HOUSE: Newburgh

Inside the closet.

I was so excited about the floor yesterday that I forgot to show the inside of the closet! I like to make the small spaces in my house (like the vestibule and the pantry) a little extra special. It’s just a nice thing to see every day.

(Yes, I still need to put the doorknob and rim lock back on the door, and I have to do something about the bottom panel—the whole thing had been cut out, and I have a lot of work to do on it to make it match the other doors in the house. I’ll get to that eventually!)

I painted the walls inside of the closet a pale gray—it’s Valspar paint in Filtered Shade, a color I fell in love with when I saw it in Amy Shutt’s bedroom. I bought a gallon of it months ago, but didn’t find the right use for it until I started working on this closet.

The old shelf in the closet was covered with contact paper that had been painted over (why do people do things like that?!), so I replaced it with a plain pine board. I don’t think I’ll paint it; I like the bare wood. Depending on what this room winds up being used for, I will either add more shelves (for linens) or a clothes bar (for coats).

The dresser is being used for bathroom storage. Our little bathroom is next door, and it has no space for things like spare towels, soap, and extra rolls of TP. This is the RAST dresser from IKEA, and it’s the perfect size for going inside a tiny closet since it’s only 12″ deep. It’s sold unfinished, and I chose to paint it BM Simply White to match the trim (after priming, of course). The knobs are BM Toucan Black, just like the window sashes. I had to notch out the back and shorten the bottom drawer a bit to accommodate the baseboard molding so it would sit flush against the wall. Most solid wood IKEA furniture is easy to modify if it’s not exactly the right size—just make sure to mark where any holes will need to be re-drilled.

Finally, I lined the drawers of the dresser with some leftover wallpaper from the bathroom. I try to line drawers whenever possible—I just use a little double-stick tape to hold the paper in place.

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  • Reply alice January 27, 2009 at 10:38 am

    I LOVE this idea of making the small spaces nice. Yours looks wonderful.

  • Reply MrsLimestone January 27, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Im in love with this room. Its gorgeous. You should rent it out for photo shoots 🙂

  • Reply Marie-Eve January 27, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Surprise! I just left a comment on your previous post about your white floor, and I saw this one. This is pretty! I love vintage bags (they are quite stylish, even in closets!) and wallpaper in drawers.

  • Reply Vanessa January 27, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Looks fantastic!

  • Reply two Excited nests. January 27, 2009 at 10:50 am

    I love the wallpaper!!!! Seeing items in containers looking all pretty makes me so happy.

  • Reply Amy January 27, 2009 at 10:56 am

    I love the closet, especially the white suitcase. My grandmother had a simlar one in olive green.

  • Reply mixette January 27, 2009 at 11:16 am

    I’m a big believer that closets should be gorgeous on the inside too. Thinking about wallpaper in one of mine (ferm?)

    August 2008 Domino had a closet makeover (the adventuress column)that featured some killer canvas organizers:

  • Reply sweet fine day January 27, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Anna, what is the black circle fabric you have on the shelf at the bottom? I love it! and have been looking for something like that, though do I really need anymore throw pillows around the house?

  • Reply darling dexter January 27, 2009 at 11:25 am

    it looks great! i love how you painted it, nice surprise 🙂

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 27, 2009 at 11:39 am

    sweet fine day: That’s a blanket from IKEA’s Summer 2008 collection — unfortunately, they don’t have the seasonal items anymore, otherwise I would have bought a second blanket (and some of the pillows they made with this pattern, too!). I really love this print! You can see it on my bed here.

  • Reply desiree@lookiloos January 27, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Wonderful closet! Great job

  • Reply Averill January 27, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    What’s the yellow/gray/white fabric (or is it a blanket)? I love the pattern!

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 27, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Averill: That’s the shower curtain for my (in-progress) downstairs bathroom! 🙂

  • Reply heather January 27, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I love the drawer paper and that grey is just perfect. I really like the other black and white fabric – also a blanket?

  • Reply heather January 27, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    oh and I had an entire linen closet with painted contact paper shelves. so icky.

  • Reply Jacqueline January 27, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Hi Anna, it was so kind of you to follow up on the paint finishes. Your closet looks exactly like ours. We have long pine shelves on top-unpainted and I love it with the gray, white and sun that comes in from the window. Yup, a window in the closet – one of the five front facing dormer windows. I loved today’s post, pic and comments. The latter have led me to another question.After only using duvets (and their covers) for a lifetime we are going through a duvet, duvet cover washing/drying problem and I was wondering if you (or anyone else) has any thoughts on other warm but easy to wash and dry blankets. We have never even used a top sheet but are now looking into that as well. Sorry for the length of my stay here 🙂 jacqueline

  • Reply Jessica Fulkerson January 27, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Beautiful closet. I just rearranged all my hair products / make-up and I like how yours are tucked in here.

