February 5, 2016

A Peek Inside My Wardrobe

Last year we installed a new wardrobe in our master bedroom.  I shared one or two photos of the progress on social media and I've since received a few emails from readers asking for wardrobe advice.  I thought I'd address as many of the questions as I can here.  Almost everyone likes to have a bit of a nosey through other people's houses.  It's interesting to see how other people live so here is the before and after of our master wardrobe renovation...

Our house is an original brick and tile 1970's do up.  Think the Golden Girls house and you'd be right on the mark.  Our house would have been pretty modern by 1970's standards.  The master bedroom had an ensuite and a walk in wardrobe which would have been relatively "up market" for it's time but by today's standards both of them were nothing short of painful!

Our wardrobe was literally a box in the corner of our bedroom with some racks and shelves in it.

When the time came to renovate our bedroom, the first thing to go was the walk in wardrobe.  I know that some people pine for a walk in wardrobe but we couldn't wait to get rid of our waste of space.

There have been several cheap and nasty attempts by previous owners to modernise our house over the years.  One decided to paint over all the wallpaper in mint green with dark brown trims.  Another has painted over some of the mint with a dark cream.  Neither of them bothered remove the shelving from the wardrobe before painting so we could still see large patches of the original wallpaper in our wardrobe.  Rather than mucking around with stripping painted wallpaper, we have completely gutted, insulated, rewired and regibbed every single room.  This shows the wardrobe removed before relining took place.

We decided to install a full length wardrobe that would span the whole 4.5 metre width of our bedroom.  Not only did we gain a whole heap more of storage space but we also gained half a metre in length of useable floor space.

We had four or five different companies quote and submit plans for our wardrobe and each quote varied wildly!  It came down to two businesses but we ended up going with a small, one man band who was the cheapest but I had worked with his wife and sister so I trusted the quality of his work.  And I am so glad we did because we are so thrilled with the finished job.

This was our bedroom after the gibb stopping and wardrobe installation but prior to painting and the wardrobe doors being hung.

And here it is full...

In the planning stage I spent a lot of time considering our clothes, how we store and use them, stock taking what we had and figuring how to best fit them in to the new space.

A lot of the wardrobe consultants had strong opinions on how things should be set out but wardrobes aren't a one size fits all commodity and you need to consider your own needs.  For example, my husband is a pool builder and spends very little time in button down shirts so while I was urged to have two short hanging rails for him I was adamant that one was sufficient.  Consider their advice but figure out what works for you.

There are a lot of additional extras which you can have installed in your wardrobe.  I chose to include the hidden jewellery box and a hidden mirror that pulls out and swivels round to face either way.  I love it!  So tidy and no more bulky furniture taking up valuable space.  We were also given the option of having a mirror on one of the sliding doors but that was an absolute no no for me.  They give me the creeps!

We decided to leave the space above the drawers open for perfume/aftershave, jewellery, sunglasses, home fragrance and charging devices.  (There were already power points on the existing wall so we opted to keep them inside the wardrobe when we relined the walls for this purpose).

We allocated the last portion of the wardrobe for storage.  You can never have too much storage!  The top is for Christmas and birthday present storage - far away from little prying eyes and hands!  The bottom is for all of our photos which I organized in matching Kikki-K Photo Boxes.  The next shelf up is for my sewing machine and overlocker.  The whole length of the very top of the wardrobe is storage as well.

With doors closed it looks clean, sleek, and hides everything away from our sunny bedroom.  Each door is an individual unit which can be pushed left or right so there are five access points in to the wardrobe.  A lot of the wardrobe designers urged us to have two sets of fixed doors on two tracks rather than four individual doors on four separate tracks but I could foresee accessibility issues with this.  I am really happy that I persisted to have four separate doors.  It's perfect!  Initially I actually really wanted biofold doors for the homely, cosy, coastal feel we are trying to achieve.  I was worried the sliding doors would feel like a hotel but the biofolds were much more expensive and feedback was that they often come off their tracks.  I'm really thrilled with the sliding doors and in hindsight bifolds wouldn't have been a good choice.

I was asked if there is anything that I would change about our wardrobe and I can absolutely say not one thing.  The functionality is excellent and the storage is amazing.  There are still a few little things that need to be finished - there are still a few rouge coat hangers that need to be replaced with black ones so they all match, I need to purchase belt hanger and we need to replace the carpet which won't happen for a few years while the girls are still little.

Our wardrobe was installed by Richmond Wardrobes who we will be using again to install some cabinetry in our laundry this year.  Apart from removing our old wardrobe and building a small false wall (both of which my husband did) the whole wardrobe supply and installation cost $2500.

I hope that answers all the questions everyone had but feel free to send through any other questions you have x

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