1920s Bedroom Wardrobe Advice - Alcove and Chimney Breast

9 months ago

Hi all! Looking for some advice on our bedroom wardrobes.

In the throes of a renovation (currently at first fix, plastering to start next week) and trying to decide what to do about wardrobes in our master bedroom.

We’ve decided to place bed opposite chimney breast to create a feeling of space when you walk in.

My original thought was to have fitted wardrobes built in the alcoves only either side of the chimney breast, which would need to project further than the face of the chimney as it’s fairly shallow. There is no original fireplace, so would possibly have to source one for decorative purposes only?

However, it’s been suggested to instead have the wardrobes run right across the chimney breast, to avoid having the awkward jutting out of the wardrobes either side. Obviously the storage in front of the breast would only be narrow, so for small items.

I can see the merit of this, but worried we would start to lose the soul of the room by covering the chimney breast.

Any wisdom / experience much appreciated :-)

P.s. no up to date photos of bedroom, but have attached one of a few weeks ago. Can get more tonight if helpful

Comments (9)

  • PRO
    Xenas Interiors
    9 months ago

    HI Natalie,

    I think it will depend how much wardrobe space you actually want. By going over the fireplace you will be able to have all that extra storage - it may be shallow, but you can put shelves in there for shoes etc.

    If you were to leave the chimney bread there, i would defiantly get a decorative fireplace to go there. if you are worried about the difference in depth, you can always build out the chimney breast to be more in line with wardrobe units.


    - Xenas Interiors

  • PRO
    9 months ago

    I had the same set up in my house in Brighton. We built shaker style wardrobes in the alcoves with a space above for baskets for out of season clothes etc. The chimney breast wall we had a huge wooden mirror which looked really good. Sorry no photo it was years ago.

  • Daisy England
    9 months ago

    I was going to suggest what you have already suggested. Go all the way across making some shallow.

  • Priscilla
    9 months ago

    We had the same situation and we built  across. The fitter brought the doors slightly forward so the storage is wider and this gave us a bigger storage space in front of the alcove . pictures attached to help you visualise. 4th picture show the storage size in the alcove. Hope this helps.

  • Holly C.
    9 months ago

    As others have said, it is a personal decision. There are lots of photos of fireplaces ‘recessed’ between alcoves, and it can look very smart, especially with a big mirror. (I found this one on Houzz.)

    For me, I’d find a big wall of wardrobes would be too much homogeneous-wardrobe-door and I’d go for the fireplace every time. However, be aware that fitting a decorative fireplace can be a hassle if the hole was bricked up rather than boarded over. You’d also need to source a fireplace you like that suits the period of the house, which is harder for 1920s houses than Edwardian or Victorian ones.

    … but you’ll gain a real feature and add so much character so definitely do it if you feel drawn to it!

  • siobhanmcgee90
    9 months ago

    Agree, a wall of wardrobes would be overpowering and a fireplace, even a fake one, would be a real feature.

  • Kim Brechin
    9 months ago

    We have a similar situation. Though I would prefer the two separate wardrobes visually, practically the full run of wardrobes across the wall gives more,much needed, storage.

  • PRO
    Organise Space
    7 months ago

    In the alcoves OR go right over the chimney breast with a uniform "wall of doors" you will have a reduce depth in front of the chimney breast but this would be ideas for shoe storage.

    Alternatively go for an open "walk-in wardrobe" which is our specialisation.

    Building "boxes" (wardrobes) into the alcove will spoil the lines of the room but this is almost unavoidable.

    Master Bedroom Finchley · More Info

    Here are some "arts and crafts" styled wardrobes we did a few years back... 

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