Custom Nursery Closet


Ahhhh organization. How sweet you are. I honestly have a love for organization and creating areas that provide a “home” and space for items that life tends to bucket as miscellaneous and annoyingly “in that pile”.

When we were planning out all the details of Little M’s nursery, I knew that I wanted to tackle a closet project. These boring closets that come in old homes annoy me. Ever since I was little, I always tried to change my room around so that the closet would function as part of the room. Yes, I was crazy and was pushing my own furniture around the room. I remember bracing myself against a wall or sturdy dresser, so that I could use my legs to power-lift furniture around.

I used my closet as part desk/work space and then I tried putting my bed in the closet – using the closet as a headboard. I remember laying there at night, thinking how it probably wasn’t the best idea to have my head under two shelves packed with stuff, but I was too proud of my ingenuity to move it.

So when I saw my daughter’s room coming together, one of the first things I did was take off the closet doors and daydream about what we could do in her closet space. We went to a couple of the local home improvement stores and mapped out their closet systems and I was floored at how expensive it all was. If we wanted to have higher quality, {and not the white wire shelves}, we certainly were going to have to brain storm because we could not afford the nice custom closet systems they were selling.

We did some research and decided we could create and build our own. We went looking for the perfect tall shelving/drawer unit and found it at Ikea. We were looking into their custom closet offerings, but it was still too pricey, so when we were strolling through the kid area, we happen upon the perfect solution. The STUVA system.

I’ll admit – Ikea confuses the heck out of me. We live near one, and it has taken me about 7 trips to start to figure out the system. I saw the perfect mini-version of what I wanted and was elated to find out that they had a taller version that would fit perfectly in our closet.

We didn’t buy the tall cabinet doors. (Link to Ikea by clicking on picture)

We had done all of our pre-measuring of the closet, being sure to keep in mind the height of the actual opening of the closet, not the height of the inside of the closet. We knew that the 75-5/8″ height would be juuuust right. 

If you are familiar with Ikea, you may know that most things come in parts and pieces {everyone’s favorite part, right?}. However this did allow us to customize how we wanted. For example, instead of choosing the doors on the top half, we opted to keep it open and buy shelving.

We came home and put it together so that we could get it in the closet and measure out the side space. Once we had it centered, we measured from the outside of the cabinet to the inside of the side wall to figure out how much shelving we needed and what length of dowel.

We went back to the home improvement store and picked up one long pre-painted white shelf that was the perfect depth to make as the top piece of shelf. I wanted to make one level shelf at the top and so we decided to use the top of the cupboard to match up and extend the shelf. To secure the shelving, we bought white metal “L” shelving brackets; two for each shelf. We secured the shelving to be flush with the cupboard top and voila! I had a top shelf! I specifically chose to have the depth be more shallow than the cupboard because with the top of the closet wall being low, it doesn’t leave much space to fit larger items on top of the shelf.


To make the closet rods for hanging space, we bought one long dowel and 6 dowel holders. We decided we wanted to have three hanging locations and measured the width from the cupboard to the wall, including the space for the dowel holders. After securing the dowel holders, we cut the dowel to match our measurements. The dowel holders make securing the wood dowel really easy – just slide them in!

The last thing we did was put the clear crystal knobs on the drawers to match the dresser and of course start to hang all the adorable girl clothes I had been collecting!!



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