Creative Ideas for a Rarely Used Spare Bedroom Closet

Creative Ideas for a Rarely Used Spare Bedroom Closet

Do you have a spare bedroom in your home with closet space that isn’t used to its full potential?  This easy DIY closet installation project can give you extra storage space that is customized to meet your specific needs.

You guys, do you remember my office closet makeover from earlier this year?

Do you remember how much I loved it?

And guess what? After using it for a few months now, I love it even more!

It’s made such a big difference in the functionality of my space. I feel more productive and more organized because everything now has the perfect place.

Plus, the bonus is that it also looks so pretty. When I open up the closet doors, my heart does a little pitter-patter at how gorgeous it is now. And hey, that matters too, right?

Let’s take a minute to recall the before and after…

Office Closet Makeover

This post is sponsored by Wood Closet Designs, but all ideas and opinions are my own.

Creative Ideas for a Rarely Used Spare Bedroom Closet

As a result of my office closet success, I found myself chasing that high again. Especially upon opening our rarely-used guest bedroom closet.

Small guest bedroom
Smaller guest bedroom

We have two guest bedrooms in our home. The lower level bedroom is much larger, more private, and has an attached bath, so it gets used more often.

The main-level guest room is right near the kitchen and fairly small, but it does get used by guests when we have a full house. Therefore, we need to keep it as a guest bedroom, but the closet? Now that’s another story.

Guests don’t need an entire closet for their belongings, right?

Messy Spare Bedroom Closet

Over time, out-of-season clothes have migrated here from the master bedroom, as well as other items that didn’t really have a home.

The result was a messy collection of “stuff”. Can you relate?


guestroom closet "before"

“Butler’s Pantry”

This messy spare room closet got me thinking.

We don’t need more room for clothes, but we do need more room for kitchen-y things. Since this extra bedroom is very close to the kitchen, a sort of “Butler’s Pantry” closet design came to mind.  

butler’s pantry; a service room between a kitchen and dining room, typically equipped with storage space for china, silver, and other serving pieces

Custom Closet Builder

I knew I could use Wood Closet Design’s Closet Builder to create my own custom built-ins and turn this standard closet into something that worked better for us.

DIY Closet Organizers

After carefully measuring my closet, I entered the dimensions into the Closet Builder. Then it was time to experiment with several different module types to design my “Butler’s Pantry”.

Closet Builder

I knew I wanted plenty of open shelves, as well as some drawer space.  Because this room would still sometimes be used as a guest bedroom, it needed to leave some space for clothing, too.

I was able to create a design with enough space to accomplish all of these things by selecting 4 modules that could be customized to fit the dimensions of my closet.

  • a clothing rack on one end for hanging tablecloths and runners
  • a clothing rack on the other end with extra room for guests to use
  • a unit with 9 adjustable shelves for dishes, bakeware, platters…
  • a unit with drawers and shelving for napkins, placemats, silverware, serving pieces…

When I was done, I received a PDF of what my custom closet system would look like:  

Butler's Pantry Closet

I selected the wall-mounted closets option because it allows for usable floor space underneath,  but Wood Closet Designs also has floor-mounted closets if you prefer.


Once we designed and ordered our closet system, it shipped directly to our home (shipping is included!)

Mine took about three weeks to arrive.

Creative Ideas for a Rarely Used Spare Bedroom Closet

Easy DIY Project

Even though my husband and I are not closet experts, it was super easy to install our new custom closet all by ourselves.  

The instructions were so clear, with every piece labeled, that even novice DIYers like us could easily handle this project.


With a bit a lot of purging, the closet quickly went from messy to ready!

The first step was to remove the original clothes racks and wire shelving from the closet.  

After filling the holes that were left behind with spackling, and touching up the walls with the original paint color, this closet was already looking so much better.

