DIY Customised Wardrobe

I am delighted to have had so much interest in the customised bedroom wardrobe showcased in my last post: Bedroom Transformation, and as it was so simple to construct I thought I would share with you how we did it. If you missed the post, we converted a useless old cupboard in the bedroom into a fully customised, bespoke wardrobe.

Here is the before + after:


You can apply the method for constructing the shelving to any awkward corner or cupboard in your home.  We constructed it over a single weekend, so it was very speedy as well as looking great.  It was also relatively cheap, at an overall cost of around £100.

You will need: Sheet of hardwood or other superior quality plywood, feature colour paint, hanging rail, 18 x 38mm softwood battens, screws and ‘no more nails’ type glue (all available in B&Q or similar outlet).

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Step 1: Paint the cupboard

There are some great colours out there to paint the inside of your cupboard and as it will be hidden most of the time you can be quite daring.

We chose a colour called ‘Proud Peacock’ from Dulux’s Feature Wall range which is a lovely rich teal colour that perfectly compliments the  ‘pavilion grey’ paint from farrow and ball used on the bedroom walls. It is also co-incidentally very close to the recently crowned ‘world’s favourite colour:’ Marrs green.

Step 2. Plan your shelving arrangement 

Our cupboard was too narrow for a traditional horizontal hanging rail so we bought a pull out rail and measured a 500 x 1400mm hanging space. Above this we allowed two shelves for bedding and two below for shoes. The rest of the space was divided equally into smaller shelves for clothes. 

The shelf spacing and hanging zone can be adjusted to suit your storage particular requirements.  We don’t hang a lot of clothes, so for us this small hanging zone is perfect as it allows us to have lots of really useful shelves.

Once you have the sizes worked out to suit your storage requirements screw softwood battens to the back and sides of the cupboard to support the underside of the shelves. Paint the battens the same colour as the cupboard interior to hide them. We stopped our side battens 150mm from the front of the cupboard to give the impression the plywood shelves are floating.

Step 3. Prepare the shelves 

We bought hardwood plywood from B&Q as they offer a brilliant free cutting service. We asked them to cut the sheet into strips of ply the width of the shelves. To allow for greater accuracy we used a jig saw to cut the shelves to the correct length ourselves.

Once the shelves are cut to size use a sanding block to get all the edges smooth. We also used Danish oil to bring out the plywood grain, reduce dust and increase the longevity. Once dry, we glued and screwed the shelves into the pre-fixed battens. 

Step 4. Finishing touches

To finish the shelves we fitted the pull out hanging rail and bought a motion sensor LED light that comes on when you open the cupboard. To ensure the cupboard doesn’t get damp and our clothes stay fresh we keep a sponge dehumidifier in the bottom of the cupboard to remove any excess moisture. 

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I hope this has inspired your to start your own building project – good luck and let me know how it goes!

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