Elly Leavitt

Published on June 23, 2021

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. Going the custom route could set you back hundreds of dollars—but there’s a smarter solution hiding out at IKEA. Have you heard about the Pax system

Chances are you’ve seen it—you just might not know it by name. 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 nine of the most genius ways we’ve seen the Pax system reimagined.

The Alcove

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Photography by Farwa Moledina

Farwa Moledina knew she had to do something about her bedroom’s awkward nook and roofline. Enter two Pax systems and an angle cutter. Moledina trimmed the closet’s edge to mirror the sloped ceiling, before adding wood pieces cut to fill any gaps at the top. She finished it off with two coats of navy paint, a perfect match for the wainscoting you can see in the mirrored door’s reflection.

The Historic Hack

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Photography by Kevin Reid-Morris

When Sarah and Kevin Reid-Morris bought an 1880s Victorian house with no closet in the main bedroom, they turned to IKEA’s largest Pax systems. The pair purchased molding online, built a frame out of 2-by-4s, and added oversize gold handles to make the modern cabinets feel right at home in the storied space.

The Storage Saver

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Photography by Jenny Komenda

DIY expert Jenny Komenda has a secret when it comes to transforming her Pax: 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 furniture’s slick, paint-resistant surface), she added a few inches of trim to elevate the frame. Then she installed IKEA shelves and drawers 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

In this designer’s nursery, a floor-to-ceiling Pax is ideal for housing her daughter’s art supplies and homework. The only thing she brought in to mix up the Shaker-style front was a few simple leather pulls—it’s a small touch that makes the storage feel way more custom. 

The Mirrored Wall

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Photography by Phillip Van Nostrand

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

The Statement Piece

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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 many of 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 an attic space, look to this DIY for inspiration. This blogger custom-cut their Pax (get the how-to here) to fit the slanted ceilings (and frame the fireplace!), 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 are 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

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