    Yipeee that you use the Bambu nesting baskets. I love those. My fiance’s store ( sells them too:


  • Reply Corey January 27, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    The closet and floors look great!

  • Reply Magchunk January 27, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous. I love how clean and fresh it looks. And that gray is to die for.

  • Reply woodley park-zoo January 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Ah, something about the drawer contents nestled in their rightful places gives me a thrill, like how good is life when you have space, peace, shelter, cleanliness, health!

  • Reply Katharina January 27, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    I was wondering where you put all your bathroom-stuff! No I know 😉 What a great idea to use the leftovers from wallpapering in the drawers!!! I love your blog! thanks for inspiring me!

  • Reply trupeach January 27, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    simple, clean, & pretty!

  • Reply Michelle January 27, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Love the closest! And your organized makeup. =D

  • Reply Karrey January 27, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Oooh, this is lovely. Wouldn’t it be nice if things could stay so perfect and untouched forever?

  • Reply kay* January 27, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    i’ve been eyeing those ikea rast dressers to use as night tables – they are super easy to modify and looks great stained or painted. love what you did with yours.

  • Reply anh-minh January 27, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Anna – I love how you give attention to details like the closet interior and drawer liners! That, to me, is what makes your spaces extra-special. Another job really well-done.

  • Reply Adam January 27, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    I really appreciate how you can take spaces that many people will completely overlook and make them so functional AND attractive! Great job!

  • Reply Amanda January 27, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    So many ideas in a single post. Thanks!

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 27, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    I’m glad you all like the closet! Doesn’t it make you want to use that gray paint everywhere? I’m so glad I finally found a place for it in the house. I have lots left over, so maybe it will pop up somewhere else… 🙂

    heather: Yes, that’s another blanket! It’s woven silk from C&B. I wish I had an extra, because did some “alterations” to this one when we was a puppy…

    Jacqueline: I have a down duvet, and I’ve put it in the wash many times with no problem. I also wash my duvet covers — they’re 100% cotton, so it’s no problem. For summer, I have several cotton blankets that can go in the wash as well. The only things I have that can’t go in the wash are some wool blankets, and I only use them as toppers/throws.

  • Reply Shashi January 27, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Love the gray interior.
    Nice job!

  • Reply lisa January 27, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Everything is beautiful! I do love your work ethic, your attention to detail. I love your style and taste! I enjoy doing the same. But, I would change one thing though – I do like the bare wood too but I would choose cedar. Not only for it beneficial properties and the lovely smell but for the color and how it would look so lovely with your beautiful paint choices. Keep sending us your inspiring photos… I love them!

  • Reply Fiona January 27, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Gorgeous! Is the paint a true pale gray, or is it blue-gray? I am desperately seeking a true gray for my bathroom. (BTW, I am anxiously awaiting your bathroom remodel, especially since I have black floor tile that is vintage, but not as cool as yours will be.)

  • Reply Jules January 27, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    It all looks so clean and serene. I especially love the wallpaper as a drawer liner.

    May ask you a question about your mascara? I use the same waterproof formula, but I am ready to give up on it because I haven’t found an eye remover strong enough to take it off! My last ditch effort is to buy the Max Factor waterproof eye remover online. So far I have tried Elizabeth Arden (worked the best), Lancome, Clinique (returned it immediately! Took NONE of it off. The cotton ball remained white!), Oil of Olay, Jojoba oil, and a few others I can’t remember right now.

  • Reply Jules January 27, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Good grief. I pressed submit too soon, but it should be obvious that my question is on the brand of eye makeup remover you use. Sorry!

  • Reply Jenny January 27, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    ah! cupboard love! Hey, that could be the name of a blog, or at least a flickr group!

    How are Fritz and Bruno? I know Fritz just turned 1, but we haven’t seen much of Bruno lately. Can we have a wee dose of bruno and fritz love?

  • Reply January 28, 2009 at 1:46 am

    nice work. i just did ‘the cure’ on my spare bedroom and completely rearranged the cupboards…it feels so much better even though it’s hidden to the naked eye.

  • Reply Closet January 28, 2009 at 4:36 am


    Amazing pictures were taken!!!!!. I really like it. You have done a great job. And I want the nice cup board.

    Thank you

  • Reply Benedicte January 28, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Hi Anna!

    I’ve been a long-time lurker on your blog, but now that I finally have my own I thought it was time to come out of the woodworks to tell you that your site is one of my absolute favourites to look to for inspiration! Your house is lovely and you guys are doing such an amazing job renovating it. I love your style! 🙂

    This cupboard looks fantastic, I so agree with making hidden spaces look pretty! 🙂

  • Reply hallie January 28, 2009 at 11:30 am

    I cant handle how disciplined you are!

