One of the first remodel projects we did in our home when we moved in two years ago was convert a walk-in closet above our garage into a reading nook for our kids. I think I had aspirations to find a perfect rug to brighten the space more or add some Christmas lights, but after two years I have decided it is time to just show it like it is! The kids love the space, and I often find myself saying, why don't you go play in the reading nook?
I was inspired by a variety of converted closets I found on Pinterest. The closet is located above our garage, next to our craft room. My vision was to have a creative space for the kids, where they could go, be imaginative and have fun.
We painted two of the walls green. While it turned out a bit brighter than I intended, the shelves and books muted the color a bit. The ceiling is a beautiful blue. I love it. And honestly, the kids love the colors, which is why really matters.
I found the tree decal on Amazon and really feel that it completes the room. I couldn't believe that it was just $5. It was very easy to apply.
My dad built the shelves using this pattern from Ana White. We modified the original pattern slightly by adding the scalloped molding instead of the 1x2s. To make painting easy, I spray painted the shelves vs. painting them with a brush. The benefit of making our own shelving was that the shelves could be the exact length needed for the closet and they were much more affordable.
The third wall we painted with magnetic paint, followed by chalkboard paint. The kids absolutely LOVE having a huge wall to do chalk on. I will say that even with three coats of magnetic paint, the magnet is not super strong and only magnets that are really strong (cover the entire back of the object) work. I would not recommend magnet paint after this experience, however the chalkboard paint is amazing and has held up very well. We did two coats of the chalkboard paint.
We originally had bean bags in the reading nook, then swapped them out for the kids' mini chairs. At some point, we might go back to bean bags, but for now the chairs are perfect.
Some of our current favorite books in the reading nook are:
- When God Made Light: This touching book is one that every family should own. Love, love, love the message of light in the world and in our kids. I get chills every time we read it.
- Audrey Bunny: The sweetest book that we are all uniquely made by God. The illustrations are incredible in this book.
- Llama Llama books: We love all the llama books, especially Llama Llama Red Pajama. (Don't miss out on my interview with the author Anna Dewdney!)
- Because I Am Your Daddy: My kids love the imaginative scenes in this book. It is so sweet.
- Little Hoot: This whole series is hilarious, but we especially love the owl that wants to go to bed at a “normal” time like the rest of his friends. A hoot indeed.
- The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale: You've never read the three little pigs like this.
- On the Night You Were Born: This has been a favorite of ours since Elias was a baby
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie : I used to love this book as a kid, and now my kids do too! Because if you give a mouse a cookie…
The closet doesn't have any outlets, or I would probably add some other lighting, but the kids think it is perfect and that's what matters. They aren't looking at other closets on Pinterest! 🙂
We don't have an official “play room” in our house, but this reading nook serves as a small shared space that they both love and can escape to. It is a wonderful way to encourage a love of reading, creativity and learning. In the future I can see adding a small desk or other type of work space.
I hope this inspires you to maybe convert a closet into a reading nook in your home. It is a space you all will enjoy.
we have a space in our attic area we created for our kids dubbed “the cave”, we used rope lighting in there because I wanted it to have a rooftop feel. It worked great and was easy to put up. So grab some discount rope light this Christmas 😉
Wow – I LOVE it!! Its so cozy and comfy. I’m sure they will use this room for YEARS!! What a great investment of your time and effort – ANYTHING to support life-long readers is my motto!
Andrea L. says
Love this (and love all of your book choices too!) 😉
Leigh Kramer says
Oh my gosh, Jess! I want to hang out in the Reading Room next time I come over.
Practical Mama says
I want a room like this for myself. My children would be more than welcomed to share.
Love the reading chairs! Where did you find them?
My mom bought them on Amazon a few years ago, but I couldn’t find them anymore. We love that we can wipe them clean. Elias used to have a fabric one and that was a bit of a nightmare from a cleaning standpoint!
nurse bee says
Nice idea! We are a bit short on closet space in our house though.
Yes, I hear you. We are short on closet space in the main part of our house, but this spot above the garage was perfect.