Closet Envy: Creative Uses for Closets

Closet envy usually involves admiring another woman's shoe collection, but I've never been into shoes. I am, however, into clever uses for small spaces and it's been on my mind lately as I look to create a spot at home for my my bedroom-less, playroom-less son to call his own. If you live in a small apartment like I do the idea of an "extra" closet or nook seems absurd, but when I look at the many ways parents have repurposed their closets and nooks I can't help but be inspired. Take Esther Kim, for example, She turned this ordinary closet into a toddler hideaway for her son Grant; perfect for reading, playing and conspiring with friends.
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Excellent! Esther describes the closet transformation:

My son, Grant turned two last month and instead of throwing him a birthday party (I'm sure I'll always come up with excuses to plan parties for him in the future), we decided to take on a mini project and renovated his empty closet space into a reading nook, of course with a very tight budget.

I was very much inspired by this reading nook project featured on Ohdeedoh so decided to give it a try! Since I can't use any of the power tools or drills, I had to come up with simple, easy and practical ways for my son to feel like it's now a part of his room- filled with his current obsessions: cars, Buzz Lightyear, robots, and books!

I also displayed his current favorite books, hung Schylling ABC Nesting cubes (he no longer has interest in playing with them) on a string and used our old halogan lamp for night time reading. You have no idea how much he LOVES spending time in his reading nook!

Total cost of renovating his closet: less than $150 dollars!! I think my husband was surprised that I actually kept things under budget!

Here's the breakdown of the cost:

• Home Depot's sample paint for $3 dollars (didn't think it would actually cover the wall with the 8oz bottle)
• Ikea TV shelf & red cushions- $80
• Robot wall decal from Etsy- $25
• Vintage truck wall decor from World Market- $12 each, $36 dollars total

Total= $144 dollars

Fantastic! Thanks Esther! Readers, Esther's specialty is weddings and big events - you can find her services and blog at My Bride Story. If you missed it, check out this healthy yet festive Fruit & Veggie Bar she created for a party.

Ready for more? Here's a roundup of more closets, niches, nooks and crannies used for much more than clothing storage:

Other Great Closet Transformations:
Playroom Closet
Sophie's Play Kitchen Closet
Closet as Changing Area
Fiona's Under the Stairs Playroom

Other Closets Turned Reading Nooks:
Lulu's Perfect Reading Nook
Closet Turned Reading Nook

Closets Turned Bedrooms:
My Room: Aleena
Sleeping in the Closet
My Room: Bowie
My Room: Colin
Creating a Nursery Out of a Closet
Jonas' Walk-In Closet Nursery
A Closet Nursery and the same closet with a second child added.

Nooks & Niches Turned Mudrooms/Landing Strips:
Wall Niche Turned Into Entryway
A Crowded to Calm Landing Strip
Make a Closet Into a Mudroom

(Images 1 & 2: Esther Kim/My Bride Story; other images credited in their original posts)

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DIY, Family, Before & After

As Apartment Therapy's Family Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.

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