and hardware
Drywall

Step #1: The first thing you should do is outline the closet on the floor. This will give you the basic measurements you need for lumber, and will also help you get a visual idea of how the completed closet will look.  Note: Make sure the closet is deep enough to allow for storage; 28 inches depth is the recommended depth. You can go deeper than that but it is not recommended that you make it more shallow.

Step #2: Nail the 2×4’s on the floor, two feet apart.   Mark where the door will be, remember to leave a little extra space for the door jambs, or the vertical sides of the door frame.

Step #3: Once you have the basic outline on the floor, make an outline on the walls, following the basic lines you have set down. You will need to use your spirit level to make sure that the lines are straight. When you have the basic outline you can nail on the outside studs and the top plates for the walls. You will attach the wall to these studs on both the inside and outside of the closet.

Step #4: Studs for the walls go up next. Place them in the center of the wall. Depending on the size of your closet you may need more than the one center stud. Nail the stud to the top plate and to the 2 x 4 soleplates. Cross brace the studs as necessary to give sufficient support.

Step #5: Make the doorway frame.  You will need to nail additional studs on each side of the doorway, and install a double header across the top opening.   When the header is in place, use a saw to remove the bottom part of the sole plate where the door opening will be.

Step #6: Once the framework is all finished it is time to apply the paneling and the lining. Nail the paneling to the beams and fill over the nails with putty, then sand over.

Step #7: Next, work on the inside of the wardrobe.  Install the closet poles; make shelves to fit inside the wardrobe wherever you need them.

For the corner section of the wardrobe, you may find it is easiest to set a long row of shelves, from top to bottom, as the corner is often a little difficult to get to and shelving seems to work much better than leaving room for hang-up space.

Built In Wardrobe

When searching online, I also found this neat guide on how to simply build a built-in wardrobe.

Corner Wardrobe Styles

As a way of maximizing storage space in the room, whether it be in the bedroom, lounge room or the kitchen, it is possible to build corner wardrobe units that look great and are extremely functional. These units may be stand alone cabinets that have been constructed specifically to fit into a corner or they may be built-in corner units that have been designed with the specific room in mind.

There are special methods involved in installing a built in wardrobe depending on the type of look that you want to achieve. If you want to utilize the L-shape of the corner the way to install the robe is to install two wardrobes. The first wardrobe would be sited along one wall while the second will be installed along the other wall. In between will be a void space to cater for the eventuality that the walls are not square and one of the carcasses will contain the wardrobe door. A corner post would be placed between the two wardrobe units to give them something to butt up against.

Another corner wardrobe unit style is the 45 degree corner wardrobe. The way that one of these units would be installed is to construct a standard wardrobe on each wall that is then joined by the 45 degree robe. The doors are sited along the 45 degree side of the wardrobe. The result here is an extremely deep shelving or wardrobe unit that makes full use of the depth of the corner.

Both of these styles of corner wardrobe units make full use of the extra space that is afforded by sending the wardrobe around a corner. The important part of creating these corner wardrobes is to ensue that the access to the deepest part of the corner is possible. The way in which the door system is set up will play the major role in achieving this access.

Once you have decided on the appropriate style in which the corner wardrobe is going to be designed, the next choice will be the materials you used for the facades. This will be a matter of personal taste as well as being influenced by the existing decorative styles of the room.