IKEA PAX Wardrobe Hacks and Ideas

concealed PAX wardrobes in the landing space

In the two homes I've lived in, I've used the IKEA PAX wardrobe for my closet space. They store a ton and have lasted me for well over a decade. My personal review for the PAX wardrobe is 5 stars! (IKEA website: 4.5 stars). In my books, the IKEA PAX system is excellent. Even though it may be particleboard, it's worth every penny. When combined with its many interior fittings, the PAX closet is a clothes storage powerhouse for every kind of attire and accessories. Besides that, it is so hackable! Skip the Guide and jump right into the latest IKEA PAX wardrobe hacks. 

walk in closet ikea pax hack

What I love is how versatile and customizable the PAX wardrobe is. It's a storage solution that caters to every individual's needs and preferences. With options for size, color, style, sliding or hinged doors, and interior closet organizers, the PAX system ensures that clothes storage is not only practical but stylish as well.

Another good thing: IKEA provides a 10-year limited warranty on the PAX Wardrobe, covering their frames, doors, hinges,  shelf inserts, and sliding doors and sliding door mechanisms. For the complete coverage details, check out the warranty details on the IKEA website.

However, from my chat with friends, I often find them stumped on how to start planning their wardrobe, as the IKEA PAX  involves many individual parts. I assure them with a little patience, their dream closet is a few clicks away. And it really is! Let me share a few tips on PAX wardrobe planning.

How to plan your IKEA PAX Wardrobe 

1. Use the IKEA Pax Planner

IKEA PAX planning tool

The first place to start is the IKEA PAX Planner. This online 3D tool is fairly intuitive. All you need to do is measure your space and input the dimensions. Then, drag and drop the different cabinet modules into the design area. At the end of the planning process and you have your complete wardrobe layout, hit the "Finalise" button and the Planner will give you a summary of items. You can then either order the items online or take this list to the nearest IKEA store. 

Before you get to that final steps, you need to make a few more design decisions.


2. Decide on the Design of your PAX Wardrobe

Height of room:

Measure the height from floor to ceiling. Then, decide on the height of the IKEA wardrobe. The PAX wardrobe frame is available in 2 heights:

  1. - 93 1/8" (236 cm)
  2. - 79 1/4" (201 cm)

Length of wall:

Then consider the length of the wall you want to place the PAX. Use the different frame widths to span the length you need. The PAX is available in 3 widths.

Pro Tip: You may not be able to use sliding doors with certain width combinations, eg. a combination of two frames measuring 19 5/8" (50 cm) and 29 1/2" (75 cm) will not fit the sliding door rail that spans either 59" or 78 3/8" (150 cm or 200 cm).

  1. - 39 3/8 (100 cm)
  2. - 19 5/8 (50 cm)
  3. - 29 1/2 (75 cm)


To continue the Pax Wardrobe round a bend, use the excellent PAX corner wardrobe option. The space in the corner wardrobe is slightly larger. It lets you maximize storage and is great for bulkier items. 


3. Choose Finish and Door Options

ikea pax doors

Once you have the basic modules settled, you can then move on to the fun bits of selecting the finishes for the cabinets like a white, grey or beige finish for your PAX frame. Next, focus on the doors. First, choose between sliding and hinged doors. 

When opting for hinged doors, ensure there's sufficient clearance in height (an extra 1/2 inch) and enough space in front of the wardrobe for the doors to open fully.

For the sliding doors, there are two versions. One option is an aluminum frame with individual slot-in panels. The other is a solid door. Both need the sliding door track installed at the top and bottom of the wardrobe frame to work.

When choosing sliding doors for a PAX wardrobe, it's important to allow for the required clearances in ceiling height (2 inches extra) and width.

Then, choose your handle and knob options to complement the PAX doors. Many choose to get handles and knobs from other sources for a more personalized look.

Leave the doors out if you're constructing a walk-in closet.  


4. Select KOMPLEMENT interior organizers 

komplement drawer organizer

The strength of the IKEA PAX wardrobe lies in its interior organizers. IKEA offers adjustable shelves, drawers, shoe racks, clothes rails, space dividers, and pull-out trays to help you organize your storage space exactly the way you want it. 

The IKEA PAX wardrobe system also offers specialized storage solutions for jewelry and accessories. Trays can be easily added to keep things organized.

Pro Tip: Due to the placement of the hinges, you won't be able to cannot install drawers at the lowest section of the frame. Use a pull-out mesh basket for this section instead. Mesh baskets provide excellent visibility, ventilation, and easy access to your belongings. 


Lighting Options

I like these strip lights with sensors. They light up automatically when you open the IKEA closet doors. No more fumbling in the dark to look for your #OOTD.

And just like that, your PAX wardrobe planning is done. But, if you want to take it to another level, you'll need to hack your IKEA PAX wardrobe.


IKEA PAX Wardrobe Hacks and Makeovers


1. Add personalized touches

ikea pax wardrobe hack

One of the key elements to enhancing an IKEA Pax wardrobe is adding personalized touches. For instance, painting the wardrobe to match your room's color scheme can instantly transform it into a custom-built piece. Additionally, consider adding unique handles or knobs to make the wardrobe stand out and reflect your personal style.


2. Install Crown Molding and Trim

victorian home pax closet

Make your IKEA PAX units look high-end by adding crown molding and trim, giving them the appearance of a built-in wardrobe. To achieve this home improvement hack, measure the closet's perimeter and then purchase the appropriate size and type of crown molding or trim. Attach the molding and trim using a combination of glue and nails, ensuring they are aligned correctly. Caulk the seams for a smooth finish.

Pro tip: When selecting your crown molding, make sure it matches or complements the existing trim and baseboard in your room for a seamless appearance.

3. DIY Custom doors

ikea pax with chevron doors

Hacking the PAX doors is also a surefire way to personalize the IKEA PAX closet system. Changing just this one thing often leaves people commenting, "What? This is IKEA?" 

4. Use PAX all around the house

hallway closet ikea hack

IKEA PAX wardrobe hacks are not limited to making IKEA PAX closets with a built-in look. The wardrobe units can be transformed and used all around the house such as in the entryway and guest room to hide a Murphy Bed.

Some of the most popular IKEA PAX hacks on IKEA Hackers are:

You can avoid potential issues such as sagging shelves or an unstable frame, with tips from this article on resolving common problems with the IKEA closet system. 

Read on for more inspiration and DIY ideas to create your ideal IKEA PAX wardrobe.


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