Organized space of the week – Linen Closet

November 19, 2012


Today my friend Michelle is sharing her amazing linen closet makeover.  She transformed this small space from cluttered to organized and very stylish & pretty. 


My name is Michelle Westling and I love good design. I work full time and am also a wife and mother. My family and are lucky to live in the beautiful Bay Area in northern California. Between work, raising a beautiful toddler, running a household, and trying to squeeze in some personal time, life is pretty chaotic and crazy.  So, in my “spare” time I love to decompress by following interior design trends on blogs, websites, and TV shows. Pinterest has become a bit of an obsession lately. It’a a bit addicting but you can find so much inspiration. You can follow me at Floral design is also one of my true passions and I could look at pictures of beautiful bouquets all day. When I’m not at work or behind the computer, I enjoy exploring the Alameda Antiques Fair looking for one of a kind treasures and also am always on the look out for yard and estate sales in the area. Most of the time I am cooking up ideas to organize and beautify our home, while asking myself, “When will I have time to take some action?” 

So, when Toni asked if I wanted to present an organized space in my home on her inspiring blog “A Bowl Full of Lemons” I was more than thrilled! I immediately thought of our little linen closet. It’s an area I have been avoiding for a while and this “public” project was the perfect excuse to finally tackle it. I knew the before and after pics could be pretty dramatic, considering the current state. So without further adieu, her is what my neglected linen closet looked like before:  


This picture was not staged and this is exactly what the closet looked like before I started. I am a bit embarrassed that we lived like this for so long (4 years to be exact) but there is always an excuse and I know other people have a similar situation. This was meant to inspire you and show you that it can be done with just a little time, planning, decluttering,  organization, and probably most importantly….motivation.

Our linen closet is upstairs right across from the only bathroom in the house so it has served as storage for more than just linens. It houses our bathroom cleaning supplies, oral hygiene products, first aid items, toilet paper, hair styling items, pillows, towels, and other miscellaneous items. In order for everything to fit, I donated the extra pillows and moved the blankets to a hide-away storage under our bed. I thought it best to start with a clean slate so I cleared everything out. There, better already:


 I knew I wanted to add some color so I swung by the local Benjamin Moore paint store and checked out their sample section of paints and found a fun bright yellow color for just 2 dollars! If I didn’t end up liking it, it was not much of a risk, so I went for it. Since it’s such a small space, I thought it could handle a bright pop of color but I didn’t want it to be overwhelming either , so I decided to use a striped pattern and paint every other shelf. Next, I cleaned the shelves and decided not to paint them because the wood was such a beautiful color. Then I needed to find some storage containers so off to Ikea, Target, and The Container Store I went. With so many choices it was difficult to decide what kind of storage to use but I ended up with a combination of baskets, tin bins, white boxes, and a dresser. I also found a use for a vintage metal piece I had picked up a while back at an antique store in San Francisco.

This is my wonderful husband putting together the dresser we found at Ikea:

And once we had the dresser in the closet my daughter got in on the action too!


With the walls painted, shelves back in place, new dresser, baskets, and accessories….this is the final product. I have to say it’s sort of my dream linen closet 🙂


Now there is plenty of room for our towels, toiletries, toilet paper and misc products. Most of the mess that was visible before is now neatly hidden away in the dresser drawers. The bottom drawer is deep enough to house shampoo, shaving cream, and other taller containers. While working on this project I did throw away many of the bottles we were storing because they had expired or hadn’t been used in so long, so there is definitely less to store and I hope it stays that way. Now for some close up pictures:






Notice, I had to add some flowers (these are fake of course) to the mix, because everything looks better with flowers 🙂 
One more “before and after” for your Monday inspiration!


 Hope you enjoyed the photos and maybe you will tackle a project soon that has been calling your name for a while. There is plenty of inspiration on Toni’s website for sure!

24 comments on “Organized space of the week – Linen Closet

  1. Lori says:

    I love it! Can you please share which Ikea chest that is? I can’t find it on the website and that would be perfect for a space I have. Thanks!

    • Michelle says:

      Lori, the dresser is from IKEA’s STUVA collection for kids. We walked through the entire store and when I had almost lost hope of finding something that would work, I found this dresser in the last kids section. Here is link but the version shown has 4 small drawers. I like the deep bottom drawer because larger bottles fit in in perfectly. Good luck!

  2. Lori H says:

    I love the whole closet, but especially those wire baskets. Can I ask where Michelle got them? Great job on beautifying and organizing the closet 🙂

    • Michelle says:

      The wire basket in the closet was bought a while back from a website called decor steals. I love it too and it could be used in any part of the house. Unfortunately, that website only has a certain number of items on sale for a day and then they are gone so it would be hard to get this exact same one. But I’m sure if you look around you can find some great wire baskets. They had some really cute and similar ones at The Container Store last week, so you can check there 🙂

  3. Sarah says:

    It looks amazing! I bet you open it many times a day and it gives you a proud smile 🙂

  4. Holly says:

    Awesome makeover! Is there a link for Toni’s blog?

  5. Crystal says:

    Love it!!! It looks awesome!! Great job!!

  6. Bonnie says:

    You are an inspiration for me! I am remodeling the master bathroom and bedroom as we speak. This gives me so many great ideas for our linen closet so that it functions AND is pleasing to the eye!

    I enjoy your blog very much since I am a wannabe organized person!

  7. Debra Way says:

    I love it! I would not have thought of a little dresser, but I think its a great idea!

  8. Jill Robson says:

    Great idea with the little dresser, that has given me some thought. My linen closet is smaller that yours but it could work……

  9. daisy says:

    Great job on making the most of a small space. Purging really makes the difference. Congrats and enjoy your new storage!

  10. mary norville says:

    do you know where she got the cute wire baskets.

  11. Michelle says:

    Thank you for all the kind comments. I love the way it turned out and I’m so happy that some of you might try to use a dresser in your closets too. Sometimes it works out to use furniture in alternative ways/places. Good luck on your spaces, try to do something a little out of the box, and have fun!

    A special thanks to Toni for letting me share 🙂 This was so fun!

  12. Great unique ideas, I love the final look!

  13. WOW! That’s really all I can say. I’m totally inspired to tackle my own disgusting linen closet now. lol.

  14. Cari says:

    The link to pinterest is missing the “e” in between the “t” and the “r”. Love the closet makeover, your blog is such an inspiring site, lots of ideas for me to put into practice. Thank you.

  15. Leslie says:

    One word: LOVE!

  16. Katherine says:

    Fantastic job! I just redid my laundry room and I found similar wire baskets at World Market (called Cost Plus in some areas).

  17. Jamie says:

    Love it! Where did you get the basins on the top shelf? I have to have them!

  18. Riley says:

    Where do you keep the comforter and blankets now?

  19. Just saw that there were a couple more questions…..
    Jamie- I got the basins at Target. Not sure if they still have them but worth a shot to check.
    Riley- I now store the comforter and blankets under our bed. I bought plastic storage boxes with rollers at The Container store and they work great!

    Hope that helps!

  20. Alison says:

    I love this so, so much.

    You did such a beautiful job, Michelle 🙂


  21. Anonymous says:

    Where are the glass containers from (storing the soap, etc)? C&b? Thanks!

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