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10 Best Ways to Update Old Fitted Wardrobes

Author Chigwell Building & Joinery

Date 02/09/20

Built-in wardrobes help us to maximise storage space, and since they are custom made for the specific room, they usually look great.

However over time your fitted wardrobe might start to look a bit old fashioned and dated.

If this is the case, you might wish to give it a more contemporary look without having to completely replace it for a new one.

Here are 10 great ideas on how you can spruce up your old fitted wardrobe.

Read on to find out more, or use a jump link below to skip to a desired chapter:

Table of Contents

  1. Add Mirrors to the Wardrobe Doors
  2. Add Decorative Trimmings or Panelling
  3. Painting
  4. Change the Handles
  5. Upgrade the Interior
  6. Sliding Doors
  7. Integrate a Bed into the Wardrobe
  8. Opt for an Open Facade
  9. Add Drapes or Curtains
  10. Go Up, Up, Up!
  11. Conclusion

Add Mirrors to the Wardrobe Doors

Your old wardrobe might be made from old fashioned laminate, melamine or chipboard.

With scratches and dents here and there, you might want to consider adding mirrors over the doors to conceal any damage or unsightly marks.

By doing so you will be able to hide these imperfections, while also giving a whole new look to your wardrobe.

It is not difficult or costly to have mirrors installed on your wardrobe doors.

Mirrored doors look modern and they also add more light to the room due to their ability to reflect light.

Add Decorative Trimmings or Panelling

There are several types of trimmings and timber mouldings you can find at hardware stores.

You will be able to choose from different styles, and in most cases they are really affordable too.

Simply adding some strips of moulding can literally change the whole look of your wardrobe doors.


If the surface material of your wardrobe allows, you might wish to paint it.

You can do this fairly easily yourself, and it is not costly either.

You can choose from various colours, and naturally you will be able to make your wardrobe look like new with a fresh coating of paint.

Make sure to choose suitable paint that is ideal for this project and use a good quality undercoat to ensure the paint binds correctly.

The paint should thus have good adhesive qualities and it should not chip easily.

Change the Handles

Door handles may seem like an insignificant detail on wardrobe doors, but in reality if you were to change them they can make a considerable difference to the wardrobe’s overall look.

Simply changing the door handles can renovate the wardrobe and you would not have spent much.

Nowadays there are a variety of door handles to choose from and you can choose door handles that can complement the soft furnishings or other elements in your bedroom.

Upgrade the Interior

Built-in wardrobes are intended to make the best use of the space available and to offer practicality according to one’s needs and preferences.

Over time you may need the wardrobe to serve different purposes.

For instance, instead of having all the interior space reserved for hanging clothes and garments, you may wish to have part of the wardrobe offer integrated shelving or perhaps pull out drawers.

Such changes would require a professional cabinet maker to be carried out, but you will definitely not be spending as much money as having to replace the entire wardrobe.

Sliding Doors

Sliding doors are commonly found on many modern and contemporary design wardrobes these days.

To renovate your old wardrobe you could replace the current doors with sliding doors.

These can literally make your old wardrobe look like new.

Custom made sliding doors can be made in different materials and colours, or you may wish to consider doors made with glass, which look very nice with sliding doors.

You could opt for clear glass, frosted glass or mirrors.

Moreover, sliding doors help to add more floor space to a room.

Integrate a Bed into the Wardrobe

A common option with modern bedrooms these days is to incorporate the bed within the wardrobe unit.

This can be done with some planning and as long as you have a carpenter or cabinet maker see to it.

Besides giving a whole new look to the wardrobe you will also be saving up some floor space. So this is an ideal option for small bedrooms.

You can be creative when it comes to the bed’s headboard too.

You could incorporate shelving within the headboard, or a compartment that closes or slides to store away those small items you are tempted to leave scattered across your bedroom!

Opt for an Open Facade

A less common option, but which looks really great especially if you have a large bedroom, is to opt for an open faceted wardrobe.

This basically requires you removing the wardrobe doors completely.

By adding more shelves and some drawers you would be revamping the wardrobe’s look.

Naturally one would want to be as organised as possible if this option is chosen.

Add Drapes or Curtains

Another option which many barely even think of or consider is to use drapes or curtains instead of traditional doors.

Covering up the wardrobe with modern fabric adds a soft touch to the room.

Obviously you would be complementing them with other curtains you have at the windows and any other soft furnishings in the room.

Go Up, Up, Up!

Old fashioned wardrobes rarely go all the way up to the ceiling.

On the other hand, modern wardrobes are designed to make the best use of the vertical space in a room.

So if your current wardrobe allows, you may wish to build an extra addition on the top section, so that you give it a new design, and also add more storage space capacity.


As you may see there are various ways in which you could give a completely new look to your old fitted wardrobe.

Some options may be more suitable to your wardrobe or bedroom than others.

Your space considerations and the usage requirements for your current lifestyle will also impact the decision that you make.

Regardless of the choice though, there are various ways to go about updating your old fitted wardrobe.

You could also use more than one of the above methods, such as painting the doors, changing the handles, and adding different compartments such as drawers or shelves in some parts.

Be creative and make the changes!