Tarva Chest of 3 Drawers into wardrobe

14.  Finished wardrobes
15. Finished Wardrobe 2

Materials: Ranarp Lights, Stuva Betsad Doors, Tarva Chest of 3 Drawers

We have a small bedroom in 1880’s terrace house. We were fed up with getting in each other’s way in the mornings and wanted both drawer space and hanging space on each side of the room. A wardrobe with drawers at the bottom seemed a good solution but we couldn’t find anything that offered this at the right size and price. Therefore, we thought would have a go at creating what we wanted with our first Ikea hack.

The TARVA Chest of 3 drawers was the correct width for the space we had but we really wanted something more traditional looking (like HEREFOSS but smaller) so the first stage was to modify the drawers to suit.

1. Tarva Chest of 3 drawers
Photo: IKEA.com

1) Using a circular saw with the parallel guide set to around 15mm we cut a strip off the bottom of the top two drawers. It was important not to cut too much off as the drawer bottom is partially supported by a grove in the rear of the drawer front.

2) This leaves a square edge to the drawer front which does not match so a power sander was used to add a bevel by carefully sanding along the edge holding the sander at 45°

2. New bevel to bottom of drawer

3) New notched cross pieces were cut to fit between the drawers and project slightly past on either side to allow clearance for the drawers to open and shut.

3. Notched cross piece

4) These were fitted by screwing through the side of the unit into the cross piece. The screw holes were countersunk to allow the screw to be flush.

4. Cross piece fixed with countersunc screw

5) A piece of staff bead profile is attached to the projecting cross pieces with more countersunk screws to frame the sides of the unit.

5. Staff bead fixed into ends of cross pieces

6) The legs were cut down (using a mitre saw with stop fitted to ensure they are all square and the same length) to bring the bottom of the drawer unit to top of skirting level.

6. Legs cut down to match height of skirting

7) The drawers now look a bit more traditional.

7. Drawer modification complete

8) With the drawer unit in position, we constructed a frame for the hanging part of the wardrobe using square section timber. – Note the second set of verticals on the front to take the doors and the horizontals near the bottom to take the flap and allow the bottom member to be cut for the alarm clock.

8. Hanging section frame added

9) The frame was securely fixed back to the wall in several places with metal angles.

10) A hanging rail was added as well as several hooks on the top back timber for long dresses which may be hung so that the fall behind the drawers.

9. Rail and Hooks

11) The STUVA BETSAD doors (picked up from the bargain bin section last time we were at Ikea) were fitted with adjustable cabinet hinges.

10.  Doors added

12) The wardrobe was now ready for the tongue and groove cladding. A thin layer of ply behind the lower section gives support to the cladding where the drawers do not meet the wall.

13) The cut out for the alarm clock and access flap allow the top of the drawer unit to work as a bedside table also.

11.  Side Cladding

14) Double layer cladding was added to the front with staff beading at the corners to make a similar depth to the doors. Cornice at the top and re-used skirting at the bottom hide any gaps and tie the piece into the room.

12.  Front cladding, skirting and cornice

15) Apiece of ribbon makes a soft handle for the side flap which may be hooked onto the knob above to hold it open. An offcut from the drawer fronts is used to extend the line of the drawer top.

13. Drawer top extended
15) A few coats of paint and addition of the RANARP lights finish the wardrobes and now we can get ready in peace!

13. Drawer top extended
14.  Finished wardrobes

Jules Yap