Removing Our Linen Closet Door For A More Open Look

Ever since we saw an image on a few months ago with open shelves and baskets, we started thinking about taking the door off of our bathroom’s linen closet. We realized that a few chic baskets could convert our claustrophobic closet into clean and functional open shelving (by now you know we’re crazy about open living). And then when we crashed Lesley & Jeff’s fabulous home, her doorless bathroom closet sealed the deal:

But first some photographic proof as to why our current closet door situation was so not working for us. Check out the serious door war that regularly occurred between the linen closet door and the bathroom door. Argh! Talk about a design flaw.

So one day while John was sittin’ pretty at work, I took a screwdriver, a hammer and a crowbar to the door and off it came (along with the door jamb so that the opening looked a lot more like a built-in shelving nook than a doorless linen closet).

After we erased any evidence that a door once existed (by caulking the hinge holes and removing the door latch) I extended the bathroom’s soothing tan wall color into the nook (Glidden’s Sand White) and painted the door frame and the shelves a crisp glossy white.

Then I just reused the baskets that already housed our sheets and towels and introduced some other creative storage solutions from a few objects that we had laying around the house (two cheap white Ikea planters for nail polish and toothbrushes). Even the toilet paper looks great in its newly spiffed home.

But the entire project wasn’t entirely free, we did splurge on two bigger baskets (for a few more towels) to stack on the floor of the closet. Luckily we scored ’em at Michael’s for 50% off, so we basically got two large rectangular woven trunks for the price of one (25 measly bucks total). Not bad for the entire bathroom closet project.

So what do you guys think? Could you live with an open linen closet or do you think some things are better left behind closed doors? And don’t worry, we’re totally aware that we’re waaay more into open storage than the average bear. Luckily we’re also waaaay more compulsively neat than the average bear (to a somewhat insane degree) so it’s perfect for us. Whatever works, right?


  1. Elizabeth says

    I love your new open shelving! We have all open shelving in our bathroom (with the same black and white tile and a white pedestal sink). It’s been tough to decide what type of storage items to use, so thanks for the ideas.

    For some reason I’ve had an aversion to natural baskets (love ’em in photos though), so I’ve been thinking of some combination of glass jars, white lacquer boxes (, metal bins ( or, or white canvas bins (

    Any recommendations for having your open storage look unified and still functional? Is it best to stick with 1 or 2 types of containers or is it okay to mix types as long as the colors are the same?

  2. Kimberly says

    I love the idea of open storage because I think it would keep me honest (ie force me to keep my clutter under control!). I think that open storage works if it can be arranged in a visually calm way. The laundry/dog supplies closet will, for the time being, remain under wraps :)

  3. says

    I love it! I really like baskets for storage, especially when they are pretty. Our linen closet is in our hallway, so a door is a must for us, but I love open shelving in a bathroom. Well done! :)

  4. says

    I’m a huge fan of open storage. My kitchen cabinet doors are gone, and I’m using an expedit bookcase in my bathroom for linen storage.

    It looks great!

  5. YoungHouseLove says

    Hey everyone,

    So glad you’re loving project door be gone! Elizabeth, our tip would be to keep a pretty unified color scheme (ie: all white and tan, all black and white, or even just all white) and try to repeat a few boxes or bins so that not every item is a different size and shape (which might look kind of chaotic). In other words, if you end up going with glass jars and white metal bins, try bringing in a few identical versions of each container for some repetition and order. Hope that helps!

    Beth, we still hang our towels on the back of the bathroom door (of course that door will forever STAY!) so in losing the closet door it didn’t effect our cute little monogrammed towel hooks. Whew.


  6. says

    Looks fab! Clean and fresh.

    Ya know…we have the same set up, and when we redid our bath we needed a bit more storage (4 teens) so we found a 4 drawer lower cabinet and fit it in the bottom, and added some leftover counter on top.We kept the top shelves. Voila a little makeup area…and every kid has their own drawer. We did put a door back on, but a full length mirrored door.It would also look good without a door.

  7. michelle says

    i love the transformation! i just found your website last week and i have enjoyed looking at your ideas and all the neat changes you have progressively made in your home. you two are so innovative, creative, and handy and i love what you have done within your home. it’s very inspirational for my own home, so thanks for sharing and all the time you take in writing these posts! :)

  8. Jess says

    I love how this project turned out! With a curious cat i’m hesitant to do something like this, but I just love the look. Great post!

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