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One problem with the Brimnes three door wardrobe is the lack of drawers. The unit comes with only three widely separated shelves in the right storage area. The Alex 9 drawer unit fits – after some cuts. Both the Brimnes wardrobe and Alex 9-drawer are $129. There is a shorter Alex unit, but it is 27 1/2″ deep.

Expanding Brimnes Wardrobe with drawers

Photos: IKEA.com

The Brimnes storage area below the fixed shelf is 14 7/8″ wide, 18 3/4″ deep and 36 3/4″ high (29″ high between the door hardware). Alex is 14 1/8″ wide, 19″ deep and 45 5/8″ high. It is only available in white.

Alex 9-Drawer Unit

Photo: IKEA.com

Alex can be reduced in size to fit the entire area (unit will be off-center to ensure adequate space for the door hardware on the right) or centered (unit will sit between the door hardware). I centered the Alex unit.

Centered, the final unit will have four large drawers and one one small drawer. Full height will have four large and three small drawers.

Expanding Brimnes Wardrobe with drawers

How to upgrade Brimnes wardrobe with drawers:

Using a circular saw, cut 1/2″ off the width of the sides, top and bottom (so unit will be inset from the front of the storage area) and, measuring from the bottom, cut the side length to 35″ for full height (or 27″ for centered). To be safe, remove pre-installed slide hardware before cutting side length.

Install the bottom per IKEA instructions.

Screw the top to the sides. This ensures drawers will slide properly.

To center unit so it sits between door hardware, screw two 1/4″ plywood strips (I used 1′ w by 18″ h 1/4″ ply) on the outside (the “good” side) of each side. Space the filler towards the front and the back of the side. Use 1/2″ screws to attach to sides.

To use entire height, screw two pieces of 1/2″ ply (or two 1/4″ pieces together to the right side only. Use 3/4″ screws.

Remove door. Insert unit in wardrobe and screw unit to wardrobe uprights. If centered, use 1 1/4″ screws. If whole height, use 1″ screws on the left wardrobe upright and 1 1/2″ screws on the right upright.

Build and install the drawers per Ikea instructions.

Re-install door.

~ by Stephen C. Pittsburgh, PA

See more hacks on the IKEA BRIMNES range.