Updates to My China Closet

Welcome to the 35th Metamorphosis Monday!

Where in the world do you store all that china?

I get that question a lot.  Since several folks have left comments or e-mailed recently asking about china storage, I’m pulling out an oldie but goodie post for this Met Monday. I’m also including a few more recent photos showing some of the changes I’ve made. And, I’m including a link to a post from December 2008 (HERE) showing more of the places I store allll that china.

Originally posted on April 6, 2009
(New photos have been added at the end of the original post)

Welcome to Metamorphosis Monday…where it’s all about “Before and Afters.” I decided this weekend to tackle a project I’ve been putting off…the redo of a 35″ x 24″ coat closet in my kitchen/breakfast room. The previous owner of my home had a shell niche installed in the foyer/entry, where others houses in my neighborhood frequently have a coat closet. Then they took a corner in the kitchen and installed the closet there. I’ve never used it for coats; instead it had become a storage area for all the cushions for my deck furniture. Here’s a before pic…note the scuffed up walls from 25 years of wear and tear. This closet was just not working well for my needs.

Yesterday I cleared everything out, drove over to Lowe’s and purchased these huge wooden shelves that they cut down to the size I requested. I also purchased some lumber that they cut to the size we mutually decided I would need for the supports. I’m not sure how most closet shelving is done these days, but I just decided to copy the way the supports had been done in my other closets. I didn’t want to use the wire shelving that is so readily available at Home Depot and Lowe’s, because I wanted to take advantage of the full depth of the closet. The wire shelves at Lowe’s and HD weren’t very deep.

Here’s the closet all cleaned out and ready for it’s redo. Note the stained trim…at one time, all the doors and molding/trim in my kitchen was stained. I long ago had it all painted for a lighter, brighter look…all except for the closet…time to fix that.

In this pic, I had just finished priming the existing wooden shelf and baseboard with a primer that covers stain and had finished “cutting in” with the yellow wall paint.

I considered using the hanging rod for tablecloths, a la Bunny William’s pantry in An Affair with a House…but ultimately decided I didn’t want to use the space that way.

Next, I painted the walls the same yellow as the kitchen walls…Duron Sugar Cookie. I painted the existing shelf and baseboard, white…to match the trim in the kitchen.

I wasn’t able to use the supports Lowe’s had cut for me because once I started tapping along the walls, I realized there were no studs anywhere except at the far corners. So all the supports were about an inch too short. πŸ™

It was time to face the big, heavy, power saw that lives in my basement. Yikes! It is unbelievably loud and a little bit scary. Think of Kevin in the movie, Home Alone, when he goes downstairs to the basement and has to face their furnace…that’s how I feel when I use that saw! (LOL)

I cut all new supports using a piece of lumber left over from the screened-in porch addition. Here they are, all ready to be installed.

I had originally planned on using my drill to install the supports, with these long screws the Lowe’s guy recommended. But, because of the studs being just in the corners of the closet, I didn’t think I could get the fat drill close enough up against the wall to use it. I probably could have angled them in, but I decided to just use good old nails….sure wish I had a nail gun! πŸ™‚ After LOTS of measuring, mathematics, agonizing and more measuring…here are the supports which were installed and freshly painted just this morning.

Update: A few weeks later, when my handyman was by to give me an estimate for some work, I asked him to check for studs. He was able to find them and added some additional screws, although he kept telling me he thought the shelves were just fine without them. I felt better knowing there was some additional support. 

I had primed and painted the shelving yesterday, so today I just did a little light sanding along the rough edges and placed them onto the supports.

After pressing down hard on the shelves to sort of test them out…it was with great fear and trepidation, I began putting china onto the shelves. I didn’t hear any creaking or groaning, all went well.

Here’s where the 8 cushions and 2 pillows ended up…stacked on the top shelf, all the way up to the ceiling.

And here are the 3 shelves I added…all loaded down with goodies. These china sets and serving pieces had been stored in hard to reach cabinets and in my food pantry…much better having it all together here and easily accessible.

I started the bottom shelf up high enough to fit two storage containers in…one holds birdseed and the other holds miscellaneous bird stuff like hummingbird feeders, suet holders and meal worm trays.

So, we went from this…

To this…ahhh, much better! πŸ™‚


(End of previous post.)

