This IKEA PAX makeover has turned an ordinary furnishing into an elegant built-in closet in a Victorian home

IKEA, but make it nineteenth-century chic

IKEA PAX makeover complete in master bedroom
(Image credit: Kevin & Sarah Reid-Morris)

If our favorite Scandi-cool powerhouse were to exist in 1880's Ontario, we imagine it would offer something quite like this sophisticated PAX – which currently sits at the top of our IKEA hacks lust-list. 

The closet graces the master bedroom of Readmore House, an ornate 19th-century property in Prince Edward County, Canada. A house of this grandeur deserves a closet fit for Victorian aristocracy, yet the bedroom was sparse on original closet space. So, owners Kevin and Sarah set out to make this right.

IKEA PAX makeover completed design in master bedroom

(Image credit: Kevin & Sarah Reid-Morris)

The couple (@readmorehouse) was faced with a task – to create a highly refined closet that mirrored the elegance of the historical setting – whilst maintaining the graceful ambiance of their organically lit bedroom. The solution? A trip to home decor haven IKEA, where they picked up their PAX closet system – a twenty-first-century staple – that would receive a makeover from the past. But what does time travel involve?

IKEA PAX hack – the makeover process 

'When faced with a no-closet master bedroom in our late-1800s Victorian Italianate home, we hacked the IKEA PAX system to create a character-filled, built-in wardrobe system that looks like it was always here,' they begin. 

Faced with their fresh PAX, Kevin and Sarah began by constructing the flatpack so they could plan the build-in with more detail. To ensure the PAX fit tightly against the wall, they used MDF pieces to frame the closet sides – thus maintaining the built-in aesthetic. 

IKEA PAX makeover under construction master bedroom

(Image credit: Kevin & Sarah Reid-Morris)

'We added crown molding, baseboard, and wall trim to match the original profiles in the room, seamlessly blending the wardrobes into the architecture,' they share.

Kevin and Sarah then designed the closet doors, which crown the piece and ooze timeless elegance with a contemporary twist. They chose the most basic PAX doors to ensure they had a clean canvas for their designs, trim, and hardware. 

The pair used strong construction adhesive to apply the molding to the doors and added them to the closet once the glue had dried. 

IKEA PAX makeover under construction in master bedroom

(Image credit: Kevin & Sarah Reid-Morris)

Once everything was in place, they filled, sanded, and primed with Zinsser B-I-N shellac-based Primer. Then, after re-sanding, they painted the cabinets in Chantilly Lace paint, the same hues as their entire master bedroom. Finally, they added oversized 18" brass pulls for the ultimate 'touch of modern Victorian luxury.'

IKEA PAX makeover completed design in master bedroom

(Image credit: Kevin & Sarah Reid-Morris)

The final result is the luxury bedroom idea of our dreams – and Scandi-Victorian is the new interior style we never knew we needed – until now.  

Megan Slack

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team.

Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US whilst studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site.

Megan currently lives in London, where she relocated from her hometown in Yorkshire. In her home, she experiments with interior design trends and draws inspiration from the home decor ideas she observes in her everyday work life. Her favorite pieces include her antique typewriter and her expansive collection of houseplants. When she isn’t writing, she is browsing London’s coffee shops and bookstores to add to her ever-growing library, taking over the open shelving in her apartment.