An experiment with flatpack…

Having thrown out Mr Shiny Shoes and his unimaginative ideas, I was left in need of a solution for my dressing room.

I suppose I could follow my usual route of dump the clothes on the end of the bed or over the back of the nearest available chair, and scatter the shoes all over the house, but that sort of defeats the object of having a dressing room really. At that point I came to the conclusion that it was going to have to be a DIY job, which really only left me two options:

  1. I could either get creative with some flatpack, or
  2. I would have to build something completely from scratch.

Since I take great delight in complicating everything I do in the barn, I decided to try a combination of both.

Using bog-standard flatpack furniture was not an option – for the same reason I’d let Mr Shiny Shoes in to have a go at designing something; the shape of the room wouldn’t accommodate standard size wardrobes and it would have to be something bespoke. In addition to that, I didn’t really want just a room full of cupboards. I was aiming more for an open ‘designer showroom’ type look (not that I’ve spent that much time in designer showrooms to know what that look really is!)

My brilliant solution? Build myself a bespoke wood frame, then sneak off to IKEA and by a load of their fixtures and fittings to kit it out. Simple!

So I worked out a design for my frame and did my usual trawling of the internet to find a timber merchant  who would supply the timber to build it. I came across a company that promised precision-machine-cut-to-size oak – perfect for what I wanted. So I drew up my design, worked out my requirements and sent my order in.

IMG_0388Unfortunately their machine wasn’t feeling very precise on the day it cut my order. Or perhaps they had lost their tape measure.

All the wood in the picture is apparently precision machine cut to 50mm……


Equally unhelpfully they decided to scribble all over the wood in thick black marker pen – which meant that I spent several hours with a sander, trying to get the wood in a decent state to use.

I should probably have complained, but given the issues I’d had with actually getting it delivered, I really wasn’t in the mood to send it all back and start again, so I decided I would have to make do with what I had. I just won’t be using that particular timber merchant again…

IMG_0394Having cleaned and sanded it all down, I also decided that I could make it all look a whole lot more professional if I could add some kind of decorative effect to the wood.

So I went out a bought myself a new toy – because every girl needs a router….

(And before anybody asks, no, I’d never used a router before – but how hard could it be?)

Right. That’s it, all set to build a dressing room!

I started by routing a number oak posts and fixing them into the floor. I have to admit, it was with a fair degree of nervousness that I put the first one in place – because fixing these posts in place required me to drill through my lovely solid oak floor (Ouch!)

Hey ho – no going back once a couple of dozen posts were drilled into the floor. So then I added all the beams between the posts so I could fix the internal fixtures such as drawer runners or shelves.

After that, even the hell of an IKEA flatpack holds no fears – apart from the usual incomprehensibility of the instructions, and the worry of why you always have two screws left over that you’re sure you should have used somewhere….

And you have to admit, the routing does add a certain professional finishing touch to any DIY carpentry:

The real beauty of designing your own wardrobe arrangements is that you can make sure it is built to meet exactly your own requirements. Because let’s face it, every girl needs a home for at least 50 pairs of shoes…..


All there is left to do now is figure out what kind of work surface I’m going to install.

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