Updates to closet:

Now for a few current pics to show how the closet looks today. The main thing I’ve changed is I’ve decided to keep some of my candle holders in the bottom of the closet. I put a little nail in the door so I could store one my summer wreaths inside this closet, too.

You’ll find 8 place settings of Syracuse, Orchard china, a St. Patrick’s Day tea set, 6 Bordallo Pinheiro plates, 6 Wedgwood floral salad plates, and lots of pitchers, etc…stored on the top shelf. Do you see the Thanksgiving platter standing up in back?

Next shelf down holds 12 place settings of Lenox, Butler’s Pantry, Gourmet, 8 chargers and salad plates of Spode, Emma’s Garland, designed by Kim Parker, a sweet pink, and a bluebird mug from my friend, Charlene (Heart’s Ease). The long handle you see is my Colonial Candle candle snuffer. The large, green platter standing up in back is more Bordallo Pinheiro .

And the final shelf holds 12 place settings of cream ware I found at HomeGoods (no name on the back) along with 6 place settings of colorful (fall) china I found at Pier 1 last summer at 60% off. Most of the Pier 1 china (and some of the Lenox, Butler’s Pantry) is out on the porch where I’ve been playing with a possible fall tablescape. You’ll also find pink, heart shaped custard dishes, a bunny tureen, hob nail candle holders, crystal candle holders that you can barely see on the right side and a small, silver plate vase. Another platter from the Pier 1 collection is standing up in back.

And finally…now located on the very bottom, are some of the pillar candle holders you frequently see used in tablescapes. Shell holders are from Home Goods, red ceramic and iron holders are from Hobby Lobby. One set of cream ones in back are from A Classy Flea while the white set is from Colonial Candle.

Hope you had fun taking a peek into my china closet for this Met Monday.

If you would like to see a jaw dropping dream dish closet, check out Bonnie’s dish room, HERE.  It’s amazing!

Let’s go see what everyone else has been working on…lots of wonderful “Before and Afters” await!


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  1. All I can say is W-O-W! Your hard work paid off!! I'm envious! It looks great and has function, too!

  2. Caro's Thrifty Adventures says

    WOW girl!! What a transformation! Unbelivable! Congrats!'

    Sadly, I dont think I will have anything ready for your linky party!!

  3. marty (A Stroll Thru Life) says

    Susan, I am so envious of this closet. It is wonderful to have such a great space to house everything. I am trying to find a place for one. Yours is gorgeous. I hope you will stop by and enter my 100th post giveaway. Hugs, Marty

  4. your closet looks great. Nothing is better the shelves and more organization, way to go!

  5. Kelee Katillac says

    Susan can you please come to The Katillac shack and organize me?

    You are organization-rrific!

    love, kelee

  6. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says

    That does seem to be the burning question, Susan! Glad to see where you actually do keep it. I love how you rearranged the closet to work for you. Our closets are set up the same way with the side wood brackets. Organized and pretty ~ I like how it even looks open. If it was in a good area, you could probably even do a glass door so you could see these beauties all the time!

  7. I remember when you posted this originally! Loved it then, and love it now!

    Thanks for hosting the party!

    ~Karla @ It's The Little Things…

  8. Sue @ Not the Good Scissors! says

    I have been wanting to ask that question for the longest time. You have done wonders with your storage.

  9. ~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ says

    Wow Susan~ ~ What bang for the buck. Great storage but I really do think you could squeeze another set of dishes in there somewhere. I was very releaved to see that the lightweight cushions were on the high shelf!

    I've got a pantry just like that and you have really got me thinking. Right now it houses cans and dry goods.

    I've got nothing I can use to participate in Met Monday this week But. .I always stop around to see what everyone is up to.

    Enjoy your Sunday.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  10. Hi Susan,
    Thank you for answering this burning question and, at the same time, demonstrating to us that you really ARE Superwoman!

    You did a beautiful job on this project and, as with everything else you do, approached it in a professional manner and achieved stunning results. Your attention to detail is impressive (sanding edges of shelves before installing them, etc.).

    I'll admit I was glad to read that you had your handyman double-check the shelf supports and install extra screws for security. We don't want anything to happen to your beautiful tablescaping "arsenal!"

    Thanks for hosting and for a magnificent metamorphosis!

    Warm regards,

  11. sara@augustfields says

    wow! all that hard work sure did pay off! you have some fabulous storage for your fabulous tablewares…..it all looks so pretty…great job!

