Tuesday, February 10, 2009

From Awkward Coat Closet to Fun Toy Closet!

In our small family room, we have an awkward coat closet that angles back under the stairs. Up until two years ago, we just had it stuffed with random items and then had the children's train table pushed up against the door so they would stay out of the closet. It made the closet rather useless and the train table difficult to use.

So, two years ago I decided to make it over as a surprise for my little ones! I don't have a really good before picture with all the junk in there, but here is mostly what it looked like--dingy paint, a light fixture with a pull string, a metal wall box with our house alarm mechanics, and a single wire shelf running across the back of the closet. Not very pretty!!
My husband's contribution to this project was to convert the pull-string light to a regular light fixture with a wall switch. At the end of the project he removed the door from the closet and sanded down the hinge plates so there wouldn't be any rough edges for the children to hurt themselves. We kept the door on the closet until I was done with the makeover because this was a big surprise for my children.

I wanted to make it a light and bright space for my children, so I painted the entire closet blue and painted the trim white. Next I painted puffy white clouds using a sea sponge. Then I stenciled on flowers and little bugs in bright colors.
I wasn't sure how to cover up that metal box, so I used my staple gun and put up a piece of fabric. Then I put a toy shelf in front of the fabric so that little hands wouldn't pull the fabric off the wall. Another problem was the access panel in the floor that is used to get to the crawl space under the house. I covered up that area with a small area rug--I didn't want the children picking at the carpet edges on the panel access area.
After that, I hung some small butterflies from clear thread in the ceiling (of course I don't have a picture of that!) and I was done.

My children LOVED the space and used to spend lots of time playing in the closet. It was a great way to add more space to our family room. Now that it has been two years, they don't really play in there any more...so this summer I think I'll be changing it to a book nook for them. I'll change out the toy rack for a bookshelf and give them some comfy pillows to lounge on. I just want to wait until after we do our small construction project this spring.

For more fun ideas, visit The Lazy Organizer for more Talk about Tuesday posts!

13 comments:

jenjen said...

What a cute space you have made. I love those stencils. It is really bright, cheerful and happy now.

Great job!!!

Jen

mnkristy said...

That is such a cute idea! Great job. And I like the book nook area for your next idea.

Our Complete Family said...

I had fun reading your last few posts to catch up on your blog hun! Your ideas for keeping kids stuff under control are great! Love your Val day decs, too!!!
Happy day wishes...Les

That Girl said...

great ideas, both of them!

The Masked Mommy said...

This is so cute! What a great idea! I think the reading nook with be equally adorable. Thanks for the inspiration! February is my "closet month". You should pop over and link this post up to my closet party. It will start March 1 :-)

Ms. Tee said...

Absolutely adorable and so creative! What a sweet mom you are :) I love the idea of a book nook,too, now that they're older.

Dreamer said...

This is too cute, I bet your kids have a blast in there. Makes me wish I had a weird closet without a purpose!

Jenny said...

I love it! I remember we used to play in a closet that was under a stairwell like yours. It was still a coat closet, but we used to bring in a radio, paper and crayons and play for hours in there, behind the vacuum and coats! LOL!

Carrie said...

What a special place! Good job!

Xazmin said...

I love it - wish I had one to play in!

The Blonde Duck said...

Popped in from Carrie's to say hi!

I moved! Come see me at www.aduckinherpond.com.

Shannon said...

What a great use of space! I love the paint and all the colors! Very cute!

Messy Jessy said...

Cute painting!

I love the clouds!