November 20, 2007 8:02 AM   Subscribe

Has anyone bought closets from IKEA?

I have been planning on buying a set of these PAX closets from IKEA. I recently knocked down my existing closets and have all my clothes hanging from a rope out in the hall, so I need storage sooner than later.

- Look nice
- Fancier stuff (drawers, nice doors) than I could build myself.
- I can get this done in an upcoming weekend rather than an extended DIY project in the middle of my apartment for a month. (The recently completed closet demolition was one of those).

- I rent now and think I might move in a year or two. The new place might have not be appropriate for these freestanding closets.
- IKEA furniture doesn't transport well, if at all.

What should I do, AskMeFi'ers?

Also, per my initial question, I'm interested in anyone's personal experience w/ these type of closets. I looked online for reviews and didn't really find anything.

Thanks for your time-
posted by cgs to Home & Garden (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have had a lot of issues with IKEA furniture. Though I haven't tried the closets you're asking about, I've used a dresser, desk, cabinets, china cabinet, bookshelves, and some other things. Many times, pieces are missing when I try to put them together. They're all cheap quality and several of them have poor fits; i.e. the cabinet doors don't close tightly, some drawers are slightly crooked, etc. IKEA furniture looks nice, and most of it is very reasonably priced, but a lot of their pieces are poorly manufactured.
posted by HotPatatta at 8:14 AM on November 20, 2007

I have an Ikea wardrobe (that I don't see on the site you linked, so they must have discontinued it) comprised of a black metal frame with tie-on cloth sides. The shelves are also metal and lift easily off the frame when disassembling. Maybe a little girlier than what you're after, but it sets up in a trice, is as solid as it needs to be, and travels well. I've moved house with it three times. FWIW I also have other, non-Ikea wardrobes, including an antique walnut one, and they're always a pain to move because they can't be taken apart and being mostly hollow, are relatively delicate.

In my experience it's the material the wardrobe's made of, rather than the manufacturer, that determines whether it will transport without damage. You might want to choose something in solid wood.
posted by methylsalicylate at 8:17 AM on November 20, 2007

I have a wall of four of the PAX closets in one of our spare rooms (our house doesn't have much closet space, I have a lot of clothing). I like them, and most of my complaints would be based on the way I designed the interiors versus anything else.

I've got one narrow closet for dresses & blazers, with one top shelf and a shoe rack at the bottom. Works fine. I've got a wider two door unit for slacks & skirts, again with a top shelf and a double shoe rack on the bottom. Works well, except with the depth of the top shelf, my short self often has a hard time reaching what has migrated to the back. And a second narrow closet full of shelves for folded sweaters, and again, a shoe rack. Again, my complaint is that the cabinet is often too deep, and since I can fold two rows of sweaters per shelf, I often have to dig around to find what I'm looking for. If I were to do it again, I'd do one of those drawers that pull out.

They're weighty - we have ours on a load bearing wall. But my husband has out and out told me that when we sell the house, they're staying behind. Also, it frustrates me that they're so heavy when I spring clean, they can't be moved. Also on the cleaning and depth issue, it can be tough to dust all the way to the back of the top.

If I were to do it again, I'd do the same thing, just different interiors. And what with it being Ikea, it's not like I've spent a fortune and will be sad if I have to leave them behind.
posted by librarianamy at 8:36 AM on November 20, 2007

i put together a handful of those pax cabinets for my ex-girlfriend this summer. let's just say i'm glad that she's an ex now, so i don't have to be the one to move them. they're heavy, they're even more of a pain to move around once you put door on them, and the construction isn't very solid for the size of the cabinet. definitely screw them into the wall.
posted by noloveforned at 8:41 AM on November 20, 2007

I have three pax closets. Two are on either side of a window with a window seat I made and the other by itself in my office.

They are lovely, they do what they are supposed to. However, they are not nearly as "free standing" as you think. You either need to weight the bottoms or bolt them into the wall for them to be safe. This may just be me, but I am very fond of being absolutely safe.

I would absolutely not move them if I moved. I guess you could, but seeing as mine are bolted into the wall, it makes them officially fixtures. Having a closet bolted in rather than free standing turns a room into a bedroom rather than just a room for real estate purposes.
posted by stormygrey at 8:45 AM on November 20, 2007

I have two pax wardrobes (the kind with 2 doors). They hold a lot and they look great. Mine are not anchored to a wall, and I have not had any issues with them being unsteady, but they also have a lot of stuff inside. (One is a closet, with two rods, the other is mostly shelving with drawers and baskets and stuff.)

However, they are extremely heavy and I wouldn't buy them if I knew that I was going to move by myself or if I lived in a walk-up. I inherited these wardrobes from the previous tenant, who had tried to take them apart but could not. When I move, I will probably leave them for the next tenant.
posted by hooray at 9:13 AM on November 20, 2007

I have two PAX closets and my major complaint is the layout I decided on and because they're so goddamn heavy I'm more or less stuck with that layout until I move or get a sledgehammer. I bolted one into the wall - which was a huge mistake since the wall is plaster covering brick. Awesome.