  12. Dear Susan,
    Your Blog is one of my favorites and I enjoy visiting.

    Looking forward to the future post that you lovingly share with us all out here in blogland.

    May you have a blessed Autumn,

  13. Thank you for this post. I'm getting ready to do the same thing to my coat closet but I will be using mine for a food pantry.
    I also remember those publix commercials and so wished I would have gotten those salt and pepper shakers.


  14. kiakai / Kelly says

    You had me glued to the screen, reading every word, like I was watching my favorite movie. I love the way this turned out. All of the china is gorgeous. I still havn't used our power saw. It's still in the box from 6 months. They freak me out. I love that you did this yourself!

  15. Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio says

    What a wonderful way to store your china! Very clever idea….

  16. I was not blogging when you first posted the closet redo so this was new to me! That was quite a project but you definitely now have a wonderful, convenient place to store all of that china. Isn't it great to be organized!

  17. Scary power tools and no mess! Amazing how much can fit on just a few shelves and an exellent use of the small space.


  18. Debbie @ The Shabby Bungalow says

    Wow great transformation. I don;t think I have ever seen such a huge china collection – I am so envious πŸ™‚

  19. Your new solution reminds me of the built-in china cabinets of yesteryear. Your display is too pretty to keep behing a closed door! Maybe you should put your tool belt back on and install a glass insert on the door so you (and visitors) can admire your wonderful collection.

    Thanks for hosting another fun day!

    Jane T.

  20. Lady Katherine says

    So much fun looking how organized your dishes are! Come do mine! lol

  21. Happy Nester says

    Your closet looks wonderful. I need you at my house. You have a beautiful collection. Thanks for hosting Met Monday. Monica

  22. I have a little closet like that but not as deep! You are a good packer! Maybe I should repack my closet to hold more!

  23. AHA!!!!!!!! Now I know where that beautiful MONKEY pitcher is located so when I stop over I can SQUIRREL it away:):):) Seriously, Susan. Thanks for sharing this. Unfortunatly, I have to store more than just dishes in my pantry closet, so it isn't as organized as yours:):) I am like ML, I have dishes under beds etc.:):) Love, Pinky

  24. Peg @ Bloomfield Farm says

    I enjoyed reading about your closet again. My daughter has a very similar one in her kitchen. I'm going to email her the link to your post so she can see the possibilities!

  25. Maya@Completely Coastal says

    I've become quite handy with my husbands power saw, but I know how you feel…, it was a process for me to lose the fear. The closet looks great! It inspires me to get organized too!!!

  26. Can I just say that I am jealous with you for your beautiful collection? I have NADA…baby steps.

  27. A Little Of This And That says

    I had wondered where you stored all of your dishes. Now, we know.

    Another great Sunday blog event can be found here (http://bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/). It's called Spiritual Sundays and offers a wonderful reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the week.

  28. Hi Susan,

    Goodness, this is an OLD post? I remember it like it was a couple weeks ago! Not that I blame you for recycling a great idea, well done.

  29. I remember this, Susan. Loved it then and love it now! Wish I could do this!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia πŸ˜‰

  30. I wish I had a closet in my dining room to do this! It looks great!

  31. The DIY Show Off says

    Great transformation – I love organization. Your clean up looks awesome and I want to shop there!


    Have a great week! Thanks for hosting such a fun party!


  32. The Country Nest says

    I loved this china pantry when you did it and I love it even more now. The closet is a place of envy for many of us in blogland.

    You are a true marvel…you work and keep a beautiful home.

    I tend to put my seasonal stuff away with each season, I like that you have it all in one spot. It looks so pretty, like your tablescapes.

    I like how you updated this blog. I enjoy your blog so much.

  33. Susan,
    I did see this post last December and thought it was really great, but now I am realizing just how important it is to be organized so
    you have motivated me to get organized.

  34. Hi Susan,
    I will have to agree with Bill, you are "Superwoman"!!!! Thanks for sharing these pics with us. Your closet looks great and is perfect for your stash of dishes. I want to thank you again for all the great photography tips you shared with us a few weeks ago. I am practicing everytime I get my hands on my camera. You are an inspiration to all of us.

    Katherine S.

  35. I'm working on my closets tomorrow; thanks for the inspiration!

  36. Jenny @ Words on Wendhurst says

    That's great that your collection can be so neatly organized and contained!

