When I saw the title of this reader submission, I braced myself for some The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe action, but it turned out to be less Narnia, more Lane Kim. Don't let your teen see this makeover unless you're prepared to build them a secret hideout — and you'll probably be tempted to build one for yourself.
Here we see Laura Medicus of The Colorado Nest's daughter stepping into a fairly magical vintage wardrobe . . .
Here she is stepping through the back of the armoire . . .
And into her secret lair! This is the coolest thing ever, and I'm now desperate to figure out how to make something similar for my 11-year-old. Every kid should have a magical hangout spot!
Let's hear from Laura how the coolest club in town came to be:
We live in an older home and my daughter's bedroom had no closet. We used a vintage armoire to store her clothes in. My daughter really needed a closet and a bigger room. The room next door is overly large. We decided to take over the closet adjacent to her room. Instead of a traditional door we created "secret" access via her vintage armoire. She has a little closet space in it and also a cozy nook to read, watch some tv, and visit with friends. When you walk into her bedroom, you would never know there's another room behind the wardrobe. When she's older and has outgrown the nook, we'll either put a traditional closet door and closet in, or open it up even further.
Well done, parents! There's enough seating for at least two (there's a red chair next to the pouf, too), cactus string lights for atmosphere, a lamp and sconce (unseen) for real light, a crate that serves as a coffee table and storage, and a lounge light for serious lounging. A truly small, cool space.
This long, narrow space was created to augment the existing closet. The hideout also includes a storage space for clothes and jewelry, which adds a fun splash of color and sparkle. (The closet space is on the opposite end of the hideout, with the entryway dividing the two zones so it doesn't feel cramped.)
My husband and I did the work. It took about 3 weekends. It cost less than $500. We already owned the armoire. It was much easier than I thought it would be!
Make sure your armoire is sturdy! It may need to be reinforced. You'll need to anchor it to the wall also. We found this one on Craigslist and it can hold a lot of weight and really didn't need much work.
These are excellent safety tips to keep in mind, and be sure to remember that your kid will probably be growing rapidly. Any piece used for a similar purpose will need to be able to support a lot more than your child's current body weight, and be sure to check for overhead nails and such that are well above their head—for now. And if your kid's going to be entertaining, their friends might be much taller and/or heavier.
I can't get over how cool this is! The cedar plank walls make for an ultra-cool sauna-like clubhouse, but they'll also make for a fabulous — and moth-free — closet someday:
She wanted a "cabin" feel so we lined it with cedar planks. It's an awesome little room and it's completely secret. You cannot tell that the room is there without opening up the wardrobe. I wish I had finished the other side of the armoire a little better. It looks a little slapped together right now. I know she'll outgrow this little room, so I didn't want to spend too much time or money on it.
Be sure to check out The Colorado Nest's full project post for a floorplan and more photos!
Thank you, Laura!