Organizing and Beautifying the Broom Closet

My broom closet is stolen space. There was no broom closet in this house. No broom closet, no linen closet, no entry closet, no mudroom closet - not much storage space to speak of at all!

My house is a 1930s build with a 2009 addition that houses 3 bedrooms and a bathroom.  The old part of the house was basically a 1 bedroom apartment in size.  The original bedroom is now my formal dining room and the original bedroom closet has become my broom closet / storage closet.

When I moved in, that closet reeked of old.  You know that smell?  That awful, no-oxygen-smells-like-death odor that you sometimes find in really old furniture and old houses.  That's how it smelled.  Ewww.  Not putting MY clothes in there!  It looked like this after I ripped the clothes rod out.

Um yep, my indoor photography has thankfully improved since I took this photo.  I scrubbed down all the surfaces of the closet and sealed the flooring to the baseboards with silicone caulking to stop the smell coming through from the basement (and those horrid spiders, too!)

I began buying shelving at yard sales and added it to the sides of this closet to organize things a bit better.  Putting the shelves on either side of the closet maximizes the space available.  This kind of shelving is also easy to reconfigure as your needs change and you can make shelves out of plywood, paint them or paper them and save on buying ready-made mdf shelves that tend to sag.

That blue on the walls is mismatched wallpaper.  Isn't that shellacked orange wood just to die for???  UGH!

I ripped down some of that lovely wallpaper and tried washing the glue off so I could paint but that glue WAS NOT COMING OFF.  I tried everything and then finally got fed up and walked away.  At one point I tried painting over the wallpaper in the lower half of the closet but hated that look too.  Now everything was lumpy, bumpy and ugly.

Until last month.  Last month I got an email from a brand development manager from Graham & Brown who sell wallpaper, wall hangings, paint, decor and a whole lot more.  I zoomed in on the wallpaper thinking that would be a perfect option to cover the mess in my broom closet.  It was about time I finished organizing and beautifying my poor broom closet.  Opening the door and bracing myself for the inevitable thing falling on my head was not a pleasant experience!

I chose the Wall Doctor pre-pasted bead board paper for covering uneven walls, see HERE.  I love that their website even calculates how much you need simply by you plugging in the room dimensions.  So convenient!!  and easy to follow instructions, too.

This wallpaper hangs like every other kind - soak it, book it, hang it, smooth it out, cut the edges to size and onto the next piece.  I found 30 seconds too long, 15 seconds worked for me.  I also found it tore when I was cutting the edges.  My suggestion is to use a metal edging tool and cut in short strokes (about 4" at a time), overlapping your strokes.  It cuts nicely and peels away easily then.

My arsenal of wallpapering tools:

Before and after shots - the before is after I stripped the paper from the walls.


I love the way this looks!  I even wrapped a few of my rough wood shelves in the wallpaper. It's really beautiful stuff.  You can wash it, paint it or leave it as is.  It's a fresh white that I happen to like.  It really brightened up my very dark broom closet.  I have to work on a light for in there.

I picked up a bunch of baskets at a Boxing Day sale last year.  They are handy for holding all the little bits and bobs I keep in that closet - crafting things, light bulbs, candles, extra extension cords, etc. Using the same type of baskets (I used two sizes) makes everything look neat and tidy.

Last fall I also scored two Ikea shelving units that fit perfectly into this space and turn a useless section of the closet into CD storage and a place to store Christmas paper and shoe cleaners/sprays.

I also painted all the trim and the door and that brought the whole look together.

Organized, beautified and nothing falls on me anymore!  (and ignore that wire, I still need to tack it in place...)

Have a great week!

 Disclaimer:  I have partnered with Graham & Brown to demonstrate some of their products. Although I received free merchandise in exchange my review, the opinions stated are entirely my own. 

With a small budget, big dreams and a love of a challenge, Anne blogs about renovating and decorating her tiny 1930s bungalow. A self-taught artist and professed power tool lover, she enjoys writing, gardening, photography, nature and diy'ing. And she's never met a dumpster she didn’t want to root through! Come along for the ride!!

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  1. wow that looks awesome Anne!!!!! I wish I was handy enough to do something like that

  2. It looks beautiful, Anne, and it really looks like bead-board! Great job! xoxo

  3. Yeah. This is gorgeous!!!! Does the company only sell online? Or can we find this stuff in stores?

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you Donna! I'm so pleased it's done!

  5. Looks great Anne. Such a difference.

  6. Looks great Anne. Such a difference.

  7. Anne you did a great job. Great choice of paper. In pictures it looks like real bead board. I know the smell. We had it in our first house


  8. Like you, our house was built with no broom closet, no coat closet and very little storage.

    I love what you have done with the closet. You make everything look fresh, organized and attractive.

  9. I love that wallpaper! I bet it makes you feel good now every time you open this door (which also looks great!)

  10. Beautiful job Anne - I love the bead board ( want to do that in the mud room but first we have to have the mudroom redone because it's falling off the house LOL )
    And I LOVE all the baskets - you just added major value with this little update ! ( because I always think in terms of resale ! )

  11. Wow... wow... what a spectacular makeover Anne! It looks great, love that wallpaper!


  12. Bravo...what a magnificent makeover Anne!...I have been eyeing that G&B breadboard wallpaper....maybe that will be my next project! have inspired me!...

  13. Fabulous. Love the transformation. This post shows that it's nice to decorate even the smallest of spaces that you might tend to overlook. Love it!

  14. Fabulous new look. Would never guess it's wallpaper!!!

  15. It look so great and bright, it's nearly to beautiful for a broom! I don't have any storage at the cottage either!

  16. Love it, Anne! It's amazing how much brighter the closet is -- even without a light -- now that you've used the white wallpaper and painted the woodwork white. I love the beadboard look. It fits your home perfectly and makes the closet sooo nice. I bet it makes you feel good every time you open the door to the closet. Well done! xo

  17. Great organizing, the white bead board look is fabulous.

  18. Great job. It's organized, clean and bright now. My house was built in the 40's and it has the same orangey wood trim and doors. I've been painting over it as I tackle each room.
    I love that anagypta paper! I used the beadboard pattern in my last house. I also converted a closet in our current house, turning the tiny linen closet into a much needed coat closet. I used the Victorian pattern and papered the interior. The paper is great for covering a less than perfect surface.



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