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30 Genius DIY IKEA Pax Closet Makeover Hack Ideas

The best closet makeovers using the IKEA PAX wardrobe system with hacks to make it look custom and solutions for creating the most functional storage.

If you want the look and function of a custom closet without the custom closet price tag, these IKEA hacks are definitely for you.

Four years ago, we made our own DIY IKEA closet system out of BILLY bookcases in our primary bedroom, and we still consider it one of our best projects to date. When you have a small closet and too much stuff, there are so many IKEA products to utilize as much space as possible. 

30 Genius DIY IKEA Pax Closet Hack Ideas | A round-up of the best closet makeovers using the IKEA Pax system with hacks to make it look custom and solutions for creating the most functional closet.

Why IKEA Closets Are Worth It

We big time heart IKEA. We’ve never worked with them in any sponsored capacity. It’s just one of those budget-friendly sources DIYers have come to know and love over the years. 

You can customize their products however you want without breaking the bank. The IKEA PAX wardrobes system is one of the highest rated in the land for closets because it offers TONS of flexibility with interior organizers, pull-out trays, and clever storage solutions.

The total cost of our very small walk-in closet pair was less than $500!

built in closet made from bookshelves with wireless lights

30 Inspiring IKEA Pax Closet Ideas

Just in case you’re in closet organizing mode (or dream to be one day), this post is full of helpful inspiration to make your dream closet a reality.

Once you rip out the builder grade wire shelving, you will be amazed what solid shelves, drawers, and dedicated organizers can do to make your closet as functional as possible. 

1. His and Hers IKEA PAX Closets

his and hers IKEA PAX Closets

Source: The DIY Playbook

This his and her closet utilizes PAX units to use every inch of extra space.

2. Simple Wall Decor in a Closet Dressing Room

IKEA PAX Closet with full length mirror and dressing stool

Source: Chris Loves Julia

Even though IKEA’s PAX system on its own looks very simple, the ottoman, mirror, art, and light fixture in this master closet create a more custom look.

3. Hanging Bars

IKEA Closet with hanging bars

Source: Place of My Taste

Rather than connecting closet rods between shelves, this utilizes the closet wall for the hanging rod. 

4. Wallpaper Focal Wall in a Closet

IKEA PAX Closet with rug and wallpaper focal wall

Source: The Happy Housie

To add some personality to a closet space, consider hanging some peel and stick wallpaper on an accent wall.

5. Clear Drawer Fronts

small reach in closet with clear drawer fronts

Source: The Happy Housie

This reach in closet gets a little help from clear drawer fronts to see clothing more easily and save time.

6. Pull Out Pants Bar

Closet with pull out pants bar and shoe storage

Source: What the Fab

Clothes rails that slide out keep jeans and dress pants easily accessible. To make extra room with space is tight, opt for a multi-use hanger too.

7. Top Shelf Accessories

IKEA PAX Closet with pink accessories niche

Source: The Pink Millennial 

Utilize vertical space by storing less frequently used bags and purses on the top shelf with more frequently used clothing at eye level. 

8. Minimalist Approach

Minimalist closet with built in wardrobes

Source: Life by Lee

A tiny closet can feel cluttered with too much color and pattern. This simple wardrobe system uses just white paint to create a Container Store closet look for less.

9. Streamline Walk-In Wardrobes with Doors

IKEA Closet with drawers and floor length mirror

Source: Young House Love

Closed storage is the perfect way to make the inside of a closet look clean and simple. 

10. Statement Ceiling

blue green IKEA PAX Closet with striped ceiling

Source: Erin Kestenbaum

If you love to fill your home with color and pattern, make the closet of your dreams to match! Consider paintable wallpaper for texture or skip the wallpaper and brush stripes on the ceiling using painters tape instead. 

11. Glass Front Wardrobe Doors

Closet with glass front doors shoe shelves and hamper

Source: Crazy Wonderful

Dupe the luxury style of California Closets with glass front IKEA wardrobe doors.

12. Convert a Spare Room

IKEA PAX Closet with herringbone wood floors and encasement

Source: Fashiion Carpet

If you have an extra bedroom or home office you don’t use often, converting it to a large size walk-in closet could be the perfect solution.

13. Combine a Home Office and Closet

neutral IKEA PAX Closet with shag rug and office desk

Source: Styled Snapshots

If you have limited closet space and still need to use a dedicated space as a home office, combining the two can be a game changer. (Bonus points: Being surrounded by fabric with clothes hanging around the perimeter of the room improves sound quality for Zoom calls. Many podcasters record audio in their closets for its great sound absorption.)

14. Extra Drawers for Accessories

IKEA PAX Closet with clear drawer fronts and dividers for accessories

Source: Money Can Buy Lipstick

Add extra storage in IKEA PAX deep frames using drawers with dividers and inserts to separate small accessories like clutches and sunglasses. 

15. Leave Enough Space for Heels

built in IKEA closet system with clear shelves for shoes

Source: My Hilltop

Plan for different heights of shoes, especially boots and heels, when installing shoe shelves. IKEA’s PAX planner is great at simplifying the entire process.

16. Bookcase for Shoe Storage

IKEA bookshelf used as a shoe rack

Source: Jena Green

If you have a large collection of shoes, dedicate entire closet units for a shoe rack. Stagger shoes so one faces outward and one faces inward to provide a little extra room on a narrow shelf. 

17. Use Black for Drama

black built in bedroom closet

Source: Housewolf

Break free from the typical white closet unit and opt for IKEA’s black option for a dramatic modern look in your new closet instead. 

