Closet Conundrum

Seriously, the dilemmas I’ve been having about wardrobe placement have made me hate myself a little – all the clichés regarding “first world problems” and “knowing your privilege” have come to the fore in my quest for the biggest bed and wardrobe possible.

It all started because I had to tell the electrician how many sockets I wanted in each room – as you generally have a socket either side of the bed I started planning where all the furniture will go.

So to set the scene. There are two double bedrooms and a single (see floorplan) , the largest bedroom with the blocked up fireplace, will be the “master” (i.e. my room) and the other two will be spares. My aunt and uncle kindly gave me all the furniture from their London flat which they sold earlier this year. This included four single beds, which were far from cheap (e.g. over £1000 for a mattress) – I’d like to use this furniture where possible.

In the smallest bedroom will be the bed I got for £4, as a small double it fits perfectly.

In the second bedroom I will have two single beds pushed together or apart according to the needs of whoever is staying (I think with a decent joining device and a mattress topper pushed together beds are fine) – I might put a small wardrobe or chest of drawers in here as well.

In the “master” is where all the difficulties arose. I had planned to use two single beds, a chest of drawers as a dressing area in the alcove and a 2.5m wide wardrobe (I have 3m in my room at present so this would actually be a downgrade) – I was a bit concerned about whether two single beds would feel a bit cramped but I thought it’d probably be ok. The room seems big enough. Hmm, turns out this is an illusion created by never seeing it when it containing any furniture – these are the actual (rounded up) measurements.

master measurements

So when I tried to draw it out on the floor to decide where to best place the sockets I quickly realised it wasn’t going to work (I’ve also switched the way the door opens as the other way was silly).  I’m calling this Option 1.

Master Option 1

It’s partly because I didn’t realise wardrobes are as wide as they are – I used the measurements of IKEA Pax and the option with the sliding door (as this would have to be) is 66cm wide – for some reason I thought they’d be about 50cm. Obviously the gap between the wardrobe and the bed is ridiculous, the bedside table is 60cm wide which I don’t think is unreasonable – the radiator also sticks out 15cm so if the gap on the window side was any narrower you couldn’t really get past. So that pretty much ruled out the single beds.

Next I tried a regular 4ft 6in double – this is Option 2.

master 2

Still not enough room on the wardrobe side for a 60cm bedside table – the window side is still cramped. It looks ok on paper but remember I mentioned, ‘drawing’ these on the floor – I bought some masking tape and I planned to do it that way but then I rediscovered all that 80s 12in LPs – perfect for marking out furniture with imperial measurements! This is how this option looked (ignore the crosses – that was another idea) – oh and that’s a 50cm wide not 60cm bedside table:


I’m also not sure how many people have a 4ft 6in double anymore, as this room is to be the “master” I don’t really want to come up with a layout which will prevent anyone from having a larger bed in the future. So I reckon a 5ft double (king) should be the minimum, which unfortunately is also 3in longer (6.5ft).

Option number 3 – Wardrobes on either side of the bed – there is about 75cm to 80cm of space on each side (skirting board and bed frame dependant).

master 3

Lack of bedside tables will be an issue, but as I’m getting the wiring done I can get wall mounted lights. In the furniture showroom they have full over the bed built ins with narrow wardrobes and nightstand combinations but this would probably reduce the wardrobe size to 50cm each side and given that they were talking in the region of £2500 there’s not a chance I’d do that for 100cm of wardrobe – besides, I hate built in bedrooms. I considered a shelf over the bed but figured it would only be a matter of time before I had a glass of water on my head in the night. So I reckoned my best bet was 75cm Pax wardrobes from Ikea (which they don’t make doors for) and I’d make the doors so it left the bottom bit open and I’d have an “reach in” bedside cabinet. Would it be like sleeping between two fridges though? There’s got to be a better option yet.

So on to Option 4 – I decide maybe I should think outside the box a bit, here’s a bed with the headboard against the chimney breast.

master 4

The chimney breast is only wide enough for a regular 4ft 6in double so there is that disadvantage, there’s 64cm at the end of the bed which I think is ok. There is no option other than an overhead shelf (or possible a narrow shelf on the side of the chimney breast) bedside table wise and I just find it really weird in relation to the door.  I’m loving the huge wardrobe though….

Bored yet? Reliving this is boring me!

Option 5 – bed on the same wall as the door

master 5

To be honest, bed along the door wall is probably the second option which went through my head but as there isn’t really any room for a wardrobe on the side wall, I dismissed it.

Option 6 – bed on the same wall as the door – wardrobe in the alcove AND along the chimney breast

master 7

You might have been wondering why I’d not considered putting the wardrobe in the alcove, there were a couple of reasons for this 1) the alcove is only 96-98cm wide and I wanted a larger wardrobe than that, 2) the depth of the alcove is only 36cm so a wardrobe would have to come out further than the chimney breast and I thought it would look weird.

Ikea do “slimline” Pax wardrobes – they are only 38cm deep – I’d not considered them for any of the other options (like Option 2) because the clothes have to hang face on and I imagine it would be a bit of a pain to get to stuff at the back.  In this plan I’m intending to use two shallow wardrobes and put one in front of the existing alcove with no back on it – so I do get some side hanging space.  In the wardrobe in front of the chimney it would just be the shallow hanging but as you can hang side by side there is 76cm of hanging compared to 100cm in a full depth pax.  So overall I’ll have more hanging space than in Option 3.

I know I could still have the bed along the side wall with this option and there would be more circulation space but it make the positioning of a dressing table difficult and there is something about the bed facing the window which I like.

There are a few disadvantages with this option:

  1. Only IKEA does the shallow wardrobes and they don’t deliver to the Isle of Man, I can’t go fetch them myself as they won’t fit in my car.  There are companies which do collections so that looks like it will be my only option.
  2. I really want the tall ones to make all the available use of the space and so the difference in depth is not noticeable, but as the ceilings are 243cm high and the tall wardrobes are 236cm there isn’t enough space to build them on the floor and then stand them up, so they’ll have to be constructed upright, which doesn’t sound easy.
  3. The ceiling also slopes down on the window wall, it starts sloping about 20cm away from the wall and comes down about 20cm – so if I get the full height wardrobes they will need hacking.
  4. The back panel of the wardrobe keeps it square but I’m not planning on having a back panel in the alcove – so there will need to be some sort of hack there too.
  5. IKEA wardrobes are notorious for being ridiculously heavy, so even if I get them delivered getting them upstairs could be fun.

So that’s where I got to – the electrician is starting on the 11th August – so I definitely can’t change my mind after that!

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