​DIY Installation

The closet kit came with everything we needed for our custom closet build.  What a relief not to have to run to a local hardware store during installation to pick up things we forgot!  It was all included.

closet hardware

The next step was to install the hanger cleat. This is the long, narrow board that supports the modules, so that they hang, rather than sit on the closet floor. 

We used a stud finder and a level to ensure the hanger cleat was anchored into the studs and perfectly straight.

For easy access, we installed the wardrobe cups (for the hanging rods) and the cam screws before lifting the vertical side panels up and over the cleat.

Just like with my office closet, I was again impressed with the quality of these components.  No particleboard panels here!  

Creative Ideas for a Rarely Used Spare Bedroom Closet

The sturdy, dovetailed drawers came pre-built with the hardware already attached.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

Wood Closet Designs offers a variety of hardware styles and colors. I selected the oil-rubbed bronze knobs to coordinate with the rest of my home.

All we had to do was screw the drawer slides into the side panels and pop the drawers in!  

drawer slides Creative Ideas for a Rarely Used Spare Bedroom Closet
Drawer slides

The final step was to insert the adjustable wood shelves and arrange them to our preference.  

Since I planned on using this closet for tablescape pieces, serving items, and my large collection of Nordic Ware pans, I knew I wanted lots of open storage.  The 9-shelf unit was a great option for this type of storage.

Butler's Pantry

Next to the built-in shelves, we selected a module with a built-in drawer unit.  The drawers are perfect for storing smaller items like cloth napkins and napkin rings.  They also provide extra space for placemats, silverware, and seasonal items.  

My New “Butler’s Pantry”

This closet is a night and day difference from the way it was before!

Creative Ideas for a Rarely Used Spare Bedroom Closet

While it may not be an actual Butler’s Pantry in the traditional sense, it’s a great way to store items that I use regularly, rather than just be a “dumping ground” of stuff like it was before.

Plus it looks so pretty!

We adjusted the shelving above the drawers to leave an open space for things like my antique cake stand and pitcher.

drawer unit

The drawers are perfect for small items like napkins and table accessories.

Plus, I was super excited when I realized the drawers are “soft-close”!

There’s room on one end for hanging tablecloths so they don’t wrinkle, and even floor space for baskets to hold extra blankets for guests. I left the clothing rod on the other end empty for guest usage when necessary.

Creative Ideas for a Rarely Used Spare Bedroom Closet

Dual Purpose

This room is an example of one of the best ways to maximize space because it truly serves a dual purpose.

Rather than let it sit empty when it’s not being used by guests, now we can also utilize it for something that makes our day-to-day living function better, too.

Creative Ideas for a Rarely Used Spare Bedroom Closet

In addition to the bed, I also have my mother’s antique cabinet in here, which holds vintage china from my husband’s grandmother. This adds to the “Butler’s Pantry” charm of the room and allows me to enjoy them instead of packing them away. Plus, they can easily be accessed for holiday dinners.

Creative Ideas for a Rarely Used Spare Bedroom Closet
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More Storage Solutions

Maybe you don’t need a “Butler’s Pantry” in your home,  but think about how you can turn even a small closet that’s not working for you into something more practical for your lifestyle.  What would help your home function better?

  • turn a small bedroom into a dressing room complete with a full-length mirror and a chaise lounge!
  • create a storage room for all of your bulk items, cleaning products, or pantry goods
  • take the door off a tiny closet and turn it into a “library” with open shelving
  • even if you already have a large walk-in closet, add one or two units for shoe storage
  • create a better-functioning linen closet
  • turn a coat closet into an open closet with a drop zone for keys, mail, etc…

There are so many DIY closet ideas and possibilities. My new “two-for-one” guest bedroom/Butler’s Pantry allows me to retain a comfy space for guests, while also adding functionality and organization to this small room.

Win/win, don’t you think? 

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One thought on “Creative Ideas for a Rarely Used Spare Bedroom Closet

  1. It’s amazing how a little creativity can turn an unused space into something functional and delightful. Can’t wait to try some of these ideas in my own spare bedroom closet!

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