  37. Enjoyed seeing this again. You are such a clever organizer! Have a great week! ~ Sarah

  38. Kristin@Boulevard Interior Design says

    Awesome transformation. Love the organization.

  39. Hello Dearheart…

    So happy that you could join in with the fun of Sunday Favorites today, my friend! What a great post to rerun for us…and I really enjoyed seeing your updates! Ohhh…I do need a closet like this for dish storage! I'm running out of places…hehe! You know Girlfriend, I almost feel a bit sneaky…getting to go through your dish closet! Hehe! Loved peeking at all of your beautiful dishes and pretty candleholders! Oh yes…they all look so familiar! I could look at the candleholders and say…yep, I remember when she used these on that tablescape!!! So much fun!!!

    I was also able to join in with Met Monday this week…just finished crafting an autumn wreath! Thank you so much, Darlin'…you're always such a sweet and gracious hostess…and I appreciate all of your efforts in providing us a way to share our "ever changing" homes and projects!!!

    Love ya, Sweetie!

  40. I really like this closet transformation. It seems to work much better for your needs. Thanks for hosting the great party!

  41. You really have me thinking about my storage possibilities. I have had trouble figurinng out where to store all my dishes and stuff. I love what you did with the closet, I think with the wreath on the door you could leave the door open all the time, everything looks bery pretty in there. Marla

  42. You did really good!!!! This post jogged my memory about a closet in my office I keep forgetting about. It's full of junk (I mean unused treasures) that I can depose of at GW and then I will have to figure out how to put shelves in there. It's very deep and no light! Hmmmm

  43. Blue Creek Home says

    What I would give to have china storage like that!!! It is so pretty.

  44. Susan, You are amazing! I have a feeling quite a few of us are perfectionists……. am I close ? It is just so perfect and you even stuck a few flowers in some glasses. It looks so nice, clean and organized and now you can just reach in for what you want. Good job.

    Thanks for stopping over to see one of our lakes. I have some elegant Victorian homes to post that I took on the way home. If the computer cooperates, I'll have them out this week. I enjoyed this very much!

  45. Fifi Flowers says

    WOW… you have tons of entertainment ware! You are a natural hostess… party girl!!!
    ENJOY your week!

    You must feel so happy!

    'Wish I could get organized here. I'll pray to channel a little of your skills!
    All the best,

  47. You've transformed your closet into something very functional, Susan. You have a beautiful collection of china…Christine

  48. Truly a tablescaper's dream come true! I love to see a lot of function crammed into a small space, you are one smart lady!

  49. I absolutely LOVE your closet… and all the stuff in it! Great job!

  50. Now you have to put on a glass door so verybody can see it!!! MB

  51. Love how your closet turned out. My husband and I both love dishes but have really had to pair down because of lack of storage. Now I'm going to look around and try to find a closet to transform!

  52. Oh, thank you for posting your "china closet" again…now, if I could just find one in my house to clean out..;-)
    Congrats on the 35th MET MONDAY, Susan!!

  53. Great re-do. I love all your china.

  54. I did my hall closet to hold china too. Love it and Love Met Monday, I get so much inspiration! Thanks, Pam

  55. High-Heeled Foot in the door says

    It looks beautiful! I wish I had that many dishes and needed a big china cabinet!

    You totally inspired me to take part in MET Monday today! I hope everyone likes my console record player before and after!

  56. WOW, I could have never thought of that and how you made it so beautiful. Oh, if you ever what to get rid of that St Paddys Day Tea Set send it over my way. HA! HA!


  57. I am amazed at how much you were able to fit in that closet.

    The top shelf looks like a perfect spot for all of your cushions, I love that you can store them all the way to the ceiling! NICE.

  58. Your closet turned out great. So organized and plenty of space. Just what I love. Thanks for hosting. This is my first time joining in on the fun. I had a great time checking out all the mets.

  59. Laura Ingalls Gunn says

    I think that this is the most well planned use of space that I have seen in a very long time. Well done!

  60. Dragonfly Treasure says

    You did an amazing job!1 Come do mine!!

  61. Hi Susan,

    Your china cupboard/closet is a wonderful idea.

    I used your tips to change my blog photos to a large size, but I cannot, no matter how much I try, get my header photo to be centered. I notice yours is nicely centered – can you help?


