Big Wardrobe in a Tiny House





Introduction: Big Wardrobe in a Tiny House

About: DIY maniac from South-Estonia! I love to inspire and to be inspired.

Living in a tiny flat really means that you have to organize storage room. Cabinets, shelves, drawers, pantries - all that while still looking classy. This is a nice challenge for anyone who loves designing his/her own home.

When me and my girlfriend finished gymnasium we had no idea where we were going to live while studying in university. One option would have been campus but my mother had a crazy idea to buy a small flat that was in a terrible condition. As I love to work with my hands I accepted the offer without any questions.

One moment we found ourselves in a situation where we had to build our own home basically from scratch without any previous house building knowledge. And all that in under four months.

Looking back at it I would say that it was a pretty wild ride.

The flat that we bought was only 18 m2 (194 ft2) with 3.1 meter (10 feet) high ceilings. For two people it was definitely a really small space and required really good planning.

Because of the height of the flat we decided to rise the bed up 2 meters under which would fit a small wardrobe with plenty of storage room. This was also a perfect spot to hide all the electrical and water works. Next to it we built shower room.

Step 1: How the Structure Came to Be

As they say : one picture is worth a thousand words.

At first I did not realise the amount of work that had to be done, but it all worked out in the end.

The little odd shape in the corner was a weird architectural wonder. Under this thing is a staircase. I did not see any actual use for this so hiding it in wardrobe seemed perfect.

I made plans in sketchup and started building.

Most of the construction was done with 2X4-s.

I welded metal support posts so that the boards under the bed would stand up to all the (rhythmical) forces coming from above ;)

As you can see I was quite proud of myself.

Step 2: Storage

So the bed is high up. We needed to get up there somehow.

For this I built a simple ladder out of 2X4-s. When not in use the ladder fits between left door and the computer table. To make climbing up easier I added 2X2 to the bed and L- brackets on the ladder. This way the ladder hooks to the bed and makes climbing up safer. Top three steps have slots in them so we could crab them more easily.

The doors are from a old house. We removed the thick white paint from them and what came out was pretty nice. We could have installed only single door but since they came in pair we decided to also install both of them. This also makes the room look bigger.

Funny side story - because using two doors would have been quite pointless I decided to shut the left one permanently. And since one could never go through it I made it into a gateway to Narnia (the wonderland in closet). But unfortunately I did not think it trough really well. In the end I had to flip the doors and the little sign ended up upside-down on the bottom of the right door. Now we can tell our friends that when they want to enter narnia they need to go there walking on their hands.

Inside the wardrobe, as you can see, we have a rack for bigger bags, a neat corner for cleaning appliances and a shoe rack. I also built a tall cabinet with eight drawers and two shelves. I still have to build one larger drawer and two triangular drawers. The big white thing there is the water heater under which is water filter and pipes. Behind the hanging clothes is the distribution board.

I still need to install better lighting in there. In the future we will add paintings to the ceiling of the wardrobe.

Step 3: Future Plans

Good storage space is really important in such a small room. I think for us it turned out pretty well.

In the future we are going to add a second floor to our flat. The most difficult part in that is the paperwork on which I am working right now.

We will move our bed upstairs so the old bed will be for guest or a nice spot to read a book and drink tea.

All this would not be possible without help from my friends and family. Big thank you to all of them!

We hope that we have given you some ideas on how to design your own small living space.


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54 Discussions

great instructable. I would like to see more pics about the shower and kitchen, but what I am seeing looks phenomenal.

How much did the original flat cost and are there anything like HOA fees that you still have to pay monthly for building upkeep? (As someone that travels the world often, I like to know the various costs to live and thrive elsewhere in case I decide to make a change).

I still haven't been to the Baltic states yet, but high on the bucket list next to Magdeburg Bridge and castles of Dracula.

Have a great day!

Hey, here is a project that showcases our kitchen. Check it out!

Thanks. Toilet is in the shower room and kitchen is in the opposite corner from the wardrobe.

Well Done Dude! You took a flat that was a real shocker and made it a small home.

I like that you made a nest for the bed so no one can fall out of bed. It happens, I know from personal experience, and it hurts.

It would seem that your cat likes the built in robe as a hide out.

1 reply

Heh, thank you!

Yeah, falling out of the bed..... been there, done that :D . No way this could happen here!

Our cat really loves this wardrobe, especially the top shelf on the high cabinet.


2 years ago

Wow! Great!

I envy you for your high ceiling! I'd like to craft a similar kind of room to stuff things in... but mine hangs too low :(

1 reply

Amazing what you did with such a tiny space!

1 reply

2 years ago

Hello, I really like your project and would love to see the rest of the flat/apartment and what you have done with it. It would be my dream to live in a small space and completely renovate from start to finish.

Great work!

1 reply

Hi! Thanks for showing interest and support.

Well, I know I have nice pictures somewhere but at the moment I can not find them. You can see most of my flat in this instructable. The kitchen corner is presented in my extractor hood instructable . This leaves only one corner next to the door and there is a wood burning stove. I hope to find them pictures.

But if you like this then consider following me here on . I have many upcoming projects in my tiny flat ;)

Take care

Marvelous transformation of a really basic living space that needed much love and work to a beautiful and efficient abode! Bravo!

suggestion - extend your intended "upper floor" to where the first horizontal joint is on the floor (at least) then you can have extra space for wardrobes etc against the back wall. (in britian - often you find things called "rat runs" in loft rooms (not actually for rats of course) but its extra storage space for hobbies and things).. plus to save extra space, how about some sort of spiral staircase?

It is artistical, Looking at the previous condition and finished project, it is exceptional you are a creative thinking guy when nobody would have thought to stay in that place. Hats off to you friend, count my vote for you, all the way from India.Inspired me a lot.

Nice "Narnia" closet :)


2 years ago


well done , it just proves that "thinking inside the box" works as well. Lolz

Back in 1969 I did a similar project in a room that was basically a 14ft cube. My wife and our very young children lived in that cube whilst i studied my final year of mechanical engineering..

The room had kitchen, shower, lounge room with sofa , 2 double beds ,kids bed & a baby cot plus tv,music area (with head phones if required) double wardrobe, kitchen storage and under stair storage for kids toys & clothes. When we moved out we took it with us as the whole thing was made with "Dexion" tube frames.Some of which is now benches and storage units in my brothers garage

2 replies

Thank you! Looks like you had a really good/awesome design in your room. I personally couldn't imagine living with kids in such a tiny flat. Cheers!


yes it was "needs must as the devil drives" with a baby and a 4 year old it was quite safe . My study time was up before baby became a toddler and we moved to another continent, bit strange in a huge open plan house at first.

I must say there is very little that is new in the world but passing on knowledge/wisdom/ideas is the most important thing a human can do in life.

Well done for sharing