Antique Cupboard with a Clever Secret This Antique Cupboard holds a Clever Secret

But first, let me start out by clearly stating: THIS IS NOT A POST ABOUT HOW TO CLEAN AND ORGANIZE YOUR CLOSET! (Ha Ha… as you’ll see real quickly further down…)

No, this is about an antique cupboard with a clever secret…

It’s a handsome piece I found when we were renovating our 100 year old house. It was either find a huge cupboard like this one or build a utility closet, because I needed a place on the main level for the vacuum and cleaning supplies. antique utility cupboard

I found this cupboard on Craigslist for $100… it was in great condition, just with a really bad coat of old paint… That was easily fixed. (it also had a makeshift dresser inside it, which we had to remove in order to have room for the vacuum. antique cupboard knob

By the way, to have the contractor build in a closet would have cost upwards of $500 with nothing fancy at all! I loved this option… so much better looking… and still lots of storage!

(Ha… see what I mean about this post not being about a clean closet?) antique utility cupboard one door open

But it sure does store a lot of stuff… with a couple shelves across the top as well as along the right side, making use of that tucked away cubby area. (we added the shelving to it)

But on the left no shelves…


Well the hinges are a clue… hinges on antique utility cupboard

Yep, that’s right! At some point a former owner actually carefully changed the left panel into a door! left panel is actually door on antique cupboard

So now both ‘doors’ open wide for easy access… both doors open on antique cupboard


(and I’m not saying ‘wow’ because it looks a little messy… ๐Ÿ˜‰ maybe you are though… I was saying ‘wow’ because of all the stuff I can store inside this cupboard)

I can keep my ladder, tools and cleaning supplies in there and not have to struggle with getting them in and out, thanks to the hinged panel turned door. both door open with shelves on right

What a smart idea to do with an old cupboard/wardrobe! Change one of the panels into a door and create a huge opening for the closet.

OK, enough of looking into my not so wonderfully organized or ‘staged for photos’ closet interior… let’s look at the outside again, because it is kind of charming. antique utility cupboard

So for $100 and less than a pint of paint, our breakfast room has the much needed utility closet, but in the shape of a charming antique cupboard with a clever secret door, no less.

Oh and one tip about installing it…

When we were installing the cupboard and baseboard after a huge renovation in the breakfast room, (check out the posts with the breakfast room renovation here) we, (our carpenter) attached the cupboard securely to the wall, and actually cut the baseboard to butt up to it, instead of go behind it… that way the cupboard back is totally flush against the wall without a gap in the back.

Did you know I now offer e-decorating? I can help you with your decorating needs via email, without having to step foot in your home. If you’re interested in more information, visit my e-decorating site: Frame and Frills. I’d love to help you with your project!

Here are more closet and storage ideas:

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This post is linked up at the following other sites: Design, Dining and DiapersFrench Country CottageToo Much Time on my HandsThe Charm of HomeDesigner TrappedMy Thrift Store AddictionPosed PerfectionSavvy Southern StyleFrom Evija with LoveA Pocketful of PosiesDIY DreamerMy Repurposed LifeCozy Little HouseA Stroll Thru LifeHome Stories A to ZYesterday on TuesdayStoneGableMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaCoastal CharmBetween Naps on the PorchIt’s that DIY PartySkip to my LouRedhead can Decorate

Reader Interactions


  1. Mary-The Boondocks Blog says

    That is very clever indeed Liz. I wish I had one of these to store everything (meaning all of my craft stuff) in and not have to look at it all day.

  2. tarahlynn says

    Love the idea of using a more free standing piece of “furniture” instead of a full built in closet, so much more character and options – you can always change it out if you want something different! For a minute I thought the secret was going to be that you finally found the ward robe that went to Narnia ๐Ÿ˜‰ That extra panel into a door is just awesome!

  3. Sarah says

    Great idea! I have a large wardrobe that we use to store dishes and table top things. It is in need of a good purge and reorganization. I keep putting if off, but it would be the perfect task for this rainy day. ‘-)

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