Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Interior Tuesday: Transforming a Toy Closet

Our home is full of closets. As in, we have 3 real bedrooms and 10 closets throughout the whole house. It’s nice to have so much storage, especially when we decided to convert our basement office into E’s bedroom. This room has a huge under-the-stairs closet that had seen better days. For example:


This is what it looked like when we first toured the house. It pretty much stayed that way when we moved in except we had less board games and more…junk in there. Office paper, luggage, air mattress, etc. It wasn’t pretty, but it was space that got filled.

Well, when planning out how to do the new bedroom, there was one obvious transformation to me and it was to take this dingy, scary basement closet and brighten it up so my girl could read and play and laugh and enjoy herself in there. Who, as a kid, didn’t want a place to hide and pretend?

So once the room was finally cleared out and we found new homes in our other nine closets for our miscellaneous junk, I began the arduous process of painting this cavern-like space. At 6-months pregnant BTW. I don’t think it helped my hip in the least. Nonetheless, it needed to be done and I had a vision.

Unfortunately at the time I did not have a camera, so my vision is shared with you courtesy of my iPhone camera. Not great. But you get the idea.


First, I cleaned the beast out and prepped it for painting.


Second, I ripped off the old shelf liner and practiced adding the new liner on the top shelf. I actually found this cute green striped pattern at Wal Mart for $5 a roll. I used just under two rolls total.  It went on pretty smooth, but I didn’t want to get paint on it, so I held off doing the rest of the shelves until it was painted. I proceeded to prime all the walls with white primer and then a coat of white paint.

I knew I wanted to add some kind of visual interest to the back of the closet as well, so I taped off a lattice-like pattern on the top three shelves. The bottom was too low for me and I knew it’d be covered up anyway, so I didn’t bother. Also, you can tell, I didn’t measure these angles. They’re a little wonky in places, but oh well.


I painted over the top of the tape with yellow and before it dried all the way I ripped off the tape. Now this is not normal drywall, it’s some kind of horrible wallboard that isn’t smooth or straight, so there are some obvious deficiencies. But we work with what we got, right?

After that, I finished lining all the shelves and started to move stuff in. And Voila! It turned into:


Toy Heaven! I used our leftover carpet remnant to cover the concrete floor and threw some pillows in there for her to sit and play comfortably on.

Screen Shot 2012-02-24 at 1.02.51 PM

I also used her drapes from her old bedroom and a staple gun to make a sort of fabric ceiling to cover up the ugly underside of the stairs. It softens the whole area and adds some interest. Also it didn’t cost me a dime, which was awesome.


And just to add one more dimension of fun, I painted the outside of the doors with more chalkboard paint:

Screen Shot 2012-02-24 at 1.03.03 PM

It added a pop to the big white wall that I was missing, and provides her with yet another opportunity to be creative, which I’m all about.

And there you have it! She gets a private place to play and I get all her toys out of my living room, which totally rocks. So far it’s been a hit with her and any other kid that comes over. Is it bad that I’m a little jealous that I never had this when I was a kid? Ce la vie. At least I got to design it for her.

Hope all is well in the blogosphere and have a Happy Tuesday!


  1. Oh my heck, you are soooo talented. It's beautiful!

  2. Ten closets! I'm so jealous. I have four. :( But her space turned out so cozy and fun! She's so lucky!

  3. So when can Jett come over for a play date? Or are boys not allowed in her bedroom? Haha. Love it.

  4. How do you come up with this stuff? I want to know your secret.


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