Concealing an unattractive chimney breast
Mr & Mrs Brittain already had poor quality fitted wardrobes in alcoves but they wanted an updated style to fit in with their interior design scheme with a professional finish
Paul and Mo Brittain moved into their 1930s three-bedroom semi-detached home in the middle of Cambridge in 1981. When they moved into the property, the master bedroom already had fitted wardrobes. But they were cheap and poor quality with a seriously sub-standard finish of painted-over melamine.
They were also flat, drab slab doors which had no profile to them at all; a style which simply wasn’t in keeping with the rest of the Brittain’s interior design scheme. There was – and is – a chimney breast in the bedroom, and the original fitted wardrobes were in the alcoves either side. The chimney breast itself had also been panelled off. Mr & Mrs Brittain also had a pine chest of drawers made to sit in front of the chimney, so it fitted the width of the space perfectly. However it was not fitted to the wall – so small items like jewellery often fell down the back of the drawers.
Paul wanted double hanging for his shirts, jackets and trousers, whilst Mo wanted long hanging as well as double hanging. The Sharps designer suggested creating the new wardrobes at the same depth as the existing ones. However, instead of the awkward ‘front-to-back’ rails, he recommended fitting shelving at the back of both wardrobes for rarely-used bits and pieces, with all the hanging space moved to the front to make it more accessible.
The Ascot range matched an existing cupboard which used to house the boiler in the corner of the bedroom. This cupboard now simply provides extra storage, but the couple still wanted their new bedroom furniture to seamlessly blend in with it.
The storage in our current wardrobes is a nightmare to use, as they're quite deep. They had two rails in each that ran from the front to the back. If you wanted to reach clothes, you almost had to climb in.
Mr and Mrs Brittain
How we did it
As well as choosing the Ascot range in white – which brightens and freshens the master bedroom – the Brittains added a perfectly complementary finishing touch, choosing Classique white knobs for the doors.
The original decorative picture rail has also been left in to keep some of the room’s authentic 30s character. Paul and Mo didn’t particularly mind whether the picture rail was cut out in order to accommodate the new wardrobes, or left there, but their Sharps fitter took the time and trouble to scribe the wardrobes around it and leave these original features intact… which, on reflection, they were delighted stayed.