Before and after: This IKEA PAX is now a dressing room with unrivaled style

This is the secret to Scandinavian sophistication, from a closet in a country cottage-style property

IKEA PAX hack in country style home
(Image credit: Jenna Sue Design Co / @jennasuedesign)

IKEA's wardrobe system, the PAX, has acted as the canvas for many IKEA hacks, and this monochromatic makeover is no exception. 

The project comes from Jenna Sue of Jenna Sue Design Co, who has transformed her conventional closet into a fashionable boudoir that is only fitting for a French country cottage-style home. The PAX oozes elegance, and Jenna has provoked us to look beyond the flatpack – to a bespoke fitting that celebrates the Scandianivain powerhouse in all its glory. 

Sharing her modern decorating ideas via her blog, the Tampa-based designer shares the design process behind the transformation. 

IKEA PAX makeover: Before

IKEA PAX hack in country style home

(Image credit: Jenna Sue Design Co / @jennasuedesign)

Before transforming her PAX, Jenna worked on the ceiling wallpaper – remarking that while the paper was her first job – the ornate light fixture was the last. 

She then got to work with the units. The secret to the bespoke aesthetic comes from her custom-made door panels (from The Cabinet Face) who transformed the units from their flatpack origins. 

IKEA PAX hack in country style home

(Image credit: Jenna Sue Design Co / @jennasuedesign)

'If you only take away one thing from this project, let it be this trick. Build your cabinets up to the ceiling, use crown molding and make your ceiling a focal point,' Jenna explains. 'You will be amazed at the difference it makes.'

Jenna painted the PAX in Benjamin Moore's Advance in Onyx  (satin) before painting the surrounding walls in Sherwin Williams's Alabaster (flat) and the trim in Accessible Beige (semi-gloss)

IKEA PAX makeover: After

IKEA PAX hack in country style home

(Image credit: Jenna Sue Design Co / @jennasuedesign)

After completing the installation and painting, Jenna further individualized the units by using unique trim pieces from Ekena Millwork. 'Hardware choice is also important, as it’s the 'jewelry' that dresses up the space,' Jenna says. She chose to dress the space with brass accents that create a contrast against the unit's rich dark hues. 

IKEA PAX hack in country style home

(Image credit: Jenna Sue Design Co / @jennasuedesign)

Perhaps most notably, Jenna also added a vanity desk, which she built from a 4′ butcher block slab, before staining it with the whitewash technique. She then sought further help from the Scandi-powerhouse – investing in their KOMPLEMENT drawer for the space underneath the desk. 

IKEA PAX hack in country style home

(Image credit: Jenna Sue Design Co / @jennasuedesign)

Jenna adds that her small bedroom idea secret will accentuate the size of your space – especially if you install the molding up to the ceiling as seen below. The designer notes that your eyes follow the units upwards, thus making the 9’4″ ceilings 'feel a foot taller.'

IKEA PAX hack in country style home

(Image credit: Jenna Sue Design Co / @jennasuedesign)

If you need us, we'll be shopping for PAX.

Megan Slack
Megan Slack

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc's Homes titles. She has a background in national newspapers in the UK and has experience in fashion and travel journalism, which she previously practised whilst living in Paris and New York City. Her adoration for these fashion capitals means she particularly loves writing about contemporary styles and trends for Livingetc.