Kid’s Book Nook From A Closet

My daughter’s bedroom has two closets which is more than a (then) 4-year-old needed. I’d stumbled onto an article where someone had turned a closet into a kid’s reading nook. I loved the idea so much I’d soon removed Katie’s closet door to start building something similar for her.

I sketched up my idea, which was just a couple platforms and some shelves, and headed out to Home Depot. At the time I drove a Pontiac Vibe, so I had to have them cut a bunch of lumber to fit in the car. This was also before I had a miter saw, so I made all the cuts with a circular saw (which honestly, at the time, scared the bejeebus out of me).

Getting wood, my original sketch, and the blank closet

I started by making a couple boxes with 1×4’s, topped with a sheet of plywood. The box for the seat was secured with screws into the studs on each wall, with the bottom box just sitting on the floor.

Top and bottom boxes, and seat frame

Another box was attached higher up to replace the wire shelf I’d removed. This was a few inches shallower than the front wall of the closet. This was to allow room for curtains to be hung on the inside, covering the entrance of the nook.

For lighting, we wanted a decent fixture to provide light for reading, and something else a bit more fun. We found a lamp and funky blue star light (which we painted yellow) at Ikea that seemed to fit. Both lights plugged into regular outlets, and I didn’t want to see wires hanging down. So I came up with an idea to build up a sort of “track” system that could hide the wires, provide a mounting surface for the lights, and look like a decorative element that was supposed to be there.

Light and wiring setup

Once those were up, I built a couple shelves to hold her books, making sure they didn’t stick out too far and get in the way. Next, we painted the interior of the closet, including the upper shelf, a dark purple. The shelves, seat and base were painted white.

Shelves

To make it look more like part of the doorway, we added white moulding to the front faces of the seat, base and upper shelf. To top it off, we got a thick piece of foam from Jo-Ann to use as a seat cushion, and my wife made a fabric cover for it.

Seat foam and painting the moulding and star light

This was one of my first little diy projects and I’m still so proud of it. Granted, Katie doesn’t spend much time in it (or her room) right now, but I expect it’ll start getting used again, once she gets older and wants to get away from us.

She liked it!

If you’re inspired to do something similar, you might also want to check out this Pinterest board I’d created to gather ideas. We never did hang the curtain, which I still want to do , along with rebuilding the bookshelves to accommodate more than just children’s books.

She’s getting bigger, but still has plenty of room!