You can forgive manufacturers picking daft names for their products if the products themselves are worth having, and so it is with Rauch’s Elegant4You range. There’s nothing particularly outstanding about the wardrobe and bedside drawers I built this week, but they are stylish enough and of a decent quality and went together well.
The wardrobe is very heavy (or I’m getting weak), especially the sliding doors and even more so the mirrored one. These take a little while to put together as well, being made up from four identical panels screwed into a frame of two aluminium rails. Note that one of these is a different profile and needs to go on the right hand side of the left hand door, so it can pass behind the right hand door – it will make sense when you see it! The instructions (which are pretty good and not too hard to follow) say you should build the doors in a vertical position but, having a nice soft carpet to work on, I built them both face down. This was when I found out just how heavy they are! Not too heavy to lift but they do need care.
The wardrobe itself is build upright, too, after gluing the two bottom rails to the base. Sturdy dowels and screws mean the sides aren’t too unstable when you screw the first one in place – although I always take care to prop it in position until the back is in place to hold it safely. Sliding the back panels into their slots is always a bit of a challenge but it didn’t take long to then add the middle panel, the second back panel and finally the other end.
You do need the wardrobe to be away from the wall at this point so you can reach behind and push the panels into place. You also need to add some of those screw in plastic wedge things that make the back more secure and stop it rattling (after you’ve got the top in place), so make sure you can reach. By now, with just the top (and those doors) to add, it’s getting too heavy for most people to lift, so I don’t recommend this one for one person self assembly. Add the top, which isn’t too heavy but has to be lifted above head height, screw in those wedges, and then move the whole thing into its final position before you try adding the doors!
Once in place you can secure it to the wall with the two brackets supplied.
The top sliding door track is easy enough to fit, once the plastic catches and end brackets are in place, and the bottom one is a cinch, although the holes for the top track ends and the bottom track are not pre-drilled, so a power screwdriver will spead up the process considerably, or you could drill pilot holes.
Fit the shelves and hanging rails in place now, before you add the doors.
Add the runners to the tops of both doors – one goes behind the other so has narrow runners (use the lower two sets of screw holes for these) – and the clips for the bottom guides. Unlock the yellow latches on the inner door and lift it into place on the outer part of the top track, then push the narrower bottom guides into place, engaging with the outer track at the bottom. Secure the door with the latches, then do the same with the outer door, using the inner part of both tracks. The latches for this one are on top of the top runners – just push them backwards.
Watch your toes, fingers and back when you lift these into place. It will be easier with two people, so you can see where the top runners are sitting on the track, but I managed on my own.
When it’s finished it should look like this:
The bedside units are nice and simple. Make sure you get the drawer runners the right way round, with the arrows pointing to the front and don’t overtighten the cam fixings that hold the top on, as they’re made of quite soft plastic. An electric screwdriver will make the bottom rails easier to fit (again, they’re not pre-drilled) but otherwise it’s a simple job. Those plastic wedge things hold the back in place, otherwise it could slide down. No pins are supplied.
Drawer fronts are just dowelled and glued to the drawer frames but they do feel like a nice tight fit and the drawers are quite small so they won’t have too much weight in them. Peel off the protective film before you add the handles. Handles are plastic but quite stylish and fix securely with two screws.
The end result was very pleasing and fitted perfectly with the customer’s decor. I’d be happy to recommend these two Rauch units (three as the cabinets came as a pair). Just be aware of the weight of the wardrobe and especially those doors!
The most important thing is that my customer was delighted with her new wardrobe and cabinets and will want me to return to build her chest of drawers in a few weeks’ time.