18. LED Lighting

IKEA PAX closet shelving and drawers with motion sensor lights

Source: Dana K.M. Interior

Make items on shelves and in IKEA PAX drawers easy to see with warm white LED light strips. You can even set them on motion sensors so the front of the units light up each time you open the closet door. 

19. Set Up a Mini Living Room

pink sofa in an IKEA custom closet

Source: Brandy Bourbon

The best way to utilize a small space in the middle of a large closet is to install a seating area or storage island. For an extra practical solution, install a washer and dryer so you can completely skip the trips to the laundry room. 

20. Full Length Mirror

full length mirror in a master closet with IKEA shelves and drawers

Source: Driven By Decor

If you have a long, narrow type of closet, take advantage of the back wall by hanging a full length mirror. Treat that closet like your own personal runway!

21. Remove Closet Doors

doors removed from a reach in closet

Source: Abby Murphy Photo

For a small reach-in closet, skip the doors all together so that all of your clothes storage is as accessible as possible. 

22. Shelving Units for a Baby’s Closet

built in baby closet made from shelving units

Source: The Littlest 3

If wide wardrobe units won’t work in a skinny, shallow nursery closet, install shelving units instead. Keep shelves adjustable so you can move around fabric bins of toys as the little one grows up.

23. Use the Side of the Closet

nursery wardrobe system with drawers

Source: Lavender Julep

Save some of your closet makeover budget by utilizing the sides of the closet for attaching closet rods and shelves to a middle IKEA wardrobe unit. 

24. Light Fixture With Personality

flower light fixture in a simple white closet

Source: Thrifty Decor Chick

Add some personality to a simple closet with an interesting light fixture. 

25. Paint Shelving a Different Color

IKEA PAX closet painted sage green

Source: Frills and Drills

Customize your own closet even further by painting wardrobe units a different color that flows with the color scheme in the rest of your house. 

Related: How to Paint Laminate IKEA Furniture

26. Closet Rug

modern traditional master closet with mirror stand and vanity

Source: Chris Loves Julia

Warm up hardwood floors and make a walk-in closet feel cozy by adding an area rug. Make a vintage rug for some extra charm. 

27. Ottoman for Dressing

all white built in closet system with ottoman bench

Source: Lifestyle by Anna Elizabeth

Place an ottoman or bench in your walk-in closet as a place to put on shoes or set out your outfit for the next day. Choose a lift-top ottoman for even more storage space.

28. Unique Hardware on Closet Drawers

built in drawers in a closet painted green

Source: Hey Jerry Home

Inject a closet with extra personality by adding unique knobs and pulls on wardrobe doors and drawer fronts. 

29. Trim With Character

Black IKEA PAX wardrobes with doors and vanity in a primary en suite

Source: Jenna Sue Design

Add extra charm to the base and crown of wardrobe units with intricate moulding. Small details like trim are one of the easiest ways to personalize IKEA closet hacks. The addition of a vanity in front of a window for good light and a mirror added to cabinet doors makes this space beautiful and functional. 

30. Organize Office Supplies With Pull-Out Baskets

IKEA closet in a home office for craft supply storage

Source: Hydrangea Treehouse

This home office closet is brilliant storing craft and office supplies. Different sizes of slide-out bins provide extra storage options. 

IKEA Storage Hack Ideas

If you need extra storage on a budget in other parts of your home, these are some ideas to make it happen with more IKEA hacks in a pantry, home office, or living room.

More DIY Closet Ideas

All of these IKEA closet ideas are SO good! I think I drooled a little bit.

Have you ever done a massive wardrobe closet overhaul? Or anything with the IKEA Pax system? Do you have any other helpful tips?
Leave any and all in the comments below because we’ll take ALL of the advice over here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does IKEA have a closet design service?

Yes! You can book a free PAX wardrobe planning appointment here. You can use their PAX planner online here as well.

Can I paint an IKEA PAX system?

Absolutely! See this post about how to paint IKEA furniture as well as their PAX system.
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20 Inspiring IKEA Pax Closet Makeovers | A round-up of the best closet makeovers using the IKEA Pax system with hacks to make it look custom and solutions for creating the most functional closet.
20 Inspiring IKEA Pax Closet Makeovers | A round-up of the best closet makeovers using the IKEA Pax system with hacks to make it look custom and solutions for creating the most functional closet.

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15 Comments

  1. I need to do the same with my master closet. I’m just now starting to do the research on all the closet systems. What material is the PAX system made of? Can’t wait to see your final product!!

  2. dresses?? dress pants??? jackets/blazers?? you certainly must have another closet you store clothes in??!! and bobbie…I like that idea! It does seem like with that small door, it will still be hard to reach in and get to stuff?? I do see where the shoe rack is taking up 1/2 the space though….hmmm….this will be interesting…lol

    1. Nope! This is the end all be all of our closet situation. All of our clothes are in our closets or in our dressers. We try to purge our clothes a lot and stick to owning as minimal of an amount as we can. But there is definitely still more we could get rid of.

  3. You lose so much functionality to the existing framing and doors (pretty though they are). Why not rip out what is there and put free standing Pax there with baseboards and crown molding? You could even paint them and do the mirrored doors again.

    1. That’s a good idea, but then ripping out the closets reduces the market value of the house if we want to sell it one day.

  4. comparing these fabulous closets to mys, I ,would be very happy to own either one of these closet. I wish I could keep my closet looking this good. I guess I need to start clearing cloths out! Tanks for sharing.