8 things you need to know about fitted wardrobes

Maximise every square inch of space in your bedroom with floor-to-ceiling fitted wardrobes.

Desperately seeking more storage space in your bedroom? You’re not alone. Freestanding wardrobes across the UK are bursting with clothes, shoes, accessories and whatever else we can cram in and still close the doors.

A fitted wardrobe could solve your problem by creating more space – three times more, in fact. That’s because freestanding wardrobes generally stop several feet away from the ceiling, whereas fitted furniture fills to the height of the room.

Plus, fitted wardrobes can be tailored to fit your space. Even if a bedroom is an awkward shape, a fitted wardrobe will squeeze out every inch of space, turning even the tightest corner into a workable and useful home for belongings.

Now for the bad news. Unlike a freestanding wardrobe, you can’t take a fitted wardrobe with you when you move house. However, there is a silver lining, says Matthew Nagel, director at Neatsmith. “Your investment is always recouped when you sell your house because of the premium that buyers put on storage, especially in London homes.”

Read on to learn more about fitted wardrobes.

The Salcombe furniture collection is new from Daval and inspired by the British coastline. Seen here in the calm and contemporary tone of dove grey, prices start from £3,600.

Shop around

There is an excellent choice of companies offering fitted wardrobes at a variety of price points. These range from mass-market retailers, such as Homebase and B&Q, to fitted-furniture specialists, such as Sharps and Daval.

If your budget allows, a bespoke furniture company will design and hand make your wardrobes from scratch to suit your space and style. It’s costly, but the benefit is that you won’t have to adapt your ideas to an off-the-shelf solution.

Irrespective of which option you choose, always ask friends and family for recommendations. Read online reviews too, and make sure you visit showrooms to see and feel the quality of the products. Go to at least three to narrow down your options, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about the products and services that companies offer.

Whether you opt for a bespoke furniture company or a local carpenter, ask to see a portfolio of their work. If you can, visit some of their previous projects. Use the opportunity to chat to the homeowner about the company, its service and how potential problems were handled.

This Team 7 wardrobe from Wharfside is completely customisable with plenty of interior solutions, including glass display drawers, shoe racks and trouser pull-outs. Prices start at £9,300; the arrangement pictured is from £30,000.

What’s on offer?

Different companies offer different services. If you want to keep things simple, choose one that will manage the work from concept to completion, and that will help with design and installation. This can avoid costly mistakes as well as stress.

Given that fitted wardrobes are a long-lasting solution, it is essential you choose a future-proofed option that you know will still suit your personal taste in years to come. “We would advise determining the colour palette of your room before you start adding different furniture elements,” advises Rachel Hutcheson of Sharps.

Textura from Crown Imperial is featured in light grey and white. Add a mirrored door to enhance the feeling of space and choose from more than 50 handle options. Crown Imperial bedroom furniture starts from around £350.

Doors can make difference

The style of door depends on the size and shape of the room – and, of course, personal preference. If you’re short on space then opt for a sliding or bi-fold wardrobe door so there’s no need to leave as much room for the wardrobe to open out into the living space.

Small bedrooms also benefit from mirrored doors that create the illusion of a larger room and provide a full-length mirror without taking up valuable floorspace.

The Inclinato by Italian manufacturer Novamobili can be tailored to fit even the most awkward of spaces. Available in a selection of colours and finishes, it is priced from £1,860, as shown. Available at Go Modern.

The timeless Shaker range from Sharps is available in white and cream. It is priced from £2,000, which includes design, delivery and installation, and a range of design accessories and finishing touches.

Get prepped

Before you start on your fitted wardrobe project, you’ll need to make some careful observations. First, determine what the ceiling height is at both ends of the room as well as the middle. This will reveal whether or not the wardrobe needs to accommodate a sagging ceiling.

Secondly, check the floor is level. “This is yet another ‘need-to-know’ piece of information as fitted furniture can now be designed to meet exact dimensions or variation in floor level,” says Simon Bodsworth, managing director at Daval. “When it comes to the surface material of the floor, such as carpet or a hard floor, then I would recommend your wardrobes be fitted onto a hard floor. When fitted on carpet, the wardrobe can drop over time as a result of the carpet settling and this will undoubtedly affect its once-flawless finish.”

Does the room include coving or skirting boards? If yes, then ensure you provide the dimensions of any fixed details that are protruding as this will alter how the back of your wardrobe is designed, so must be accommodated to make a truly flush, tailor-made finish.

And lastly, do any electrical plugs need moving before installation? “If moving an outlet is just not possible, then bespoke fitted furniture will provide a solution to conceal unsightly wires, cables or controls for integral lighting as well as maintain easy access. Just make sure you mention these requirements at time of concept,” continues Simon.

Gabriella by Betta Living is available in willow, taupe, cream and white. Prices start at £2258, based on a guide layout for a bedroom including two 500mm single wardrobes, two bedside cupboards, two single cupboards and a dressing table pelmet.

Anything else I should know?

“We generally advise that you do not decorate your room prior to fitting,” says Rachel. “However, as our wardrobes are fitted without backs and sides as standard, if you’re planning to redecorate the walls, then you may wish to do this before installation as these walls will be on show when the doors are open. In addition, we ask that customers remove all furniture from their bedroom prior to installation and if carpet is fitted, then to roll it back in the area where the new wardrobes will be situated.”

Frameless white glass Cloister doors with a walnut interior by Neatsmith priced £1,000. Cloister doors are made to measure and can be up to 2800 mm high and 1200mm wide.

Get organised on the inside

The inside of your wardrobe must be as beautiful as the outside. Make sure you choose a company that offers the right range of options for your specific storage needs.

“Whether you have an abundance of tailored suits or a passion for the occasional Jimmy Choo, then there is a variety of hidden-away or display options to suit you and your lifestyle,” says Simon.

“At Daval, we believe in creative functionality offering ‘his and her’ drawer fitments that provide useful compartments, hanging rails, shoe and trouser racks and specialist pull-out shelving to suit the individual,” he continues. “We also create custom-made accessory space for belts, shoes, jewellery and any other prized possessions, along with media devices and integral illumination, whether that is task or mood lighting.”

The Ghost wardrobe by Jesse comes in mirrored glass, bronzed mirrored glass or lacquered glass as well as a choice of nine lacquered glass colours. Prices start from £2,210 at Go Modern.