DIY Shutter Door Wardrobe: India pied-à-terre Idea & Restoration Hardware Knock-Off

We visited the Jazz & Wine Fest at our local outdoor mall today, and window-shopped with cups of Red Mango frozen yogurt (pomegranate yogurt with toppings of kiwi, pineapple and granola – yum!). We almost didn’t stop in Restoration Hardware because of the overwhelming depressing-ness of the place. I’m not crazy about cotton candy colors, but please, 600 pages of Restoration Hardware’s gray and brown is heavy in more than just the weight of paper.

But I’m glad we popped in – this piece inspired an idea for wardrobes for the India pied-à-terre:

Restoration Hardware Shutter Door Cabinet with Cremone Bolts

It also comes with double doors:

Restoration Hardware Shutter Door Double Cabinet with Cremone Bolts

Many Indian houses and apartments, including our apartment in Chennai, do not have closets. Clothes are stored in wardrobes. Wardrobes with louvered doors like this could breathe. And the shutters also break up the hulking expanse of wood you could wind up with, lining a wall.

We’ve decided we’re going to purchase or DIY many things in the U.S. and ship them to Chennai for the India pied-à-terre. That way we’ll make faster progress furnishing the apartment the way we want. I haven’t made a final decision yet about wardrobe designs. But if we – or you! – wanted to DIY a look like this at a price lower than Restoration Hardware, here are some ideas:

This is perfect for an IKEA hack. Start with a wardrobe system like IKEA’s Pax and design a wardrobe without doors:

And of course, if you are handy, it’s basically a simple box and you can build it yourself. Add bars, shelves and drawers for clothing.

Now for the shutter doors. You have two options: large shutters usually made for windows, or louvered doors.

You may need to order shutters or louvered doors in a custom size to get a perfect fit with your wardrobe. There are a lot of companies you can find online that will make custom shutters and louvered doors. Or, if you build the wardrobe yourself, obviously you can design it to fit stock sizes of shutters or doors.

Here are examples of louver doors that look similar to the Restoration Hardware cabinet doors above, from the Combination Door Company:


Now to find those handles with the long bars. They are called cremone bolts. I warn, these are not a bargain. But the look has a lot of style and presence. Here’s a few styles …

An oil rubbed bronze cremone bolt at Hardware Hut:


A cremone bolt with a classic knob, available in several finishes at Van Dyke’s Restorers:


Here’s one with a handle from Signature Hardware:


For more styles, Google “cremone bolt,” choose Google Images and you will see many styles in many finishes including polished and antiqued brass, oil rubbed and nickel. You may want to find your favorite cremone bolt first, and after that choose door hinges in a finish to match, if the hinges will be visible.

Once you have all your pieces, it’s likely the cabinet and doors won’t match if they came from different places. You can paint the cabinet and doors/shutters to match. Then install the doors or shutters on your cabinet, and then install your cremone bolts. You now have a one-of-a-kind unique shutter door cabinet!

I could see wardrobes with louvered doors in the India pied-à-terre’s guest bedroom. If we decide to do this for the India apartment, you will see a DIY here.

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