Built-in Wardrobes

Hi all! I’m off work this week, and using the time to blast some pre-Christmas DIY and other life errands (hello life admin!) while Freja is in nursery. I thought I’d update you on our latest project – one of the best and easiest things we’ve done – built-in wardrobes. I am NOT a fan of free-standing wardrobes. They’re expensive, enormous, a pain to move (especially up stairs), and often completely overpower a room. As soon as we moved in, I knew that I’d want to use the space around the fireplace in our bedroom to create his and her storage space for our clothes. The last time Liam and I had separate cupboards was seven years ago – our first flat! I don’t know how I’ve managed so long…

Sadly we didn’t quite manage to fit this in while the decorators were here, but we did pull the trigger soon after they left. We had no choice in the matter – the IKEA wardrobe left behind by the previous owners was on its very last legs. One bash with the hammer and it all came tumbling down.

After a little hunting around, we ended up going with the lovely Wayne Perrey at Man Cave Creations. I highly, HIGHLY recommend him to anyone in the area looking for a carpenter. He was flexible, timely, seriously tidy and finished everything on schedule. Plus we’re absolutely thrilled with his precision and attention to detail. What he built is pretty much perfect.

I’ll walk you through the process. When we first talked to Wayne about what we wanted, we were going with four shaker-style doors each side of the fireplace. A bit like this:


On Liam’s side, we wanted to include three drawers for things like jumpers and socks. On my side, I wanted open cubby holes for things like handbags and delicate knitwear, and lots of hanging space. Once the measuring tape came out, we quickly revised our plans. The additional centimetres needed for drawers and all the mechanisms that go along with them would eat into precious storage space. So we simplified. We also changed our mind on the style – shaker felt too traditional for us. After a few more discussions, Liam and I finally landed on this for our aesthetic:

Hamill Wardrobe DoorsFloor-to-ceiling doors that opened to cleverly divided space inside. No having to worry about matching traditional coving. No attempting to appear as if these were original to the house. No deliberating over handles and hardware. Just a simple, clean aesthetic with maximum space for storage.

Inside, our revised plans looked like this (yes – I actually drew them up in PowerPoint. One day I’ll learn to use an actual programme for this sort of thing).

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 13.45.01We kept all the open shelves, but in the end moved away from the cubby holes. By the time we factored in the width of the wood for the shelving, the actual storage space would be quite limited.

This week I’m painting them white and thinking about ways to inject some personality inside. The current plan is to find some very cool wallpaper or self-adhesive drawer liners to apply to the shelves and inside of the doors. But if I can’t find something I love enough, I might just end up getting out the paintbrush and using one of our many paint samples to inject some colour when you open the doors. Here’s my latest progress – I’ll be back with the finished product at the end of the week.

A massive thank you to Wayne Perrey for making this the most painless house improvement yet. We moved our stuff in the day you finished – and promptly realised that it’s time to go shopping for some new clothes!

Hope everyone is having a great week.

Inspiration photos can be found here on my Pinterest page


1 thought on “Built-in Wardrobes

  1. Having known Wayne for a goodly many years, I can and will concur heartily to the article above. He made me a fabulous workstation for my art studio, which, now is in situe, I could not do without! Perfect in every way. He’s incredibly clever with his hands, and his ideas are excellent, sensible and funky. Everybody should have a piece of Wayne’s work in the space!

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