Renovating Small Spaces

by projectbuddy


If this space was in a comedy film, it would have to be a Three Stooges film. You can almost hear doors slamming and heads bumping together. Bing, bang boing! Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck! Although funny to think about, not so funny to live in. Good design is a genuine necessity.

I have done considerable thinking lately about renovating a small space. For a space as small as a closet, a space that actually once was a closet, this should be a rather easy task. But it isn’t. Hopefully I’m not making this more difficult than it truly needs to be.

When I built my pantry where there had been no pantry, only an enclosed back porch, everything seemed so much easier. This linen closet has been different because the space has been there all along even though it has gone through several major changes from its humble beginning as a bedroom clothes closet.

Dividing the space, building walls, and making the pantry functional progressed logically from start to finish. The linen closet is different. It’s not as private as a pantry. Not everyone is going to get something from the pantry, but almost everyone will need to use the bathroom!

Getting the most possible from a small space is key, as is avoiding a cluttered appearance. When a bedroom closet, this space was only open to the bedroom; as a linen closet, this space will be open to both the bedroom and bathroom. Both need more thoughtfully planned storage space.

When the bedroom closet had been turned into a hallway many years ago, a closet had been built in one corner of the bedroom, cutting down on floor space and giving the room an awkwardly unplanned feeling. That is definitely a project in itself and a post for another day.

So this is the “before” view and some thoughts before beginning to really tackle this space. Although I’m generally unsure of what the end result will be, I have a few rough sketches to guide me along while following “what feels right'” which is perhaps the key to small spaces.


These photographs were taken October 2013. You can see some work that has already been done where the doorway that was created when the closet was turned into a hallway. There is also a rather large cut out that was used when the overhead lights for house were rewired. (This will be kept as a much smaller access panel for any future electrical needs.) Here is my post about the beadboard pantry that was built about two years ago.