Stylish ideas for built-in wardrobes and bedroom storage

Built-in wardrobes maximise space and utilise spare centimetres

built-in wardrobes
(Image credit: Future)

Built-in wardrobes are a brilliant way to tackle the bedroom clutter that accumulates in modern homes

When space is at a premium, floor-to-ceiling or wall-to-wall built-in wardrobes allow you to maximise every spare centimetre, as they put what may otherwise be dead space to good use.

Awkward angles, shallow alcoves or dark corners can all be used for chic and clever storage ideas. Not only that built-in wardrobes will keep floors and surfaces clear, creating a clean, streamlined and uncluttered look which regular stand-alone wardrobes rarely achieve. 

Built-in wardrobes can further save space if you install sliding doors instead of hinged doors that open outwards.

With built-in wardrobes there is also the advantage that you can coordinate the amount of hanging rail space that you need (as well as choose different rail heights for dresses and trousers or shirts and tops), with the amount of drawer space, shelves and shoe racks.

And why not do like the architects and go through your clothes and accessories first to assess the storage you need? It might be a laborious one-off task but it will reap rewards every day when you can easily find favourite outfits – and you'll never have expensive purchases languishing at the back of the wardrobe unworn.

Whether you fit them across an entire wall, in an alcove space or either side of a chimney breast, the result will be flush and fabulous.

For a completely seamless look paint the wardrobes in the same shade as the rest of the room or cover them in the same wallpaper.

Alternatively, make a feature of them with sumptuous upholstery, eye-catching glazing or stylish wood-panelling. Or for something entirely different conceal wardrobe doors in pretty plasterwork or a striking wall mural.

Take inspiration from the built-in wardrobes ahead. Whatever your style, fitted wardrobes and bedroom storage come with modern, sophisticated options that create additional space while also contributing to the room's décor.

PERIOD FEATURES

built-in wardrobes

(Image credit: Future)

These bespoke, floor-to-ceiling wardrobes were designed to match some existing original panelling. They’re so tall, a ladder is required to access the top part.

Get the look: Bed upholstery, Magic Linen on Etsy. Bedlinen, Soak & Sleep. Wall light, Wo & Wé. Oil painting, Alexandria Coe. Vintage side table, painted in a similar colour to Farrow & Ball’s Railings.

CHALK IT UP

built-in wardrobes

(Image credit: Future)

Fashion stylist Siouxsie Dickens has cleverly concealed storage space and created black out shutters and a creative play area with these sliding chalk board doors in her kid's bedroom.

OOH LA LOUVRE

built-in wardrobes

(Image credit: Future / Paul Raeside)

Fitted wardrobes don't have to be dull. Interior decorator, Sera Hersham-Loftus of Sera of London has used antique louvred shutters for her glamorous built-in bedroom storage. 

SELF REFLECTION

built-in wardrobes

(Image credit: Future)

This narrow space has been used to create a dressing area with built-in wardrobes either side. Pretty wallpaper in panels on one side adds a glamorous touch, while mirrored panels on the other make the space feel bigger and provide a practical solution when the owner is getting ready.

BATH TIME BLISS

built-in wardrobes

(Image credit: Future / Paul Massey)

The bathing end of this bedroom scheme by Jo Berryman includes floor-to-ceiling wardrobes, ideal for storing towels, nightwear and much more. 

SIMPLE SOLUTION

built-in wardrobes

(Image credit: Future / Paul Massey)

Floor-to-ceiling wardrobes here utilise the entire wall space, while designing them with the same timber tones as the floor creates a calm and cohesive scheme.

PAD OUT

storage ideas

(Image credit: Wolf Lewitt Interiors)

A little fabric goes a long way in this tailored master bedroom created by Wolf Lewitt Interiors, where upholstery lends a soft touch to plain wardrobe doors, instantly elevating them from ordinary to extraordinary.

GET THE LOOK For a similar upholstered wardrobe, take a look at Hill Upholstery & Design. Curtain fabric, Osborne & Little. Rug, Tim Page Carpets

CURTAIN CALL

storage ideas

(Image credit: 2 LG Studio)

Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead of 2LG Studio agreed that they wanted to keep shoes behind a curtain in their dressing room. That way, they had the option to hide them or have them on view.

GET THE LOOK Joinery, RISE collection designed by 2LG Studio for John Lewis of Hungerford in Early Lavender by Mylands. Neon yellow latex curtain, The London Curtain Girls.

SIMPLE AND STYLISH

Pre-grooved MDF

Joinery in the master bedroom is made with pre-grooved MDF boards and painted in the same shade as the walls. The top of the built-in wardrobes offers space for displaying personal collections.

SPACE MAXING

Handleless

An awkward space has been utilised for storage, while sleek, handleless wardrobe doors keep things simple and clean.

BARELY THERE

Custom Made

Designer Tom Barlett designed this smart storage as part of a renovation project in a west London townhouse. 

Get the look: The Memphis-style Callimaco floor lamp is by Ettore Sottsass for Artemide.

CONCEALED STORAGE

Under Stair Storage

Wardrobe doors were built under the stairs.

ORIENTAL FLAIR

Oriental Flair

A jewel-like dressing room is encased in pretty hand- painted wallpaper. 

Get the look: Get the look The wallpaper is custom- made by de Gournay.