You get what you pay for when you get IKEA furniture. Just don't treat it like crap, don't slam the doors, don't think you can open and close the drawers fifty million times a day and you should be able to use it for years. Just treat it with a little care and it won't fall apart.
posted by banannafish at 9:15 AM on November 20, 2007

We put in a set of three Hopen closets. They're a permanent install.

Before you do the deed, check the height of the piece against your ceiling height -- we have only about 2 inches clearance; it makes a difference in how you assemble them.
posted by omnidrew at 9:17 AM on November 20, 2007

I have a set of these wardrobes in our bedroom, while my wife uses the built-in closets. Personally, I love them-- they're very customizable with all the various drawer/shelf options, and I can fit all of my clothes in a smaller space than when I had a closet + dresser/bureau. That said, it does take up a lot of space, but our bedroom is big enough that it worked out.

We also moved recently from an apartment to a townhouse, and the PAX wardrobes made the move just fine-- the caveat being we completely disassembled them for the move. This seems to be the best way to get Ikea stuff to transport well, and means you'll be best served by saving the assembly instructions and tools for that eventuality. Either file them away all in one place if you have several Ikea items, or just save 'em in a big ziplok bag in the bottom drawer.
posted by mboszko at 9:20 AM on November 20, 2007

We have the PAX too and I agree with all of the above.
posted by k8t at 9:22 AM on November 20, 2007

We love our Pax closets and they are a great use of space, particularly if you design the insides well. They are freestanding for us and we have been dreading moving them since we installed them.

My favorite inside feature is the rolling drawer. We have many of them and they work very well. Another great inside feature is a shallow drawer with compartments for jewelry or socks -- very functional.
posted by bunnie at 9:37 AM on November 20, 2007

Pax user here also. We have a small walk-in closet that just had cheap builder grade wire racks in it. We ripped those out and installed Pax (the open version) on either side, one for me and one for her.

We are not particularly good at working together on building stuff like this, but this was simple and we actually did it as a team (yay go team!). Anyway, it looks good, holds a ton of shit and is rock-solid. Go for it.
posted by worker_bee at 12:00 PM on November 20, 2007

and it's so fucking versatile. fed up with the configuration? just pull out the shelves. drawers, trays etc. and move them around.
posted by worker_bee at 12:15 PM on November 20, 2007

While I don’t have any direct experience with Pax (although a cruciform would kick ass!) I do have similar Ikea wardrobe for my daughter. When you assemble it, some of the clips and brackets will have a little give to them, you can slide them to adjust. Make sure that you get all the screws in place, and you align everything, before you tighten everything up. This made a world of difference when we needed to adjust the fit of the doors and drawers. In this case, measure twice, tighten once.
posted by enobeet at 1:00 PM on November 20, 2007

Got an IKEA closet - not PAX mind but I love it. I live on the third floor in a walk up so yes, they will need to be taken apart for the move but the same goes for a lot of larger items of furniture....
posted by koahiatamadl at 2:04 PM on November 20, 2007

We have 2 walls of PAX including a corner unit. We love it. I don't remember if I screwed them to the wall or not, but since it's a "L" shape it's very stable.

It wasn't too hard to put together, actually kind of fun, but I don't know think it would disassemble or move well. I'm not saying you couldn't pull it off (pun kind of intended) but, as you've said, it's not really stuff that travels well.

Each of us have hanging clothes, some plain shelves, regular drawers, shoe racks, and a shelf with three big cream-colored nylon bins. My wife loves the shoe racks, but my shoes are a little big for it so I need to do some adjusting.

The setup looks great, holds lots of stuff, and keeps it organized.
posted by altcountryman at 2:18 PM on November 20, 2007

I bought two TASSA children's armoires and two TASSA children's dressers and stacked the former on the latter to create a free standing closet substitute. I picked the TASSA because it is real wood, but it is such a soft pine that I'm not sure it will hold up any better than pressboard. They look okay though.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:29 PM on November 20, 2007

I bought one ikea closet. I won't buy another. The doors, mostly.
posted by philfromhavelock at 7:03 PM on November 20, 2007

I had one of those in a previous apartment. It was great for what it was. When buying IKEA, you should always be aware of the pros/ cons:

Pros: cheap (price), relatively stylish, endlessly customizable
Cons: cheap (quality), hard to assemble

I think the right attitude to take towards IKEA furniture is that it's basically disposable. You can try to sell it on Craigslist to recoup some of your losses (I've had success with this), but basically look at the cost as a fee you paid for using the furniture for however long you used it.
posted by designmartini at 1:56 PM on November 21, 2007

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