Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Cupboard Love

Inside the finished cupboard

As I may have mentioned in previous blogs I like 

things REALLY tidy. 

This is an unfortunate state of affairs as I’m 

inherently fairly untidy and my family are all

horribly, irredeemably, spectacularly messy. 

It’s a constant, rather wearing fight to keep the 

house from being a tip. 

One thing I’m fanatical about is storage. 

If you don’t have somewhere to put whatever it is 

away, then the task of keeping a house tidy 

escalates from difficult to impossible.

This was very much the case in the bathroom shared

by my three daughters.

Their toothbrushes, toothpaste, face wash

etc..were kept on shelves next to the sink but as

they are 19,17 and 12, the quantity of other

hair,beauty and bath products was mind boggling

and without proper storage on every available



I decide a cupboard, rather than yet more open shelves, was the best solution as

a cupboard can hold a lot and the contents wouldn’t gather dust.

I found this cupboard at an auction for £12.

Before the 'make-over,' scruffy but the right dimensions for the space.

I wanted the cupboard to be glass fronted to give it the look of an apothecary’s 

cabinet. I needed to replace the door panels with glass, also alter the shelves.

It looked like it had come from a garage as it had engine grease on the shelves
A glass front also means you can see the contents which seemed like a good idea

as unlike with food packaging, most beauty/bath products are so beautifully

designed it’s a shame not to see them.

Beautiful packaging it would be a shame to hide as well as some of my vintage glass and ceramic dishes and pots.

Anything I didn’t want on show such as extra supplies of loo roll, cotton

wool etc.. could just be stashed in a box in the bottom of the cupboard. 

Transforming the Cupboard

Here’s how Chris (the carpenter) and I transformed it.

First it was thoroughly cleaned with sugar soap to remove grease etc..

Then Chris replaced the broken architrave moulding on the top edge.

I choose a simpler moulding to replace the existing broken one

Then Chris replaced and reconfigured the shelves, adding an extra one in the top section. 

He replaced the hinges and added locks.

The panels were removed (to be replaced with glass).

It was undercoated and stain stop paint was used where necessary.

The final top coat was Little Greene’s ‘Turquoise Blue’ for the outside and 

Farrow and Ball’s ‘Mouse’s Back’ for the inside.

Glass panes were added where there had been wooden panels.

The finished cupboard.

The inside is painted a neutral greyish brown shade as a foil for all the pretty colours of the products, plus it echoes the colour of the bathroom walls.

A close up of one of the shelves


  1. A few months ago, I cleared the junk from the top of a cupboard. Impressed by the space and knowing from experience that in our house a clean surface is like a super-power magnet for every type of debris, I wrote a note and put it on the cupboard, it said 'Don't put anything on here' - about a week later a friend came round and was bemoaning her untidy husband, I took her to the cupboard and there, buried about a foot deep under a heap of freshly deposited junk, was my note...

    1. I sympathise, my husband and family have a clinical condition which means they are unable to throw or put anything away and nothing I say or do ever seems to make a difference. If I didn't dispose of the empty loo roll inners we'd have drowned in them by now. My other favourite activity is disposing of empty food wrappers left in the fridge or cupboard and finally I spend much of my day moving dirty dishes from near the dishwasher actually INTO it, ditto dirty clothes from the floor near the laundry basket into it. Ah well...

  2. Nice! Where did you find the cupboard! I'd say £12 was a steal!

  3. There's an absolutely brilliant auction near us in Norfolk called TW Gaze. As you can see from the photos the cupboard was in a pretty dire state which was why it was so cheap but was the PERFECT proportions for the space. That said I buy LOADS of stuff at auctions it's a really, really cheap way to acquire furniture , only problem is once you've been to a couple of auctions you become such a cheapskate (well I have)..