Linen Cupboard

Small Space – Infatuations with Linen

One of my guilty pleasures is bed linen.  I love wandering around the bedding department – it soothes my soul.  I probably have a little more bedding than the average person, but I also know others who have even more so c’est la vie.  I even have a range of linen for the different seasons…some crisp and cool, others blissfully warm and cosy.  To get exactly the right look or mix of textures, I often combine store bought products with homespun products.

Handmade Bottlebrush Pillowcase
Inspiration came from a native Australian plant, the Bottlebrush. I machine embroidered the main design in two different colour threads and added French knots to the brush-like flowers.
Handmade Bottlebrush Pillowcase
After completing the embroidery, I added a piped edge to the pillowcases.
Handmade European Pillowcase
I took inspiration for the embroidered design from a few lonely sunflowers growing tall outside a school classroom window. I added a demi-pleat around the pillow’s border.

I was very excited that our little London fixer upper was going to provide me with my very first linen cupboard.  Not a linen cupboard contaminated by vacuums, suitcases and spare toilet rolls bought in bulk.  A linen cupboard I could solely dedicate to our lovely bedding.  The cost of plastering our house was immense, so we decided to repair the majority of walls ourselves.  This little damaged corner of the linen cupboard was my first attempt at plastering.  A good place to start, hidden in the back of a cupboard!

Corner Requires Plastering

I put up a primitive set of batons and shelves.  If I was doing this now, I would have all the batons enclosed, but this was back then – a time when the ‘to do’ list was very long!  I kept the bottom half of the cupboard free of shelves.  Even though we don’t need to store suitcases and vacuums in the cupboard, I still wanted the option to be there.  I also kept the front of the shelves back slightly from the front of the cupboard so there would be a space to slide an ironing board in.  After some paint stripping and a quick lick of paint, it was ready to be put to use.

The Linen Cupboard

Freshly Painted

I found a hook on the back of the old bathroom door covered in layers of white gloss paint.  I was curious to see what lay beneath so I spent a couple of hours with a little Nitromors and an old knife.  A delightful little hook with intricate details lay hiding underneath.  The hook has now been put to use in the linen cupboard.

Decorative Hook

A Handy Hook

Last week, I was visiting a neighbour.  She was showing me her bathroom, which is about to be pulled out and renovated.  Behind the shower was a tall cupboard and inside was some old ‘ditsy’ floral wallpaper.  I always get a sense of nostalgia by finding wallpaper inside old cupboards – for me it conjures up images of family life long ago.  So last Sunday when it was raining and cold outside, and I had been dismissed from a game of Monopoly due to bankruptcy, I pulled everything out from the cupboard and wallpapered the inside of our linen cupboard.

Wallpaper Lined Cupboard

A set of baskets on the top shelf are an excellent way to store collections of little keepsakes.  I made quick and simple labels for each basket by stitching the words using a free motion embroidery foot.  We are a card making family.  You might think this started once we had Timothy, our son, but the tradition goes way back to our early dating days.  I have dedicated a whole basket to these handmade treasures.

Handmade Cards

Handmade Birthday Card

Handmade Label

Labelled Storage Basket

So now my linen cupboard has its own ‘ditsy’ floral wallpaper and it is all the more cheerful for it.

Autumn Linen

Cheerful Linen Cupboard



  1. Lovely Claire, there is nothing nicer than crisp cotton vintage bedding. I feel this delight may be hereditary:)
    The bottlebrush is such a beautiful flower and a perfect way to remember your Australian heritage.

    1. Thank you, Shelley. I love the wallpaper too. I went to the local hardware store that day and found it. It was exactly what I was after – meant to be, I think! Claire xo

  2. To begin with, I always do sleep incredibly well when I have a sleepover at your family home haha. I love how these first few chapters in sharing your journey in creating your beautiful home, start with the bathroom and bed, where we all spend a great deal of time to help us deal and prepare for the rest of the day. You remind us that these spaces need the time and love to shine, helping us to feel more at peace with ourselves and rested. That a task can take place in a place of beauty X

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