Moving into a new apartment is a lot of work. It’s not like you can “copy-paste your old furniture into your new space. The rooms are not the same size, the light is different and so on. But you still need to make this space your own in order to feel at home. That’s exactly what I am going through since we moved last July. While the kitchen is being ordered and is planned for September, we thought that we could already work on our open wardrobe DIY. So we did and I’m very proud of the result. It’s convenient and having all my things out in the open is very pleasant. It took a little time to build because we are beginners and needed to really think this trough but overall it was a fairly easy project to do. This is how we did it:
Feeling the bedroom space before planning
I like to live in a space for a while before buying stuff and making projects. It allows you to see how you function and how you interact with your surroundings. It gives you insights on how to furnish your room as well. For our bedroom, I knew that we were going to need extra storage space. We had only one tiny built-in closet and even though we got rid of a lot of our things (Read about the book that helped us let go of our belongings here). It was really not enough for the both of us. Before this Open Wardrobe DIY, I had an Ikea rack that I used to hang my seasonal capsule wardrobe. It was okay but not ideal since I couldn’t really put my bags and shoes on it. So the idea was not only to add hanging space but also room for shoes and bags. We had two options, buy a wardrobe at a home decor shop or build something by ourselves.
Open Wardrobe DIY, it is!
We chose the second options for two reasons. First, our bedroom is not huge, 12m2, which is okay but a big wardrobe would have crowded the place. Secondly, buying a wardrobe can be pricey and it would have never fitted exactly the space we have. So we would have had some lost space in the end. Thus we went with the open wardrobe DIY. I made some research online and I found this great DIY by Rachel from Made from scratch and started from there.
To build something that was in line with our needs, we first had to think about what sort of clothes and accessories we would store in our Open Wardrobe. So we made a list and we fastly realized that what we needed the most was some hanging space and a better way to store our shoes. So, with all that in mind, we started imagining our open wardrobe DIY. And it easily came to us. I did a quick drawing of it and the project was launched.
Taking your measurements
First, we needed to know what size the wooden boards would be so we measured the wall from one end to another. Based on my drawing, one of the board goes
from one end of the wall to the other while the second board start after
the cupboard. Also, we needed to figure out how deep our boards would be. The one supporting the wardrobe would have to be roughly the width of our hangers ( 41 cm). Also, keep in mind that your brackets need to be at least 2/3 of the depth of your board for good support (here 26 cm). As for the lowest board, we wanted it to be as deep as the cupboard so when they would be side by side it would look seamless (46cm). Make sure to measure the depth of your cupboard from the wall to the end of it and not only the cupboard itself. There is always a difference of a few centimetres.
This how I got the measurements for my boards.
Time to go shopping
So we were finally ready to go shopping and here is what we bought:
- 2 chipboards of customs sizes that we had cut at Leroy Merlin.
- 4 rods holders (for the wardrobe ) from Leroy Merlin
- 2 rods holders (for the curtain hiding the wardrobe) from Ikea
- 4 brackets for the upper chipboard from Ikea
- 2 brackets for the lower chipboard from Ikea
- 2 rods, one for the wardrobe (Leroy Merlin) and one for the curtain (Ikea)
- one light curtain (to not overcharge the chipboard) from Ikea
- 4 tips for the two rods (a pair from Leroy merlin and a pair from Ikea)
Total: 136 CHF (around US $138)
Building our open wardrobe
So, we had what we needed to actually build the thing. And that’s usually when you realize there is a lot of tiny decisions you need to make before actually building your open wardrobe. Such as:
- At what height should we put the two chipboards? To determine that, I used my longest dress to give me the height between the two shelves.
- Determine at what height our lowest board should be. We planned to have shoes under this board. But we also had to take into account that the plinths were pretty high, that the wall socket was just above it and not forget about the height of the brackets that would support the whole board. In the end, we had to put the board a little higher than what we expected.
- Make sure your highest board is not too high so you are still able to access your clothes. Since we had to level up the lowest shelf, It logically made the highest shelf goes up. But it was still okay for me to access my clothes (I’m from far the shortest in this couple).
Once we were clear on the latest points. We were ready to build our open wardrobe DIY.
1.The wardrobe rack :
- Screw the 2 rods holders for the curtain on the board. Since it comes on top of the board, it was easier for us to do this first. We had to take into account the length of the tip of the rod to make sure it would fit. Also we purposely didn’t wanted the curtain to be as long as the board. Simply because I didn’t needed that much hanging space for my capsule wardrobe.
- Decide how you are going to distribute your brackets on the board.
- Mark the wall, at your chosen height, for the two brackets that will come at the ends of the board. Make sure that your floor is even. if it’s not, try to play with the height of the brackets to avoid having a crooked board.
- Choose some pretty long screw and wall plugs*.
- Drill the wall, install the wall plugs and screw the first bracket on the wall.
- Repeat this for the other bracket at the end of the board.
- Measure the space between the brackets and divide it by 3, so you’ll know how much space you need to leave between the brackets. Mark the wall for the middle brackets.
- Drill the wall, install the wall plugs and screw the two middle brackets on the wall.
- Place the board on the brackets. but don’t screw it for now.
- Calculate at what distance from the wall you are going to place your 4 wardrobe rod holders on the board. It should be in the middle of it but not necessarily. Make sure that your hangers are just brushing the wall.
- Mark the position where your 4 rods holders are going to be.
- Remove the board from the brackets and then screw the rod holders where you draw your marks.
- Put the board back on the brackets and now you can screw the board to the brackets.
- Place the wardrobe rod in the holders and put the tips at the ends.
- Repeat this step for the curtain rod.
2.The shoe board:
This part was easier, we didn’t need the brackets to be all perfect since no one would see them. So we just decided where we wanted to put our brackets, drilled the wall and screw the board to the brackets and we were done.
Then I installed my capsule wardrobe (and even a little bit more stuff) and arrange on our brand new open wardrobe DIY!
It’s not really complicated but since we are not exactly handymen, we were pretty proud when we finished it. It is kind of nice to actually make something from scratch. Anyway I hope you’ll like it and please share your thoughts or idea in the comment box below.
*If you’ve watched my story on Instagram, you’ll know that this was the one mistake we made… We chose some screws that were not fitting the wallplugs (we thought they did but they were too large for the screws). So when we started to put things on our new open wardrobe diy, the whole thing just fell off the wall… Yet, we rebuilt it with the adequate screws and wall plugs and now it’s as strong as it can. So be sure to choose the right screws and wall plugs to avoid what happened to us. Ask someone at your local hardware store to help you with that.
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