Creating My IKEA PAX Custom Wardrobe

clothes rail

I have a lot of clothes. In every place I’ve lived, I’ve ended up with tonnes of boxes and vacuum bags full of clothes up in the roof or under the bed, so I knew when I was planning my house design that I wanted a larger, custom wardrobe in which to put all my clothes and accessories.

It turns out that custom built-in wardrobes are REALLY expensive though, but a more affordable option is the PAX wardrobe from IKEA. For this, you can plan out the wardrobe of your dreams based on the space you have available.


a completed PAX wardrobe

inside a PAX wardrobe


Pros of the IKEA PAX Wardrobes

full wardrobe

More Affordable Option

I had initially looked into getting a professionally-done custom built-in wardrobe, but the cost was astronomical, starting in the thousands! All in, the wardrobe I created, including all the features, doors and hangers came in at under £700. Obviously this is more expensive than a little wardrobe you can pick up cheap in a charity shop or Argos, but for a fully customisable, large-scale wardrobe, it’s a steal!


PAX accessory jewelry tray

Highly Customisable

One of the best aspects about the PAX system is how customisable it is. You can get drawers for jewellery, built-in trouser hangers and pull-out rails to save space. Everything is very clever and the PAX builder helps you construct your dream set-up fairly easily.

For my wardrobe, I have a drawer section in the middle, including a slide-out accessory tray with a glass top so I can see all my bits and bobs.

You also have the option to do with the wardrobe what you like! Some people sand down the base and paint it how they see fit. I chose to add my own door knobs that I found on Etsy to the wardrobe doors and drawers.


inside a customised IKEA PAX wardrobe

Making Use of Space

Another great thing about PAX wardrobes is how they can really help you make the most of the space you have available. From the customisable features, like the pull-out rails, to the ways you can create sections in your wardrobe, you can really make use of every bit of space you have.

Within each of my wardrobes, I have an L-shaped divider so I can get a second rail in underneath for my skirts in the right-hand wardrobes, and shelving for jumpers in the left. This gives me such better use of space than you would get from a regular wardrobe that would have one rail along the top.


IKEA PAX drawers


Cons of the IKEA PAX Wardrobes

Not the Easiest to Build

Over the course of my six and a half year relationship, me and my partner have had approximately five big fights and I think four of them were over this wardrobe. As with all flatpack furniture, it can be infuriating to put together, especially when you decide to get ambitious with extras.

It was definitely worth the tears and the tantrums given how much money we saved doing it ourselves, but maybe don’t choose to build a PAX wardrobe if your relationship is a bit rocky! It will be a stressful time!


full pax wardrobe

Might Not Fit Your Space 100%

While a custom wardrobe is built to fit the exact dimensions of your space, the PAX wardrobe comes as set sizes and you have to pick the combination that best fits your space. This means you may end up with a gap at the top of the wardrobe, or at the side, where the wardrobe doesn’t sit flush with the wall. I’m sure this would annoy some people. We are intending to put up panelling on ours so there is no longer a gap, but haven’t got round to this yet.


plastic caps for IKEA PAX holes

Not As High-Quality

Compared with a more expensive, professional built-in wardrobe, the PAX wardrobe is not as high-quality. Although it still looks pretty good, up close you can see that it is cheaper. For example, there are holes up and down the inside panels of the wardrobe to allow for shelves and drawers to be put in there. We bought plugs to fill these in because I thought the unused holes looked pretty ugly, but you can see that it is plastic and not quite flush.

If you’re thinking of creating a PAX wardrobe, I hope this has been in some way helpful to you! Follow me on Instagram for more about my home!


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