Elly Leavitt

Published on September 7, 2020

Maybe your closet is looking a little sad, or maybe you’ve decided that this is the year you finally do something with that awkward empty nook in the corner of your bedroom. Where going the custom route could set you back hundreds of dollars, there exists a smarter solution—and it’s hiding out at IKEA. Have you heard about the Pax system

Chances are you’ve seen it—you just might not realize it. The modular organization piece is incredibly easy to personalize, making it a favorite among bloggers and decor aficionados. It comes in dozens of silhouettes, ranging from tall and narrow to fully built out with shelves. Everything is finished in white (literally the perfect blank canvas), and thanks to its low price, it fits most budgets. 

All you need to get started on your dream wardrobe is a plan; that’s where we come in. Here are seven of the most genius ways we’ve seen the Pax system reimagined: 

The Storage Saver

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Photography by Jenny Komenda

DIY expert Jenny Komenda has one secret when it comes to transforming her Pax system: more IKEA products. After successfully painting the wardrobe to match the rest of her room (she used Zinsser’s shellac-based primer to combat the Pax’s slick, paint-resistant surface), she added a few inches of trim to elevate the frame. Then she added IKEA shelves and drawers to the inside to create a dream organization system, all with just one trip to the store.

The Extra Elevation

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Courtesy of Lauren Chorpening Day

If you’re low on space, elevate your Pax frame with a wood base to store bulkier items (like a suitcase) underneath. Just measure the base to match your specific measurements and…voilà! Everything has a rightful, and stylish, place.

The Nursery Storage

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Photography by Nat from The Palm Co. | Design by Hemma Interiors

This designer created the brightest backdrop for her daughter’s “workspace”: a floor-to-ceiling Pax frame that’s ideal for housing art supplies and homework. The only thing she added to mix up the Shaker-style front is some simple leather pulls—it’s a small touch but makes the storage feel way more custom. 

The Mirrored Wall

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Photography by Phillip Van Nostrand

If you’ve got a smaller bedroom, go for some visual trickery. Swapping out the doors for mirrors creates one large reflective surface that adds depth to the room (and makes those outfit checks exponentially easier). 

The Statement Piece

teal ikea pax dresserPin It
Photography by Karl Anderson

If you’re in a pinch and want a DIY that’s less of a lift, head to Superfront: The Stockholm-based brand has ready-made cabinet fronts for a number of IKEA furniture items, and the Pax options come with a textured pattern. There’s nothing pared back about this saturated teal dresser, and that’s fine by us.

The Tight Squeeze

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Courtesy of Designsixtynine

For anyone dealing with a tricky room layout—for example, slanted ceilings—look to this DIY for inspiration. This blogger custom-cut their Pax (get the how-to here), then painted it the same deep gray as the walls for a monochrome look. 

The Walk-In Dream

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Photography by Erin Kestenbaum

If you’re not afraid to spend a little more time (and have some crafting skills that go beyond beginner status), take inspiration from this bold blue closet. It requires some elbow grease—okay, a lot of elbow grease—but once it’s built, you’ll have bragging rights forever. Bonus points for the contrasting striped wallpaper on the ceiling