  62. Let it Shine says

    It looks amazing! I enlarged every photo. Your collection is drool-worthy! The closet is fantastic!

  63. I did the same thing Susan during our remodel, and I am so happy that I did. Yours is filled with far more wonderful pieces, but I am making a concerted effort to fill up every inch! I wish you well- as always.

  64. Re:Fresh Design Studio says

    What a great transformation! Such beautiful dishes you have!

    I posted something today that will work great for MET Monday so I linked up!

  65. Beth@The Stories of A to Z says

    Your closet looks fantastic (as do all the contents!) I find it so fun to be organized and know exactly where my orange leaf plate and pumpkin mugs are located. It makes holiday decorating and entertaining so much easier. Thanks for sharing and for hosting this fun party.

  66. theborrowedabode says

    I love, love, love what you did with that closet. And storing the wreath on the door really completes the look – it's decorative when it's open!

    Thanks for hosting the Met Monday!

  67. Scooterblu's Whimsy~Rhonda says

    Hi Susan, I have a closet with shelves very similar, but mine isn't nowhere as neat as yours! And doesn't hold the treasures that yours does. Yours is arranged so nicely, it looks like a wonderful display itself! Love all of your china and candlesticks! ~Hugs, Rhonda πŸ™‚

  68. Sedona @ MyDivineDelights says

    Susan! Your closet makes me green with envy! I'm going to have to rethink my storage! You did a great job on the closet, thanks for sharing ideas with us!!

  69. I'm very impressed with your closet re-do Susan. Love your china and your candleholders. Now if only I had an extra closet somewhere….
    Happy Monday to you!

  70. Hi Susan,
    That is an amazing transformation! Don't you feel better having everything together in one place? I have a closet that is such a disaster "before" that I'm afraid to tackle it, but maybe I'll be brave one of these days. If I disappear in there no one will find me for days….
    Great post – thanks for doing these Met Mondays!
    See you again soon,
    Heidi – Heart and Home

  71. nannykim at spindle cottage says

    Nice–I can't believe you did this all by yourself! I am afraid of power tools–have no idea how to use them! Love the yellow color and all the room you created.

  72. Diane @ Four Paws and Co says

    I loved this one Susan! It went from plain Jane to FANTABULOUS! (yes, that is a work in my vocabulary!) β™₯ Diane

  73. I love organization. Something about it is so fulfilling! Great Job Susan.

  74. Styling by Coty Farquhar, Australia says

    Hi Susan,

    I know I am a bit late for your party, I seem to be late for everything this week.

    I'm so excited as this is the first time that I have ever joined you Metamorphosis Monday party, (even though it is Tuesday here).

    Come and see how I have changed some old sticks into some new flowers.

    Have a great week and see you on Thursday
    xxx Coty

  75. SmilingSally says

    Whew! That's a big job done very well!

  76. Looks good. Who knew that one closet could hold so much stuff.

  77. Melissa Miller says

    Very nice Susan! I really organization posts. This looks incredible. πŸ™‚

  78. laurie @ bargain hunting says

    Susan, I left a comment on this post yesterday, but it's not here! I envied this closet the first time I saw it, and now that it's even better than it was then, I am really envious!! If you have a minute, and if you are not already doint it, can you please stop over at my blog and get the information to send a card to Amy as soon as possible? Thanks so much. laurie

  79. Simply wonderful!

  80. Glad you had this post button on your sidebar- I am showing this entry to my hubby- we have a small closet in our dining room that desperately wishes to be utlized in a similiar fashion. thanks for the inspiration.

  81. Kansas Amy says

    What a great closet! You are inspiring me to work on some of mine!

  82. Wow! Susan, I thought women can’t have enough shoes, handbags or clothes but you are one woman I know who can’t have enough China sets. To have them is to love them.
    I must say that you have done a fantastic job sprucing up the closet!

    Have an AweSome Day!

    • Philo, I’ve been collecting for quite a while, plus occasionally a china manufacturer will send me china to use for TT. So, I rarely buy any now…has to reallllly catch my eye, like the adorable bunny piece Pottery Barn had last Easter. I’m a sucker for cute things like that.

  83. Thanks for this link. Now I have a better idea of how to store things. I have all my place mats in my china cabinet along with other things. So I need to find places for my other things to use the china cabinet better.

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment!