Doing the master closet has been on our house project to-do list since the beginning of this year. After comparing the Container Store Elfa system and other custom closet companies, we decided on the Ikea PAX system because we liked that you can achieve a “built in” look even at a lower price point!


Ikea has a super handy and easy to use PAX planner online where you can easily put in your closet or room dimensions and see what kind of configuration you want for your space.

After MANY different versions and lots of tweaks, we have settled on this design!

Tips for designing narrow closet ikea pax wardrobe, narrow closet 13 inch ikea closet, ikea closet design ideas, narrow closet ideas


In the future, I would love to have a large enough closet to use doors to create actual closed storage, BUT for this closet, using tons of DRAWERS was my solution. I wanted no-fuss solid drawers that hides away our messes, so that we seem more organized than we actually are.

I picked GLASS drawers for the top level of drawers to create a more airy and light feel compared to 5 stacked solid drawers. For the contents of these glass drawers, we’ll ensure that they look pretty and organized at all times 🙂

Tips for designing narrow closet ikea pax wardrobe, narrow closet 13 inch ikea closet, ikea closet design ideas, narrow closet ideas


  1. Keep it as open as possible

    Ikea offers two available depths – 22 7/8” and 13 3/4”

    Because our walk-in closet is long and narrow (130 in. long and 45 in. deep) we had to go with the 13” depth option.

    I separated out the hanging spaces to be on either ends to keep the middle portion as open as possible and to minimize visual clutter.

  2. Keep it light and bright!

    We chose the color option of WHITE to keep things crisp and clean. This also allows it to “blend in” with our white closet walls.

  3. Maximize vertical space

    Out of the two available heights (92 7/8″ and 79 1/4”) we chose the taller option since our ceilings are 9 ft tall, which still leaves a bit of room to store some luggage at the very top!

Tips for designing narrow closet ikea pax wardrobe, narrow closet 13 inch ikea closet, ikea closet design ideas, narrow closet ideas

The online PAX Planner converts your design into a product list that you can easily shop, but for some reason, when I clicked “add to cart” it didn’t work. So I manually put in the items, which didn’t take that long, but TBH I was pretty annoyed at the site.

Tips for designing narrow closet ikea pax wardrobe, narrow closet 13 inch ikea closet, ikea closet design ideas, narrow closet ideas
Part of our product list from the Ikea PAX planner


TOTAL PRICE: $1290 (excluding tax & delivery)

We opted to do delivery to save time/effort going to Ikea to pick up all the products. Plus, we’re pretty sure the PAX frames wouldn’t even fit in the car!

SALE: I was under the impression that Ikea did a PAX wardrobe sale once or twice a year, so I was monitoring for the sale and was waiting and waiting for it this whole year. FINALLY, they had a PAX Frame sale for 20% off (just the frames) but I guess that’s better than nothing!

Our closet is currently so disastrous and dysfunctional and we desperately need to get some storage solutions going!

Assembling the closet will be this weekend’s project and we’ll definitely let you know our thoughts on the Ikea PAX wardrobe!

Follow on IG @vivandtim.home for more home inspiration!

Comments (26)

  1. Tressie says:

    Hi, what are the overall dimensions of your closet?

  2. Tressie says:

    Hi, what are the overall dimensions of your closet?

  3. Elodie says:

    Can you show us a picture with the closet filled with your clothes?? thanks:)

  4. Alex says:

    We are thinking about using this system to build two closets in our master bedroom but have a 9ft ceiling and want to utilize the full height. Any suggestions on what to put above these units so it goes all the way to the top. Thank you in advance.

    • Viv & Tim says:

      We have 9 ft ceilings too and used the 93″ height units, so these blog photos would be a good reference for how your closet will turn out height-wise. We have found it’s the perfect height leftover above these units to store carry-on sized suitcases, duffel bags, and random boxes, so we didn’t have to add anything additional above necessarily, and just was able to utilize the space as extra miscellaneous storage. Hope this helps! 🙂

  5. LeRonda Perry says:

    Your closet turned out beautiful, thanks for sharing! I am in the process of designing a PAX system and I was wondering abound the 13” depth. Did you have to drill your own holes to accommodate the hanging rods or do they come pre-drilled? Thanks!

    • Viv & Tim says:

      Thank you! To my knowledge, the 13in isn’t designed to have the closet rods but we purchased different rods on amazon (link is on our closet reveal + tips blog post). We placed the closet rod a little farther back than where the pax holes are so that our clothes wouldn’t protrude out too far. Basically, you can just measure where your hangers would go and decide how far back you want it. You’ll have to drill new holes for the rod if you do it this way, but it’s worth it to gain some extra space, especially if you have a tight closet like us.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Soon to be hubby and I are just finishing up our master suite build and I am preparing to design the closet. It’s lovely and huge, but I must admit it all feels a bit daunting! I have been planning to use the pax system all this time, but do seem to be running into issues with the pax planner tool. Something that is probably super simple is becoming very frustrating! LOL I can’t seem to get the right dimensions for the closet!

    Anyways- to the point of my post! Love your blog and thank you so much for all of your great tips. I was really stressing about all of the empty holes I would have left in the wardrobe frame and I had not figured out how to take care of that yet- short of filling and painting the units. My closet is 196″ deep by 70″ wide…that’s a lot of holes to fill! So I am thrilled there are variera plugs I can use.

    • Viv & Tim says:

      you’re so welcome! I’m glad you found the tips helpful 🙂 The variera plugs were a lifesaver and I just happened to notice some displayed in a PAX wardrobe at the ikea store and found out it was actually a product sold in the kitchen department for kitchen cabinets, so it’s not super obvious they can be used for the PAX too! good luck with your closet it’s gonna be so worth the effort!

  7. peggy says:

    This was amazing! We designed our own PAX closet and I love looking at how others designed theirs.

    We went with the deeper frames and was curious – do you find that your clothes poke out at all using the 13″ deep frames?

    • Viv & Tim says:

      Hi Peggy! With the 13 in deep frames, clothes will poke out for sure. They come out about 5 inches for normal sized sweaters and more for larger jackets!

  8. CJ says:

    What time of year were you able to catch the sale on the frames? I see your blog was posted at the top of November but I’m not sure if thats around the time the order was placed.

    Beautiful job by the way!!

  9. Caitlin says:

    Hello! I love this layout & as I am working on putting together my own plan/design for my closet with the PAX system – I’ve read a few places that if us use hangers in the 13 3/4″ depth they will stick out of the this correct? or do the clothes fit fully inside the PAX system?


    • Viv & Tim says:

      Hi Caitlin! Yes for the 13″ depth the hanger will stick out. For ours, it’s around 5 inches that sticks out but it’s actually not as bad as I thought it would be! Hope this helps!

      • Jenilee says:

        I had this question too! Thank you for answering it! I’ve read a lot of IKEA PAX DIY posts and your 2 posts are so thorough and so helpful— easily the best I’ve read. Nice job and a great result!

  10. Barb Collinson says:

    Good evening- what frame sizes did you use? Or more particularly, if you used any of the 39” wide ones, with drawers, how are the drawers standing up to wear? Do they sag?


    • Viv & Tim says:

      Hi Barb! We used one 39" unit and the rest were 29". The 39" drawers are wearing well so far. We’ve only had them for a couple months but I don’t anticipate that they will sag in the future – it’s pretty well built!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.