5 Clever Closet Conversions

Want more living space without adding on? One of your closets may be just the extra square footage you’re looking for.

Blogger DIY closet conversion projects
Image: DIY by Design

Besides helping to keep our homes neater, cleaner, and better maintained, closets are master transformers. 

Read on to see how each of five bloggers turned a closet into bonus living space.

#1 A Walk-in for Junior

When Ariel Meadow Stallings of Offbeat Empire needed room for baby, she converted the walk-in closet (below, left) in her one-bedroom condo into a nursery (below, right).

Before a closet was converted into a nursery
After a closet was converted to a baby nursery

Images: Ariel Meadow Stallings of Offbeat Families

The Closet Conversion

Brightening the space was the first order of business. A family friend installed a window in an exterior wall that faces the home’s sun-drenched stairwell. Afterwards, Stallings painted the wood-paneled walls with a white, no-VOC paint.

So that mom and babe were comfortable, Stalling added a small vintage chair for nursing, a minuscule crib that she “pimped out” with colorful bedding, and a super-soft baby rug.

What About the Lost Storage Space?

Stallings left one closet shelf in place to stow soft items like bedding, stuffed toys, and off-season clothing, since the family lives in an area prone to earthquakes. She also added a freestanding bureau.

And her one-in, one-out, policy banishes clutter: If she gets something new, she gives something old away.

See how Ariel updated her kid’s room 19 months later.

#2 A Crafty Reach-in

Closet converted to a cozy craft room

For years, Judy K, the blogger behind DIYbyDesign, wanted a sewing room (above, right). So this crafty mom took over her children’s toy closet (above left).

The Closet Conversion

Judy K was able to create the room's accoutrements by upcycling items she already had.

  • Repainted an old desk and chair
  • Made storage boxes from old packaging and contact paper
  • Stenciled the wall with leftovers from a friend’s project

For anything new, like the drawer set, she shopped sales.

What About the Lost Storage Space?

She got rid of the toys and games her kids no longer use and moved the rest to a basement closet.

#3 A Built-in Bookcase

From hall closet to built-in bookcase
Image: Abby Metz of Metz Interiors

Abby Metz, the DIY whiz who pens Do It Yourself Design blog, had three skinny hallway linen closets (above, left) that weren't working for her. Meanwhile, she had a bunch of books with no official home. So she converted one of the closets into display shelving, (above, right).

The Closet Conversion

  • Removed the door, molding, and hardware
  • Patched holes and painted interior
  • Kept the closet’s shelf brackets
  • Cut new shelves that met the edge of the former doorway’s opening
  • Built a kick to cover the open space between the last shelf and floor
  • Finished with decorative molding

What About the Lost Storage Space?

Since the linen closet didn’t hold much, Metz fit the displaced stuff into her “kinda-custom storage cabinet.” See the details.

#4 A Reach-in 'Cloffice'

Bedroom closet converted into kids desk and storage
Image: Tricia from Simplicity in the South

Tricia of Simplicity in the South believes if you’re short on space, go vertical or go home. That was her strategy for maximizing the square footage in her son’s closet (above, left) to create a place where he can study, game, and store clothing (above, right).

The Closet Conversion

  • Installed drawer units under the desk for clothing and concealed it all with a desk skirt
  • Created additional storage with a 12-inch-wide shelf at the top of the closet
  • Added recycled wood pallets to the wall and made a curtain rod from metal pipes

What About the Lost Storage Space?

Tricia actually gained space with the new closet configuration, and now more stuff fits in this 10-by-10-foot bedroom.

Related: Small-Space Solutions for Shared Kids’ Rooms

#5 A Walk-in Kids' Club

Low storage closet turned kids hideout nook
Image: Lina Darnell of Fancy Frugal Life

This is the playroom we dream of as children. When Lina Darnell, the DIY mom behind Fancy Frugal Life, first saw her home, she knew her kids would love the mini closet under the stairs (top, left). So she created what her kids call “the club” (above, right) using stuff found around the house, like the faux flower boxes and wall art.

The Closet Conversion

The closet had wire shelves. Darnell saved the mounts and installed wood shelving instead. Since the entire family loves Dr. Seuss, she added lots of color pops, including a red-stenciled wall. The pièce de résistance: the playhouse canopy that was purchased at Ikea for $10.

What About the Lost Storage Space?

The kids’ club was always the intended use for this grotto. The best part: It’s right next to the kitchen, so the kids call mom for room service.

Related:  Don't Buy a closet Organizer: Try These Ideas Instead

Deirdre Sullivan bio photo
Deirdre Sullivan

Deirdre Sullivan is an NYC-based writer who's obsessed with maximizing every inch of her urban dwelling. She's a former fashionista who has worked for Lucky Magazine and InStyle. She recently traded her high heels and Fashion Week pass for a drill and bandsaw. Follow Deirdre on Twitter, and Pinterest.