PANELLED AND PAINTED

Plain & Painted

These plain wardrobes look gorgeous thanks to their coat of sage green paint, complementing the bedroom's wallpaper. Design by Lucy Barlow of Barlow & Barlow.

TIP TOP

top drawer

The dressing area leads through to the en-suite – there’s even a dressing table in the cupboard. There’s so much cupboard space, the owners use a ladder to get up to the top. 

Get the look: The bespoke whitewashed oak joinery with brass recessed handles is from AJ&B. The crittall-style doors are from Alu Nordic Timber.

PRETTY IN PINK

pretty in pink

In this bedroom scheme by Suzy Hoodless, the walls and wardrobe doors are painted the same shade of porcelain pink. The sheepskin chair lends a luxurious, sculptural element to the room. 

Get the look: Walls and wardrobes painted in Temple, Paint & Paper Library.

MIRROR MIRROR

mirror mirror

Venetian glass is used for the wardrobe doors and even on the window shutters, turning the bedroom into a jewel box of trippy reflections. 

Get the look: a glazier can supply mercury mirrored panels.

ON THE FLY

on the fly

The built-in wardrobes are covered in Gucci’s Heron wallpaper. 

Get the look: Secondome Edizioni vanity dressing table and stool, 1stdibs. Gaetano Scolari pendant, Les Trois Garçons. Thistle Gold rug, Vivienne Westwood at The Rug Company.

A NOVEL IDEA

novel idea

This space is kept clear and restful. The only clutter is printed on the wallpaper, so it never needs tidying up. 

Get the look: This is the Vintage Bookshelf wallpaper by Young & Battaglia for Mineheart. The bed is from Sweetpea & Willow. This is the Pineapple table lamp from Graham and Green. The cushion and throw are by Designers Guild.

SOFT TOUCH

soft touch

There’s a certain sumptuousness to this space, with its rich textures and colours. An impressive amount of storage space helps keep it clear of clutter. 

Get the look: The wardrobe is bespoke by Daniel Hopwood, wrapped in an Alcantara fabric.

PRETTY PLASTERWORK

Pretty Plasterwork

Panelled walls open to reveal hidden storage and screen doors glide seamlessly into wall recesses to separate this sanctuary. The entire wall behind the bed is actually a run of concealed cupboards with white mouldings. 

Get the look: The floral fabric used for the bedcover is by Josef Frank, available at Svenskt Tenn.

BESPOKE OPTION

Hidden Handles

These wardrobes are bespoke. The design (which conceals inset handles) is based on dandelion seeds being blown in the wind. Inside, the wardrobes are meticulously arranged with a space for everything.

TA DA

Built In Dressing Table

This clever design ensures the built-in wardrobes also incorporate a dressing table area. 

Get the look: The wardrobes and dressing table area are painted in Paint & Paper Library’s Cotton V architects eggshell. The stool is from Ikea.

WISTERIA DRAPED WARDROBES

Wallpapered Wardrobes

The painting on the walls opposite is continued onto the wardrobes, helping to blend the wardrobes in with the rest of the room. 

Get the look: This is de Gournay’s Wisteria wallpaper.

PAINTED PANELS

Wood Panelling

Here, hidden built-in storage in disguised by wood panelling.

MOODY HUES

Moody Hues

This bedroom feels calm and grown-up, with a palette of dark, sleepy colours. A wall of fitted wardrobes were installed and painted in the same shade. 

Get the look: The wardrobes are painted in Mole’s Breath estate eggshell by Farrow & Ball.

TOUCH OF BRASS

Brass Touch

The bedroom's best feature is the opulent but practical storage, made bespoke by The London Joinery Co. 

Get the look: The bespoke storage features Buster + Punch Closet Bar handles.

NATURAL BEAUTY

Natural Feeling

Nature feels like it’s just an arm’s reach away with these huge windows overlooking the garden. The wardrobe doors add to the rustic scheme. 

Get the look: The wardrobe doors are made from reclaimed scaffold boards. The overhead lamp is a vintage find. The mat is from Wayfair. The bedlinen is from Soak & Sleep.

TEAL APPEAL

Teal Appeal

These wall-to-wall wardrobes provide ample storage space and are painted in a bold  teal gloss shade for a statement look.

TUCKED AWAY

Grown Up

The bedroom has a hotel feel, thanks to a plush rug, upholstered bed and fitted wardrobes. 

Get the look: The bed is by Ikea. The bedlinen is by Mille Notti. The lamp is from Circa Lighting. The painting is by Petter Lindroth.

MODERN RETRO

Modern Retro

This bedroom has been transformed into something really rather gorgeous with the gold-leaf ceiling, one raw concrete wall and lacquered green elsewhere. We love the mix-up of modern and traditional – with retro style wood wardrobe doors. 

Get the look: The gold-leaf ceiling was applied by Clare Lewis. The Christy duvet cover and Biba pillowcases are from House of Fraser. The Infamous Sex Etching in the Boudoir print is by LE GUN at Cob Gallery. The parquet floor is antique charred Japanese ash from Victorian Woodworks.

A GOOD FIT

Hands Free

Seamless, handle-free storage keeps this space uncluttered, so a selection of art and ceramics can shine through with a simple clarity. 

Get the look: The cabinetry is bespoke and painted in Purbeck Stone estate eggshell by Farrow & Ball. The bed is from Warren Evans. The bed linen is from Merci. This is Richard Ray’s Untitled #238 manipulated photograph, available at artfinder.com.

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