A brand new wardrobe is great motivation to declutter.
If your fitted wardrobes are full to the brim, a classic stand-alone design can gain you valuable extra storage space and add real character to the bedroom or guest room. If a freestanding wardrobe is your sole clothes storage, make sure it works well for you. Subdivisions that help you get organised might suit better than one large open space. Some wardrobes make it possible to buy additional shelving or drawers to tailor them to your needs.
If you are opting for self-assembly to keep costs low, remember heavy wardrobes can be unwieldy and often involve two people to construct successfully. Some retailers offer assembly by the driver as an added extra.
1. Cotswold Company Appleby Wide Double Wardrobe: £699, Cotswold Company
At 147cm, the Appleby wardrobe is wider than most on the list, with ample room for storage. The hanging space is all full-length, and the two bottom drawers are an added bonus. The wardrobe is designed for self-assembly but made in heavy oak – at least two people are required. The mirrored doors are handy and successfully break up the bulk of the large wardrobe.
2. Graham and Green Chantilly Armoire: £995, Graham and Green
Designed to exude French elegance, the Chantilly armoire has distressed paint that gives it the feel of an antique. Made in mango wood and MDF, the wardrobe has a wide single mirrored door that makes it look more sizeable than it is; the two drawers are generous too. Final touches add an air of glamour: brass handles, gold trims and a luxurious-feeling cut-glass doorknob.
3. De Eekhoorn Connect 2-door Wardrobe: £325, Cuckooland
The smart herringbone pattern on the doors of the Connect wardrobe gives a basic design some modern edge. The exterior is made of responsibly-sourced pine, and the interior carcass is black melamine. The standard version comes with a rail and single shelf, but there are options with further shelves (an extra £50) or two bottom drawers (also an extra £50).
4. Penthouse 2-door Wardrobe: £147.60, Very
This is a budget wardrobe with a wood grain finish that looks close to the real thing. Dark tones, panelled doors and gold details all speak of a luxury greater than the price. Just don’t get caught out by the self-assembly: aligning the doors is tricky and can make the wardrobe look cheap if done badly. Inside there’s a rail and shelf, while the one bottom drawer glides open easily.
5. Habitat Tatsuma Wardrobe: £495, Habitat
Habitat’s mid-range wardrobe has some nice features: a white lacquer finish, solid ash handles and two small drawers. Stacked to one side, the drawers split the interior space in two: one for long dresses and coats, and the other for shirts and trousers. Self-assembly is required but the wardrobe is fairly light and easy to handle. A rail is included but not a wide top shelf.
6. Heal’s Brunel Wardrobe: £949, Heal’s
From the popular Brunel furniture range, this wardrobe features a solid body in American oak with a blonde wood veneer. Variety of storage space is key, with different-sized drawers, although this does split an already-small wardrobe into full- and half-length. Angular legs and handles in powder-coated metal contrast well with more traditional recessed door panelling.
7. Hygena Bergen Mirrored Wardrobe: £329.99, Argos
The Bergen range from Hygena is brilliantly practical. It comes in small, medium and large sizes depending on your needs, you can put several side by side to fill a whole bedroom wall. The standard version comes with two rails and shelves; internal storage drawers can be bought separately. The doors slide easily on metal runners, and it comes with a two-year guarantee.
8. Maisons du Monde Bloom Closet: £999.90, Maisons du Monde
A painted grey finish keeps this solid closet looking fresh and light. Panel work on the doors and bottom drawer give it a traditional look. Inside the wardrobe is roomy, with one side as a full-length wardrobe and the other divided into four shelves that are ideal for storing linen. The shelves are detachable to arrange as you need.
9. Next Clarendon Wardrobe: £675, Next
This self-assembled wardrobe is made of solid oak with oak veneer, giving it a robust and traditional feel. The natural wood grain is the stand-out feature (enhanced with an oil finish), and all other details are left minimal. The drawer is full width although it appears divided into three, and there’s a rail inside. There’s a saving if you buy other pieces in the Clarendon range.
10. Marks and Spencer Hastings Sliding Wardrobe: £499, Marks and Spencer
This compact wardrobe is made for small spaces. It has a traditional form, but instead of doors that open outwards, space-saving sliding doors do the job. The wardrobe is made in sustainably-sourced wood and there’s a choice of three finishes: natural lacquer, painted grey or white. The driver will deliver and assemble the wardrobe, and take away any packaging too.
The Verdict: Wardrobes
The Appleby wardrobe from Cotswold Company really does what a standalone wardrobe is made to do. It’s characterful, has a solid feel and offers a generous amount of space for the price. The wide dimension and mirrored doors make it practical, and the detailing is traditional without being fusty. Top marks.
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