The evolution of our bespoke wardrobes

Time to change your wardrobes?

Bespoke Joinery Hertfordshire

Oak Ledged and Braced Wardrobes with traditional T-Hinges


As with all things we make at Waterhall Joinery, the process and materials used for making wardrobes have changed considerably since we first started. We have gradually evolved our design and there are certain materials we no longer use and styles we won’t make.

When first starting out its tempting to cover all types of wardrobes using all types of materials. This can be for many reasons, maximizing potential work, learning about different materials and working out which of them work for you. But over time, you begin to eliminate and narrow things down until you have a design and manufacturing process using materials, ironmongery and a finishing that has a level of quality and uniqueness that is your own.



Fitted bedroom furniture, Joiners Hertfordshire, Waterhall Joinery Ltd

White ledged and Braced Wardrobes in a cottage style with drawers


The wardrobes can be broken down into certain constituent parts, the carcass, drawers, frame and doors, ironmongery and finishing.


The carcass is generally made from a composite material such MDF, chipboard or Melamine due to their inherent structural stability and the huge cost of making carcasses from jointed solid timber.

Having used melamine in the past we have now moved to real wood veneered MDF, usually oak. We found the Melamine cold, plasticky, nasty to work with and it is associated with more commercially produced wardrobes. The Oak veneered MDF when oiled has a lovely warmth and tactility. It also creates a nice contrast with a painted frame and doors.


Bespoke Wardrobes

An oak veneered interior to a white Shaker Style wardrobes


Our drawers are solid timber with dove tailed joints and we always leave these in a natural oiled finish. Sometimes in oak, and very often in Ash or Maple they add another level of quality to the interior of the wardrobes. Although we can fit drawers in the traditional way, the vast majority are fitted on soft close runners – in this instance I believe the modern drawer runners are a vast improvement on the motion of a traditional drawer so we happily embrace the evolution of the drawer runner.

Bespoke Fitted Wardrobes

Sloping wardrobes fitted into the attic room

When it come to the doors and frames we now only fit doors “in frame” on traditional hinges, at one point we moved over to using the  bulky  kitchen cabinet style hinges, made for mass produced cabinetry they seemed to take the end product down a level and they are notorious for needing adjustment at intervals over time.

The doors and frame are made from solid timber, oak or walnut for a natural finish or Ash or Maple if the wardrobe is to be painted. We had used pine in the past, but it can suffer from more movement than hardwoods and if the wardrobes are dinked the Ash or Maple will not dent or mark.

Wardrobes hertfordshire

Glazed Shaker Style Wardrobe

Finally when it comes to finishing of the wardrobes , we encourage a brushed hand painted finish or an oiled finish in the case of a natural timber  such as Oak. Having gone through a period of spray finishing our furniture to increase the speed of the process, we found the finish to be a little fake. Spending many days hand making lovely hardwood wardrobes and then spraying it in a layer of coloured acrylic seemed to negate the bespoke nature of the entire process.

The wardrobes are still evolving, still being modified but the changes are much slower than they once were.

If you have space which due to it’s size or shape, is difficult to use, we can help you make maximise your space with a bespoke wardrobe.  We’d be happy to discuss designs with you to capture your own personal designed space and to transform your room.  Please do not hesitate to contact us further.  For further wardrobe designs, please see our gallery.

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