11 Fitted wardrobe ideas to supersize your storage space

Storage doesn't have to be purely practical - take inspiration from these colourful and characterful fitted wardrobes ideas

Fitted rattan wardrobes in pale pink
(Image credit: Future PLC)

Long for a life behind closed doors, with fitted wardrobe ideas making the most of your space while banishing the clutter? There’s plenty to consider when designing a bedroom. Yet ample storage should always be factored in the planning stages, rather than an afterthought.

Indeed, many of our homes lack the storage space that we really need. Yet a fitted wardrobe is guaranteed to max out every scrap of space in a bedroom, particularly if you're looking for small bedroom ideas.

As Cigal Kaplan, creative director at Cigal Kaplan Interiors explains: ‘Fitted furniture is absolutely a forever buy – or a very long-term option – and it should certainly add value to your home if it is done right.’

'It's a forever buy, which will keep “giving” in a way that freestanding furniture can’t,' adds  Natalie Price, brand & marketing manager at Sharps. 'It creates efficiencies, ensures spaces feel stylish and tidy, and becomes a selling point if you decide to move on.’

bedroom with fitted wardrobe

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

Fitted wardrobe ideas

There are made-to-measure solutions that seamlessly become part of your bedroom storage ideas, using every inch of available space. But if budget is an issue, you can opt for an 'off the peg' solution. This is where you can choose the number of shelves, rails, racks and drawers inside.

Regardless of what you plump for, both bedroom wardrobe ideas will streamline your space brilliantly while giving you oodles of storage to boot.

1. Work with the angles

Fitted rattan wardrobes in pale pink

(Image credit: Future PLC/Malcolm Menzies)

‘Most houses,' explains Natalie from Sharps, 'particularly period properties, aren’t perfectly symmetrical, so any furniture must work within the quirks of the room – from skirting boards and architraves to asymmetrical walls and low ceilings. Freestanding furniture struggles to cope with these idiosyncrasies.'

'Fitted furniture on the other hand,' continues Natalie, 'works with the architecture of your property to create seamless designs. These  feel like they are part of the room, rather than a piece which has been placed within it.'

'From a practical point of view fitted furniture doesn’t have any gaps for dust to get trapped. What's more, you will maximise every centimetre of available storage within the space.’

Interior designer Cigal Kaplan agrees. 'Even under the eaves, you can still max your storage,' believes Cigal, ‘some cupboards will be smaller or larger than others, but you can still be highly organised.’

Shelving is a great internal solution as it fits so much in the small, sloping space. It's endlessly flexible too, should you wish to store different items.

2. Soften doors with textured finishes

Bedroom with rattan built in wardrobes next to bed.

(Image credit: Future)

‘Fitted furniture works brilliantly as it saves space and looks stylish,’ says Cigal. ‘It’s also a great way to bring in detail through choice of finish and door styles. You can get creative too, as there’s so many more things you can do with fitted than freestanding.’

While fitted doors are a super space-saving solution, they can tend to look very modern and hard. A great solution to this is to cover the front panels in a softer texture, such as rattan. 

3. Blend into the background using colour

bedroom with wooden flooring and peacock green wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Colour drenching is a huge trend this year, with one single bold shade covering walls, skirting and fitted furniture. It creates an almost dreamy, cocoon-like look, perfect for bedrooms.

Here, a set of semi-built in wardrobes have been giving the drenched look, echoed on the co-ordinating bedspread, which gives the illusion of the furniture receding back against the matching wall.

This look tends to work well in period properties with traditional architecture and decorative mouldings. 'Choosing a style which is sympathetic to the overall architecture,' explains Natalie, 'means that the pieces will feel like they have always belonged there.’

4. Make the most of storage in kids' room

Children's bedroom with green fitted wardrobes

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Children's rooms are often small, and with an abundance of toys to find a place for, fitted furniture is your best bet to make the most of the space. It allows you to squeeze in a bed, room for playing, as well as storage for clothes.

Look for designs that utilise the height of the room as much as the width and depth and remember to leave as much floor space as you can so the room doesn't feel too crowded.

5. Be creative with your space

grey built-in wardrobe and seating area with pink and white gingham fabric panels in loft conversion

(Image credit: Salvesen Graham)

Don't always think of fitted bedroom furniture as a row of wardrobes at one end of the room. If you have the space, fitted wardrobes can be combined with recessed cupboards and storage headboards for extra storage.

'You can get cupboards as deep or shallow as the space allows,' enthuses Natalie from Sharps, ‘as there’s no need for space-wasting back panels. The ability to design custom solutions means doors and shelves can be created in any depth or height to accommodate slope, beams, cornicing and architraves.'

'Chimney breasts can become a feature or hidden,' continues Natalie, 'bay windows can be transformed into seating and eaves can be turned into storage spaces. There’s little that can’t be worked around.’

6. Squeeze in a handy desk

Bedroom with built in home office in a wardrobe.

(Image credit: Future PLC/Davide Lovatti)

If you don't have a spare room to house any home office ideas, one of our favourite fitted wardrobe ideas is having a secret desk space in a run of storage. Designed to sit alongside your wardrobes, it opens to reveal a desk space - that can even accommodate a handy additional mirror.

And the best bit? Come the end of the working day, you need simply close the door and all evidence of your WFH office space disappears!

