Before we moved into our house, the former homeowner showed Henry a “special” spot behind the closet in what is now his room. In the 1970s, an addition was added to the house above the garage, creating a new master bedroom. The stairs going up to the master bedroom run directly behind the wall of the closet in his room. We think when the addition was completed, the back of the closet was opened up to allow construction of the stairs, which created a unique little space. The former homeowner said she used to hide and play in there when she was a kid, and then her kids did the same, so I knew I had to make this a special space for Henry.
Since we moved in, Henry has called it his “secret hiding place” and when anyone comes over, he insists on showing it to them. I was so excited to improve the space to make it even more fun for him! When we moved in, the closet had three different types of wallpaper inside, as well as wood panelling. Here’s what it looked like:
Obviously it needed a face lift! The first thing we did was close off the space that showed the stairs using plywood - just to make it safer and to have a cleaner look. We then covered the walls with pine boards to start creating the shiplap look. You can purchase white shiplap that is ready to go, but we opted to buy the pine wood and paint it white to save on the cost and, since it’s a closet, we weren’t too worried about imperfections or flaws in the wood. Since it was natural, unfinished wood, we primed it first, then painted it with Benjamin Moore Oxford White, which we had in storage from previously painting other rooms in our house.
Once it was painted, we also painted the original wood rod and reinstalled it, and then replaced the shelf with a piece of varnished barn board.
Next was the fun part – shopping for décor! I purchased a small rug to make it a little comfier since the closet floor is hardwood, and then added some pillows I found in the clearance section at Home Sense. I found the string lights at Walmart, and love that they fit the overall décor of our home with the Edison style bulbs. They are also plastic and battery-powered so I don’t have to worry about Henry accidentally breaking the bulbs or playing with electric cords and plugs. Finally, I stumbled on the “Little Man Cave” sign in the clearance section at Marshall’s and I just couldn’t resist – it was too perfect!
Henry has absolutely been loving his new space and when I showed it to him he gave me a big hug and said “I love it mommy – it’s beautiful!” …so I’ll consider that a mom win!
I do plan to add some more décor once I see how Henry uses the space. I would love to add some small shelves for books, and maybe a little chair. If you have any ideas, please leave them in the comments! I would love to hear them!