“Victorian IKEA”

Sometimes, Victorians knew what they were doing. They were all about the latest and greatest, and wanted to be ahead of the times. And we all know that Victorian homes don’t have a lot of storage. We’ve been rectifying it in our house as we can, by adding built-ins and cabinetry that (hopefully) looks like it has always been there. My favorite is the wardrobe we built in the front bedroom that allows for a dresser to sit in between two storage towers.

We have another bedroom that is mostly done on the second floor that functions as a guest bedroom, and a pass-through to the second floor bath and the third floor stairwell.  It’s  a cheery,  delightful  little  room!

That picture is from when we first worked on it – we have some cute artwork in there now. Because of the room’s shape and size, there really isn’t a great place to build anything for storage – but this is the PERFECT room to add a wardrobe.

A knock-down wardrobe is really genius. I’ve jokingly called it “Victorian IKEA” for years, and have ALWAYS wanted a piece. They’re brilliant, because they lock together without lots of screws or tools, and can be moved so easily in several pieces. This is REALLY good for this bedroom space, because it allows us to get a huge and beautiful piece up and around the stairwell, and into the room with lots of curves and turns.

This spot in the bedroom was a place where we kept a bookshelf that we built for my first teaching job in Indiana. It’s big, bulky, and not well made. I think it was the first thing we built, and there are at least an entire hardware store’s worth of nails in it because WE JUST DIDN’T KNOW BETTER. So really – I take that back. Compared to what we know now? It’s not super well made. But it was a learning piece, and we learned a lot, and it has lasted for 20 years. So you know what? I’m proud of it! The dimensions were perfect for this spot, and it became a catch-all of nonsense. But I always kept dimensions on me, in case the perfect something popped up.

And, oh, did it ever! When Madison Street Salvage posted this piece, I was elated. It’s perfect. I changed in my head “please be a knockdown, please be a knockdown” as I read the description, even though I was pretty convinced it was perfect enough that I might hire movers if it wasn’t.

Here it is! Ha!

Isn’t it a beauty?

Here’s a timelapse – from emptying the bookshelves, to deconstructing the bookshelves, and building the new wardrobe!

“What’s that hole in the wall? Is there plumbing back there?”

Yup. Sure is. When we moved into the house, this shag-carpeted room was plumbed for laundry, and this wall was open.

You can kind of see the access panel outline on the fabulous wallpaper. We have chosen not to enclose it – for now – because we haven’t finalized the plans for the third floor, and this hole gives us a direct shot for plumbing and electrical. So it makes sense to leave it as an access for a bit.

The only negative with the wardrobe is that I was hoping to have a piece that had a place for hanging clothes for guests, but I think I’ll add a lovely hook or bar in the room to accommodate a couple of hangars if needed. I thought about modifying the interior, but I REALLY don’t want to.

I LOVE the details.

Eastlake furniture has some of the best details.

Messy bed, dog toys on the ground – we’re keeping it real over here. BUT LOOK AT THAT WARDROBE!

And since it’s almost Christmas, here it is all decked out for the Holidays!

Merry Christmas! 

I hope you and yours have a wonderful Holiday Season! I’m hoping 2022 brings many more projects, and time to do them. I know we got a lot done this year – but it feels like we’ve slowed down, and I want to speed back up. We shall see what the year brings!


  1. I have never heard of “knock down” furniture. Great thing to know when trying to fill a space and bring it up the narrow spaces. Thanks for the post and yes, it is fabulous.

  2. I’m not usually a fan of Victorian furniture (just not my style), but this is amazing! (I also absolutely LOVE the rug in there… where did you get it!?)

  3. I have heard of this type of furniture. It makes me wonder if an armoire that we have is a “knock down” piece. It’s a beautiful piece, so lucky that you found it!

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