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Built in wardrobe design choices


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Established Member
19 Nov 2015
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Oxford, UK
Other half has decided that we need more storage space (and she's probably right), so the decision has been taken to put wall to ceiling wardrobes in along the far side of our bedroom wall, which is 3.5m wide, and 2.4m high.

My plan is to use Ikea Pax cabinets, two 100cm wide cabinets on the side, two 750cm cabinets in the centre. Normally I like to make everything myself, but I see this as an occasion where an off the peg solution will save a lot of time and not cost much more.

Then, in front of these cabinets, I'll put in a four sided frame, scribed to the walls and ceiling, that will accomodate 4 sliding doors on two tracks. This is where I step and and make things. There are a few things I can't decide and would be interested to hear opinions on.

1. Should I build a small base to raise the cabinet bottoms above the skirting level (170mm or so), allowing me to continue skirting all the way around the room, or is it 'ok' for that side of the room to have no skirting?
2. The sliding doors/panels... I've not made my mind up on look/construction. One "modern/trendy" option would be simply to use nice plywood panels, perhaps birch, or some other light wood veneer. Obviously this would be nice and easy for me... The other option I'm considering is plain frame-panel doors, but 2.4mx1m is a lot larger than I've ever made before. I guess I would be looking at two intermediate rails and one intermediate stile. Are there generally accepted design guidelines for the sizing and spacing of these, from an aesthetic point of view? Structurally I'm not concered, these are just sliding panels that will not be hung, and do not need to be especially stout. I would have thought ~20mm poplar would be ok for the frame?
3. The frame - the bottom and top rails of the frame need to be 3.5m long. This is a lot longer than the sort of wood I normally work with. Would people generally work with one 3.5mm peice, or make it up out of 2 or more lengths?