Before & After: the Master Closet

When J and I first moved to the biggest little city, we had a one room apartment. The baby’s crib and our bed were in the same room, and we kept all of the playthings in the living room. It was tight quarters once the baby started crawling, but we made it work.

T was a few months past his first birthday when we moved into the home we live in now. Two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, laundry room, large closet in the master bedroom. It was the perfect size for our little family.

Now the little family is back down to just two of us. T and I have a little over 900 square feet to ourselves. I sometimes feel like we under-utilize all the space that we have.

In comes Pinterest.

It all started with this pin (and then this pin). I loved the little reading nook, but I didn’t want it just for T. I wanted a place to curl up with my books and be surrounded by words. And I had the perfect spot in mind. There was just one little problem. That “spot” was holding all of my clothes.

Before: The closet

Besides the clothes, most of the stuff in my closet didn’t really need to be there. Two boxes of Barbies and their accessories that T never really got into, my dolls with sentimental value, photo albums and yearbooks, a suitcase filled with purses, and all the shoes that don’t get worn on at least a semi-regular basis. All of this stuff could go into storage, or find a new home. But where to put the clothes?

At first, I put my clothes in T’s closet, because his closet is awfully big for the amount of clothes he has. But then I found a wardrobe at Ikea that fit in my room perfectly, without crowding anything. And it’s small enough to fit the clothes I actually wear. Jackets and dresses are still in T’s closet because they don’t get worn as often. And, like I said, he’s got the space.


T was actually excited about taking a picture with the wardrobe (he helped put it together). He even put on his tie for the occasion.

Once I cleared out the closet, I was amazed at how big the closet seemed. I also decided that I would take the door off, which I’ll eventually replace with a curtain, giving us three full walls for shelves. I already had three shelves built-in to the closet. The lowest one was the perfect height for T’s books. I’m going to have to add another shelf or two because we’ve already run out of space.

I wanted bright colors for our reading room, so I picked out three colors at Home Depot and bought the little sample sizes: orange, green, and blue. I left the walls white, and painted the shelves instead. The walls could house T’s artwork as decor. In total, the materials for the shelves cost me about $25. (You can also check out this post I wrote about accepting flaws when we decorated the back wall.)

in the reading room

My old desktop computer is currently residing in the corner. It’s not getting much use, so it’ll probably be gone soon.

We started with the mattress from T’s toddler bed as a place to lounge and read. It fits perfectly along the back wall. I also had some random pillows laying around that I tossed in. The plan is to fill the floor with pillows of different sorts. I have a lap desk so I can do writing or blogging in the reading room.

I have to say: I am very satisfied with the way the reading room turned out. We read in there almost every night, and sometimes I tuck myself in to do some writing on my laptop. It’s now my favorite place in our lovely little home.


This is my view quite often these days. Each of us enjoying our books.

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2 comments on “Before & After: the Master Closet”

  1. Cameron

    I love it! Love love love. I have my beady eye on a writing nook in our guest room, and all sorts of projects lined up to make it happen… Inspiration!

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