Turn A Narrow Niche Into A Second Master Bedroom Closet

Do you struggle with adequate bedroom closet space in a small home? Finding a way to carve more valuable closet space in our small 1960s master bedroom has been 15-years in the making. It took selling a piece of furniture and staring at the empty void for inspiration to strike. In this post, I'm sharing how to turn a narrow niche into a second master bedroom closet, perfect for folded clothes and bed linens.

How To Turn A Narrow Niche Into A Second Master Bedroom Closet

The small niche to the side of the existing closet (pictured above) is only 12-inches deep, too narrow for a traditional closet to hang clothing. But, not too narrow for floor-to-ceiling shelving that can hold things like folded jeans, sweaters, t-shirts, purses, shoes, and bed linens. That relieves a lot of clutter in the existing closet!

Turn A Narrow Niche Into A Second Master Bedroom Closet

Turn Narrow Niche Into Second Master Bedroom Closet

Our master had one small closet with a traditional single rod running from end to end with one long shelf above it. In dire need to maximize closet space for two people, we installed a double rod system a few years ago. While that helped maximize storage potential in this small space, our clothing was still squished like sardines.

Existing 1960s Master Bedroom Closet Before Expansion

For years we used the hutch pictured below to store sweaters but it was bursting at the seams. I gave the Small Bedroom Hutch a makeover and sold it with plans to replace it with a much larger armoire.

Hutch Before Master Bedroom Closet Expansion

While staring at the empty void after removing the hutch I had a lightbulb moment and by the time Mr. Frugalista got home from work I had a scaled drawing for the potential of this space. Construction began the following weekend.

5-days to turning a narrow 12-inch niche into a second master bedroom closet

Day One - Frame and drywall the new closet

Framing the narrow second master bedroom closet

The hardwood floor is cut to accommodate the bottom plate of the closet frame.

The rough closet door opening and header are framed to match the existing closet because the same size bi-fold doors will be installed.

The frame is recessed 1/2-inch to accommodate wrapping with drywall.

By the end of Day One, the drywall was installed, taped, and patched with drywall putty.

Drywalli Installation On Narrow Second Master Bedroom Closet

Day Two - Prep the drywall for paint

By the end of Day Two, the drywall putty was sanded and the drywall prime and ready for paint. 

Narrow Second Master Bedroom Closet Primed For Paint

Day Three - Paint, trim, and bi-fold door installation

By noon the closet had two coats of fresh paint. If you are wondering about the color it is Wedgewood Gray by Benjamin Moore HC-146.

Note: You'll notice we didn't move the existing plug because that would add to the price tag of the project. In hindsight, I have regrets about that decision and wish we would have moved it to the right of the closet.

By mid-afternoon, the fluted trim and rosettes were installed around the door along with the baseboard installation inside and on the side of the closet. You can see in the photo below that tape is holding them in place while the construction adhesive cures. They were also secured with a brad nailer.

Modifying the bi-fold doors

The matching bi-fold doors required some modifications because having the doors open like a traditional bi-fold door would mean sacrificing some of the 12-inch depth to accommodate the installation hardware.

To remedy this we prevented the doors from folding open where they are joined together with hinges by installing metal brackets in four places (pictured below) to hold them stationary. The doors were hung like regular door hinges onto the inside of the frame.

Narrow Master Bedroom Closet Expansion Bi-fold Door Installation

Day Four - Shelving installation

Metal uprights for adjustable shelving were installed on the back wall of the closet. They were lined up with the wood studs using a stud finder for strong support. Sheets of 12" x 8" white melamine were used for the shelves. They were cut to fit the width of the closet and then ripped on the table saw to 10-inches deep.

Day Five - Moving clothes into the new closet

Despite the shelves being only 10-inches deep, by folding sweaters, jeans, and t-shirts in thirds, they fit perfectly. You could stack plastic shoe boxes three high if using part of it for shoe storage and purses fit perfectly too.

Seriously, I cried when organizing the two closets. I couldn't believe how much room having this narrow second closet opened up in our existing closet. And look, there is still lots of room for more clothing/shoes in this one!

Organizing the new narrow master bedroom closet

This is what the two closets look like side-by-side. One would never know there wasn't always two closets in our master bedroom.

Existing And New Narrow Master Bedroom Second Closet

Turn A Narrow Niche Into Second Master Bedroom Closet Before & After
Considering we were on a roll, I gave Mr. Frugalista another scaled drawing of an idea I had for the master bedroom. You can find it here in my Custom Built-In Window Seat and Bookcase post. We also turned an old 5-panel door into a gorgeous headboard.

You will find this project shared at these inspiring Link Parties.

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