Ever since moving into our house me and my husband have always spread our things between our bedroom and our spare bedroom with me having a built in wardrobe (actually the old airing cupboard) in our room and him having a wardrobe in our spare room, however with this now being turned into a nursery we decided to was time to get a proper wardrobe for him to use in our room. It was only a few months ago that we purchased new bedroom furniture for our room, we ended up with the Hygena Strand Oak furniture, I was a little concerned as the store we bought it from has since closed down but we were pleased to discover that it was also available in Argos so we decided to buy it before they discontinued the range. We had a choice of two sized wardrobes but opted for the Hygena Strand Oak Assembled 2 Door Wardrobe, the next size up would have been far too big and taken up a lot of space in our room.
We ordered the wardrobe online and the only option was to have it home delivered, not that this was a problem as there was no way we would be able to get a wardrobe home from the shop. When it arrived I have to say I wasn't overly impressed with how it was packaged, although I expected this from when we ordered the other furniture from the same range, this is how the furniture comes in packaged to Argos, it simply consisted of a cardboard box type lid on the top of the wardrobe and one on the bottom with strips of thick cardboard down the edges to prevent those from becoming damaged, the handles were screwed on the inside of the wardrobe and wrapped in clear plastic to keep them from being damaged, the whole thing was then wrapped in clear plastic although I do not think this would offer a huge amount of protection from it becoming damaged during delivery. The delivery men insisted that I checked the item before they left due to the small amount of packaging on it and I was pleased to discover that it was absolutely fine, especially as they had just struggled all the way upstairs with it for me, and I must stress that the poor packaging is not down to Argos but the company that supplies them.
The wardrobe comes ready made with just a small amount of assembly, colour wise it is not what I would call a particularly dark oak colour and you can clearly see why it is called Strand Oak as it does have quite a prominent grain to it, the next issue we had was whether the colour and grain was going to match our existing furniture, although it was from the same range we bought the two chests of draws we have nearly a year ago so they could have quite easily changed it slightly, once fully unwrapped and in the light we had nothing to worry about, the wardrobe was still the same mid-oak colour with a prominent grain pattern to it, it was a perfect match and looked as though the whole set had been purchased together.
As I have said the wardrobe does need a small amount of self assembly but this is nothing complicated and literally consists of removing the handles from the inside of the wardrobe and fixing them in the pre-drilled holes on the outside, you do not even need to do any measuring to make sure they are level this has all been done for you. The chests of draws we have have a rounded trim along the front of them, the wardrobe has this same trim so that it matches the rest of the set, this trim is the other part of the self assembly, you simply need to unwrap it (it can be found inside the wardrobe wrapped in cardboard and plastic) and then screw it onto the top of the wardrobe along the front edge. Now this seemed simply enough but is actually where we encountered problems, after examining the trim we found that this had holes drilled in it and came with small screws to fix it in place with, however when we had a look at the top of the wardrobe it seems that they had forgotten to drill the holes in the top of the wardrobe, the instructions clearly said that all you needed was a screwdriver, however there was no way we were going to get the screws in without holes to screw them into meaning we had to mark our own holes with a drill. Now obviously this isn't a massive problem and something that could easily be solved, however we didn't expect to have to get the drill out just to fix the trim onto a pre-made wardrobe. Once in place the trim was an exact match to the rest of our furniture from that range making the wardrobe blend in perfectly, its just a shame it wasn't a quick and simple job as stated in the instructions.
The Strand Oak Wardrobe we purchased was the 2 door version, although you can get a 3 door with a mirror on one of the doors, the doors on this wardrobe are just plain, they have wide boards to form the edges of the doors with one across the middle of each door and then a panel of the same wood inserted in so that the doors are solid, it then comes with 2 brushed chrome door handles that need fixing in place, again these match the rest of the range, I particularly like the design of the handles as they are quite large and the brushed chrome effect means that they do not become scratched easily.
The whole wardrobe felt very sturdy even before we pushed it in place against the wall, it is very well made, we had purchased cheaper bedroom furniture when we first moved into our house and this fell apart about a year and a half later, however the pre-assembled Hygenia Strand Oak furniture is much stronger, the back of the wardrobe is made from the usual thin board stapled in place as is the case with most furniture you buy nowadays, however they rest of the wardrobe is very well made and strong, it does not feel as though it is going to fall apart within a few months.
For us the size of the wardrobe was important, we didn't want anything too small as it needed to be big enough to accommodate everything that was in our existing wardrobe in the spare room, however we didn't want anything so massive that it was going to dominate the room, we already have a large chest of draws from this range in our room so anything too big was just going to be over the top. The 2 door wardrobe was the perfect size for us measuring 196cm(H) 84.4cm (W) and 53.6cm (D) this was ideal for what we wanted as it was a similar size to what we already had, and now it is in place it blends in perfectly and does not look like it is dominating the room
Inside the wardrobe is quite basic, there is nothing fancy just a chrome hanging rail for your clothes and also a shelf going the whole width of the wardrobe, the shelf is made from a thick wood in the same Oak colour as the rest of the wardrobe and the hanging rail comes ready screwed in place so you do not need to worry about getting this up securely. The rail is basically a thick sturdy looking chrome pole, once all the clothes were hung on this it proved to be as strong as it looked and did not bend or bow at all, the shelf was the same, we put quite a bit of stuff on this and again it easily withstood the weight without bending at all. The height of the rail was ideal as it meant my husband could easily hang all of his clothes on it and still have a large amount of space in the bottom of the wardrobe, had the rail been lower then the space at the bottom of the wardrobe would have been wasted, by having it positioned slightly higher you can make the most of all of the space inside, again ideal for use especially as we have been use to spreading out over two room for the past 2 and a half years.
As I have mentioned we purchased the Hygenia Strand Oak 2 Door Wardrobe from the Argos website, however it is also available in Homebase as these are now part of the same chain. We paid £309.99 for our wardrobe, this is a little more expensive compared to the shop where we purchased the rest of the set from, however we had no choice as that shop had now closed down. I do think however that it is good value for money, the wardrobe is still reasonably priced compared to some other brands and despite this is it very well made and is also strong and sturdy, some cheaper furniture you can buy (and I speak from experience) is very weak and flimsy and falls apart after just a short time, this does not seem to be the case with this. In my opinion I would say it was worth the money.
I would definitely recommend the Hygenia Strand Assembled 2 Door Wardrobe it is very well made and strong and sturdy. This is of a decent size to fit your clothes and anything else you keep in your wardrobe without being too big and dominating the room. For us the real bonus was that it comes ready made all you have to do is screw on the handles and the trim on top, although the trim wasn't as simple for us but this could have been a one off and wouldn't put me off the wardrobe at all. I would say that this is reasonably priced, whilst I was a bit disappointed because if I had bought it at the same time as the rest of our furniture I could have saved some money, however at just over £300 I would say this was worth the money for a well made wardrobe, this is certainly a brand and a wardrobe that I would recommend.