7. Create the illusion of space

Wall of built-in mirrored wardrobes in a blue bedroom

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

When it comes to attic bedroom ideas, you can't go wrong with mirrored doors as they make a space appear to double in size. Choose sliding doors as they don't require any handles, knobs or pulls so the surface is flush and uninterrupted.

Plus, by their very nature, sliding doors don't need to open out into a space so they're ideal for cramped rooms.

8. Choose a design ready for painting

Burgundy fitted wardrobes in bedroom

(Image credit: Future PLC/Kate Cleasby)

We mentioned how colour drenching is the latest interior trend that involves painting your walls, skirting, and architraves in the same statement colour. Fitted wardrobes are a great way to make the most of this aesthetic as you can embrace a characterful look on one, or more, sides of a bedroom.  

What's more, if you choose a fitted wardrobe that can be painted, it gives you plenty of scope to switch up your bedroom colour scheme in the future - with just a lick of paint. 

9. Paint to blend into the background

White fitted wardrobes in bedroom

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Fitted wardrobes like these can be painted the same colour as your walls, so they remain unobtrusive and discreet, allowing the bed to be the main feature, while clothes, shoes and other items can be neatly stored away.

'Classic door designs – like Shaker – will of course never go out of style.' explains Simon from Neville Johnson. 'Look for a contemporary twist on such a traditional style, meaning it can be easily incorporated into any home.'

10. Include a beauty bay within your wardrobe

Bedroom with vanity area built into wardrobe space

(Image credit: Future PLC/Anna Stathaki)

Breakfast cupboards are a common feature in kitchen storage ideas, but why not introduce a similar solution to your fitted wardrobe ideas? Enjoy the luxury of a dedicated beauty bay for your hairdryer and pampering paraphernalia, all discreetly hidden behind closed doors.

A mirror to check your appearance and glass-fronted drawers mean you can see in an instant where items are stored, so you'll be ready in no time.

11. Do an audit of your belongings

A cane-insert wardrobe with a chair to the side

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

‘Start your planning process with a declutter,' suggests Cigal. 'It will help you think about what you want to store versus what you want to show.’

Knowing how to declutter a wardrobe isn't difficult, but it can be time-consuming, however, the results are worth it. If you know (roughly) how many dresses, jumpers, tops, hats, belts etc you own, you'll have a better idea of the number of drawers, shelves long or short rails that you'll need. Plus it'll save you time in the long run as you'll be able to lay your hands on those things when you need them. A system like IKEA's PAX wardrobe can be designed to suit your requirements.


Should fitted wardrobes go from floor to ceiling?

A design expert from Hammonds explains, 'In general the majority of installations are floor to ceiling. However, when you have a period property where ceilings are high, with decorative ceiling coving and picture rails, the wardrobes would better enhance the room if they didn’t cover over these architectural designs.'

How deep should fitted wardrobes be?

'The minimum internal wardrobe depth for hanging clothes is 55cm this seems to be the industry standard across the board,' Hammonds explains. Choosing a manufacturer who designs it's own fitted furniture, allows them to manufacture any depth of wardrobe to suit the customer needs.'

Can you paint fitted wardrobes?

Having fitted wardrobes installed is a big investment, so you want to get it right. Due to the expense you may choose to play it safe with the finish, and opt for a neutral. But if later down the line you wish to add a splash of colour, that's no problem. That is, provided you use the correct materials.

Use a specialist primer such as Zinsser to ensure the paint adheres to whatever the surface is, from stripped pine to hardwood and even laminated wood. Once prepped you can use the furniture paint of choice, which is specifically made for the purpose.

Bedroom with grey bedding, fitted wardrobe and open fireplace with blue/black surround

(Image credit: Future PLC / Chris Snook)

Do fitted wardrobes cause damp?

Damp can be a problem, if the wardrobes are fitted to an outside wall. Due to the nature of a wardrobe having doors, the air can become trapped against the coldness outside.

Many bespoke fitted wardrobes will be made without a back panel to help reduce this problem. Ensure you have good ventilation or splash out on a best dehumidifier if you're concerned about damp becoming a problem.

An expert at Hammonds explains, ‘Fitted wardrobes don’t cause damp. Damp is a result of poor ventilation and occurs in older properties rather than more recent, modern constructed dwellings. Damp is a product of solid wall construction properties where natural ventilated areas have long since been hidden or blocked off. Modern properties have double glazed windows, wall vents & floorboards covered over. '

Can you remove fitted wardrobes?

Fitted wardrobes can be removed if you so desire, and replaced by more modern designs. Walls will simply need to be repaired and redecorated to the same finish as the remaining walls. In theory, fitted wardrobes can be dismantled and removed to relocate, say you're moving house, but it's not ideal due to the bespoke nature of the designs.

Fitted wardrobes not only offer an abundance of space for clothes, accessories and miscellaneous items with no real home, but they're also a simple way of adding personality into your bedroom so that it feels like a true reflection of you. 


Jacky Parker is a freelance interiors & lifestyle journalist, specialising in modern interiors, design and eco living. She has written for Future’s interior magazines and websites including Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home for over fifteen years, both as a freelance contributor and inhouse, with stints as Acting Digital Editor, Livingetc and Acting Style Content Editor, Country Homes & Interiors. Her work also features in national and international publications including Sunday Times Style, Telegraph Stella, The Guardian, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and more. With years of experience in the industry Jacky is privy to the insider view and the go-to places for interior inspiration and design-savvy décor.

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