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Why Freestanding Wardrobes Can Be Just as Beautiful as Built-ins

Learn how to incorporate these bedroom essentials without overwhelming your space

Houzz UK Contributor. Freelance journalist and interiors obsessive, renovating a… More

It’s a common conundrum; do you opt for the clean lines and maximum storage potential of neat (but expensive) built-in cupboards or do you stick with the simple solution of a freestanding wardrobe? The latter has the benefit of flexibility – whether you’re switching rooms around or moving house – but it will never fit as much stuff as a wall-to-wall storage system designed to accommodate every clothing item you own. Freestanding wardrobes are sometimes seen as inferior due to poor placement or the wrong style being used in a scheme, but don’t be deterred! These excellent examples should help to win you over.

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Ease in an armoire
A classic French wardrobe is perfectly at home in this neutral bedroom with colourful accessories. Victorian houses can be tricky to furnish due to awkwardly sized fireside alcoves. Larger pieces such as wardrobes work best when they don’t look crowded, so avoid choosing one that only just fits – plumping, instead, for a slightly slimmer style.

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Do the double
Rather than one huge wardrobe, consider whether a matching pair would work just as well. This pretty pair provides a touch of timber in a calming, neutral bedroom. Two separate wardrobes offer extra flexibility for the future, as one can easily be relocated.

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Curate your clothing
If you’re sorted for folded storage but lack hanging space, go for a smaller wardrobe without drawers. This simple design sits quietly against textured wallpaper and vibrant accents. Interesting hardware, such as this circular plate, can really lift low-key pieces; try swapping out the handles on flat-pack furniture for a more individual look.

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Style it skinny
For rooms that are short on space, a slimline wardrobe can provide ample storage and improve access. This faux three-panel door is actually one piece, but the horizontal lines help to lesson its long and lean proportions. A blue-green paint with more depth than the wall colour provides just the right amount of contrast.

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A combination of drawers and hanging space makes economical use of the interior, removing the need for a separate chest of drawers. If your clothing collection is overflowing, but your storage options aren’t up to the challenge, consider a seasonal swap-over, where out-of-season items are packed in moth-proof bags and stashed under the bed or in the loft.

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Plan ahead
Treat children to a wardrobe they can grow into. This plain painted French style is just the thing to offset patterned wallpaper. Turned feet raise the base off the floor, which helps to create the illusion of more space in the room. Slimmer drawers in the base are a neat solution, allowing longer clothes to be hung without trailing.

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Ditch the depth
This compact piece is perfect for between the fireplace and the French doors as it doesn’t protrude into the room. If a cupboard is too shallow for clothes hangers, look into forward-facing pull-out rails. The unusual finish on this wardrobe adds a stylish touch to the room.

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Upcycle an old piece
Cosy cottage layouts and sizeable clothing collections don’t always go together. Luckily, spacious vintage-style wardrobes look perfectly at home in characterful schemes. Look out for second-hand pieces that you can paint or distress to fit in with the rest of your décor. Just remember to measure potential buys and your entry routes to ensure that any newly discovered gems fit into the house and the rooms you want them in!

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Pick your paint
Although storage solutions are often designed to fade into the background, why not take the opposite tack? Here, dark walls and a matching ceiling make the room’s boundaries recede, allowing for an array of eye-popping pink and orange furniture. A fuchsia wardrobe isn’t for everyone, but if bright colours are your jam the large surface area presented may prove too potent a temptation.

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Buy bespoke
If you’re considering commissioning some custom-made furniture, ask your joiner about freestanding (as well as built-in) options. A stand-alone wardrobe might make sense if you’d like to be able to take your pricey purchase with you when you move house. Although trickier to build, freestanding pieces in a traditional style add classic elegance.

What clever tips on clothes storage can you share? Let us know in the Comments section.
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