Aren’t linen closets frustrating? They never seem big enough and you always have towels crashing down on you from above when all you wanted was one, measly pillowcase. If you’ve run out of space in your linen closet, why not expand your storage horizons with a dedicated linen cupboard? If you can find room in a hall or bedroom, you can easily set up a secondary linen station and even make it a pretty feature.
Like many great DIYs, this one begins with a cardboard box. Yes, it’s Ikea to the rescue once more. I chose a Hemnes cabinet with glass doors and lots of drawers for storage. After following those iconic instructions I had my basic piece of furniture.
Here it is, all put together, and it came in this very stylish grey-wash finish (solid spruce). But I didn’t like the way the cabinet’s stain clashed with the warm tones of the hallway floor, so I decided to go for a painted finish.
Before painting, I removed all of the hardware and used painter’s tape to mask off the glass panels on the inside and the outside. I also took the drawers out and painted them separately. Finally, I removed the thin backboard because I wanted to treat it to a special decorative finish.
I gave the armoire three coats of milky white interior latex paint (Martha Stewart Living’s Glass of Milk from The Home Depot) and replaced the hardware. These are super simple, tarnished brass knobs from Lee Valley. I love the way they add some patina to the cabinet. I covered the backboard with some leftover wallpaper and used double sided tape to adhere it. I’ve always loved this pattern — it’s called Brockhampton Star (BP 579) from Farrow & Ball. But you can use any paper you like!
I also decided to give the painted finish a light scuffing with my sander so it would have a nice, mellow, timeworn finish. The white paint with visible brush strokes, antique-looking brass knobs and wallpapered backboard all help to make this piece feel vintage and unique. Most people can’t believe it’s from a big box store. But it is — it literally came out of a box!
I like to tell people to live with beautiful things, and to keep them on display. It’s so nice to notice all of the fun and interesting things you’ve collected as you walk by a linen cupboard like this, and it really helps give the space a dose of personality. This cupboard holds everything from quilts and extra sets of sheets to towels and round boxes full of odds and ends. (They’re from Ikea, too!) And make sure to tuck in some quirky and pretty mementos like this little green glass bottle.
The wallpaper makes the perfect backdrop and definitely makes putting away laundry a lot more fun! Why not give this project a try at home? You get extra storage and a fun, decorative hit that will make you smile.
Learn how to transform the same Ikea cabinet into a kitchen pantry on our Online TV show.
1-5. Michael Penney