  • Reply Katie January 28, 2009 at 12:26 pm


    I have been following your blog for awhile now, and I love all that you have done to your home. The painted floors look so nice! I love the little dresser in the closet too, I’ve been looking for something about that size for my linen closet, I’ll have to check and see if the dimensions work. Thanks for posting about it! I was also wondering if you could help me out with something – I wanted to ask you a quick question about your Eames shell chairs (since I’ve noticed you have so many!) – I am thinking of buying a set of 6 herman miller vintage gray chairs with the stacking base, and was wondering if you know if I can put new bases on them (like the dowel or eiffel bases from modernica)?? Have you done this with any of your chairs? Thanks!!

  • Reply amanda January 28, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    oh la la lovely!!

    I am so excited for you! It must feel great getting things done.

    I have loved that wallpaper of yours for forever. trying to convince my buggy that we need something like that n our upstairs would look great!


  • Reply Anna at D16 January 28, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Fiona: Gray paint is SO difficult, I know! I will say that this is definitely not a blue-gray, though I’m not sure I would describe it as being truly neutral. Valspar paint is inexpensive, though, so you can always give it a shot and see if it works for you. There are so many variables (natural v. artificial light, other colors in the room, etc.) that I don’t want to steer you in the wrong direction. I will say that the photos above are pretty accurate in terms of how it reads in daylight and surrounded by white.

    Jules: That’s actually not the waterproof formulation of the Max Factor mascara! I don’t like the waterproof version. Weirdly, it doesn’t stay on me as well as the regular. Anyway, I really like Almay moisturizing remover, despite the bad reviews. It works for me! Check out the comments on this post though — there were a lot of recommendations from others. 🙂

    Jenny: More F&B soon, I promise!! 🙂 🙂

    Katie: The bases that Modernica sells won’t work on MOST Eames shells with stacking bases, because the rubber mounts on the bottom that the bases attach to are set further apart. (Later production stacking shells have narrow mounts, but they are much less common. Definitely check to see which kind the chairs you’re considering have!) That said, you do have some options:
    (1) There is a seller on eBay who sells a conversion kit for the wide-mount shells. I don’t have any personal experience with them, but maybe you want to give it a shot!
    (2) You can move the mounts. There a tutorial here on how to do it, but I’ve never attempted it before. It is definitely possible, though! Good luck!!!!

  • Reply Jenny in San Francisco January 28, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    I love reading your blog! I can’t believe how much you get accomplished – you must not watch TV. LOVE the closet – it looks better than most areas of my house. When your house is done I hope you’ll find something else to blog about because I’ll miss reading it.
    Thanks, Jenny

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 28, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Jenny in SF: Don’t worry, you’ll be in a nursing home by the time my house is “done”!!! I’m sure it will be time to start all over again by the time I finish, anyway. 😉

  • Reply Katie January 28, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the advice on the chairs! Maybe I could learn to love the stacking base… and if not, both the conversion kit and that tutorial are great options!

  • Reply michelle January 28, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Damn girl, you rocked it!

  • Reply Jules January 29, 2009 at 12:39 am


    Thank you! I will check out the Almay brand–and most likely never buy the waterproof version ever again! My goodness, it’s like trying to remove dried asphalt. I tried POND’S cold cream last night, and so far that is the best–and my skin responded so well to it! I am in love with it right now as a deep cleanser. I even love the grandma smell.

    Thanks again! 🙂

  • Reply jo January 29, 2009 at 5:14 am

    Just have to pop up and say, like a few others, I just love everything you’re doing in your place. It’s going to be such a beautiful space when it’s done ( it is already!).
    Love that you post so many pics and explain the way you do things. It’s super helpful. Thanks.

  • Reply cassie January 29, 2009 at 11:50 am

    just wanted to say that because of your mascara post a few months ago i recently switched to the max factor and LOVE it! it performs well and $14 cheaper than my previous mascara. so thanks!
    oh, and i think i’ll have to paper one of my drawers today too…

  • Reply rachel January 30, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Great advice for transforming a floor, thank you.

    I’m going to copy your idea of painting inside a cupboard (closet!) too. Makes it look interesting in a way that cupboards usually aren’t.

    I put plain wood inside my new understairs space too, but knocked it back with a single coat of Ikea white woodstain – it’s so subtle, giving a finished look, and taking any hint of ‘new wooden spoon’ out of the shelves.

  • Reply cassandra February 10, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    what a perfect shade of grey! i’m going to have to write that one down for later… the closet is lovely. isn’t it funny what a difference a little newly organized space can make? and i love the lined drawers! always a fun touch.

  • Reply lindsey clare February 10, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    ooh. pretty papers taped into drawers. why haven’t i thought of this before?? thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply Teresa March 5, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Love, love, LOVE this!! I love the idea of “dressing” a closet … making it pretty.

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