As a 12 inch linen cabinet is extremely narrow, the more shelves, the better. The shelving space included with such a narrow cabinet will be more limited than it would be with a regular cabinet. Because of this, Andre Mellone recommends looking for a linen cabinet with at least 6-8 shelves instead of the 4-5 you would expect with a wider cabinet. Linen is a relatively thin material anyway, but you don't want to overstock the shelves you have and create a messy look. It's better to give each sheet or towel enough space so you can see everything you own. Some linen cabinets come with drawers above or below instead of extra shelves, which can be a better option if you want to store a lot of smaller items like pillowcases.
Manufactured wood is a popular choice for linen cabinets, as it is easy to paint and is often cheaper than solid wood. However, if the linen cabinet is for your bathroom, teak, oak, and maple are all stunning woods that are more resistant to water than other types. Additionally, cedar wood is extremely resistant to mildew and does not absorb water the same way other woods do. Even if you have a fan, moisture in the air accumulates quickly in a bathroom, which is why choosing a wood with built-in protection just makes sense. Some linen cabinets have a glass door or other panel that allows you to see what's inside, whereas others are open. If your cabinet does have drawers or a door, ensure the hardware is rust-resistant.
Design and Color:
Though 12 inch wide linen cabinets usually don't feature an elaborate design due to the limited space, their design can still elevate existing décor. For example, if you have a farmhouse-style bathroom, a whitewashed or sanded-down brown cabinet will fit in perfectly. For a modern bathroom, Dan Fink recommends an understated cabinet in light or dark gray for extra depth and dimension. For a cool contrast that doesn't require too much planning, go for a linen cabinet in an accent color like sage green or gentle sea blue. Pastel furniture in general is a great way to add color to a simple bathroom without painting the walls, making it especially useful if you rent your home. For small bathrooms, stick to light colors to prevent a closed-in look.