Children's Rooms, Interiors

Budget Friendly Children’s Room: How to Create a Hidden Room Behind an Armoire

This past month, we took an existing closet from our bedroom, walled it off and created an opening to it in Sylvia’s room (she previously had no closet).  Just for fun, I placed an armoire in front of the door opening.  I took part of the back off of the armoire and now she can enter through the furniture to access her fun secret hide-out/closet!   You can read about the first part of this project here.

We wrapped it up last weekend and it’s been in near constant use ever since it first became “livable.”  She reads in there, has talks with her best friend there and watches some tv on her iPad in there as well as stores her clothes in one part of the area (oh yeah, this was meant to be a closet).  I think she’s got a few years of enjoying it like this and then we’ll move the armoire and set it up as a “normal” closet.  For now, it’s pretty fabulous and it’s very budget friendly.  Nothing here (as you will see) was a splurge.  My philosophy was to make it work for right now, but not at the expense of having to undo much of anything when she outgrows it.

create a hidden space in childs room
Here’s the new floor plan
wardrobe in front of secret nook
Here’s the Craigslist armoire that conceals the entrance to the secret nook.

“She did not shut it properly because she knew that it is very silly to shut oneself into a wardrobe, even if it is not a magic one.”
C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

wardrobe entrance for children
Smaller people only….also, once she’s inside the room, you would never know she’s there.

Here’s how to do it:  If you have a closet with a door in your child’s room, just take off the door and store it somewhere for a while.   Then, get an armoire off of Craigslist or wherever you choose to get fine armoires (thrift and consignment stores also have a lot of these), take the back off and slide it in front of the doorway.  Make sure the armoire is either anchored to the wall or completely secure.  If it wobbles when you or your child gets in – fix it before you go any further.  Also, we’ve found Amazon’s Echo to be really helpful in order to turn on the light (it’s dark in there) before going through the wardrobe.  It’s also handy to be able to turn it off once you’re back outside.

entering through a wardrobe
Entering through the wardrobe. The piece is so old that it’s held together mostly by dowel work and this large piece of newly added plywood…It would have been nice to have made a bigger opening, but the wardrobe wanted to fall apart without it. It’s kind of fun to walk through actually!  It’s a little Meow Wolf if you know what I mean.

If I had the time and inclination, it would be fun to wallpaper the back part of this or paint it a fun color….you can see that I just slapped white paint up onto the back of the plywood and we pinned up some photos.

Cozy reading nook
Here’s the secret cozy reading nook! I found the lounge sign on the side of the road. That and the reading lamp are connected to an Amazon Echo so you can turn them on verbally before you enter the room. There’s also a sconce on the wall that’s switched.  The crate/side table is stacked with books.  Sylvia wanted a “cabin” feel so we lined it with cedar planks.
hidden closet
This is the closet side of the nook. The thrift store orange chair in the foreground is for friends.
childs reading nook
And here she is in her nook!  That’s a Sherlock Holmes poster in case you’re wondering.
armoire with hidden room behind
The cat enjoys going in with the bonus being that the dogs don’t follow.

“It’s important to remember that we all have magic inside us.” J.K. Rowling

 

 

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19 thoughts on “Budget Friendly Children’s Room: How to Create a Hidden Room Behind an Armoire”

  1. So very interesting if a child’s get-away! Love it! Would have certainly wanted one when I was young. Even now when I am in armoire!

  2. “A few years”? She’s going to use that until she gets her own place, and will ask for your help putting one in her new home.

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