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Our Secret Closet Turned Play Nook

Today we have another reveal (a mini one), to cheer us up or at least distract us from the world right now – or perhaps the perfect place in which to crawl inside and stay til 2022! This hall closet had so much potential – it has the sweetest little window and a junction box for a sconce. We had a fantasy of putting in a secret bookshelf/door in the kid’s room that opened to this little nook, but we never did. Instead, we used it for seasonal coats with a rolling rack and just random storage.

I don’t think I ever took a “before” photo of this landing, but the original doors and doorframes were painted a dark brown, so we lightened them up with white paint, but otherwise, we didn’t really change this area too much.

Once we decided to make the former playroom into a den to sell the house, we realized that this would be the cutest little playroom, especially since it’s next to the kid’s room. So I brought the furniture that we already had up there. The play kitchen is from Pottery Barn and is SO CUTE, rocking horse from Target (Hearth & Hand 2 years ago) and of course our sheepskin from Article. All the kid’s pots and pans are Hearth & Hand, and my favorite wood food is here.

Sconce (similar) | Knit Banner | Play Kitchen | Rocking Horse (no longer available | Sheepskin Rug

The banner is from Lulu and Georgia but is no longer in stock there. Here it is from another source. I forget where I got that sconce years ago but it was super affordable (this one is similar). Fun/disgusting fact – the glass is clear, but the dust makes it look frosted in the photo. That’s where we are at these days…


And then there is the dollhouse… that miniature building mocks me every time I see it because neither of my children want to decorate it with me. Maybe I don’t know HOW to play dollhouse with kids and need to reframe it, but they do not share the same miniature styling passion. In fact, when I threatened to give it to a our neighbor kid who would use it they both said, “Ok. We don’t like it” which if you have kids you know that generally the idea of giving away toys to another kid, even the toys they NEVER PLAY WITH is traumatizing and all of a sudden the previously neglected toy is “the most special thing to me”. So that’s how much they don’t want to play dollhouse with me. I even took Birdie to a dollhouse store in the valley and let her pick out miniature lamps, desks, and dolls to get her involved. Nope. Charlie made his opinion clear years ago when he used his action figures to destroy the living room and I got more upset than a mom should get about a 3 year old messing up my dollhouse fireplace vignette.

I’m sad that our kids likely won’t be able to enjoy this space for too much longer (they haven’t even seen it yet). But that’s how we turned our extra hall closet into a play nook (or would be a super cute zoom school – because that’s a thing now – our kids going to school in their closets!!). xx

In case you missed any of the other reveals so far check them out: The Living Room | The Kid’s Shared Bedroom | The Basement Guestroom/Office | Basement Bathroom | Elliot’s Room | Kitchen and Dining Room | The Entry | The Family Room | The Front Yard

**Reveal Photos by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

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3 years ago

So cute! I’m surprised that your realtor didn’t suggest that the space be staged as a ‘virtual classroom closet.’ As you said, that’s a hot commodity right now!

3 years ago
Reply to  MollyS

Completely agree! Tt would be great to see this staged as a home office or home classroom. So much more important today than ever. It is a cute playroom too

3 years ago

How freaking cute is this?? SO CUTE OMG.

Kristine C.
3 years ago

That’s a hilarious story about the dollhouse!

3 years ago

haha! that is a great use of space but I kept looking at the first picture and thinking, “why is their a rocking horse in the bathroom.” wednesday brain : )

3 years ago
Reply to  sarah


Julie S
3 years ago
Reply to  sarah


3 years ago

My 3 year old loves to play in my dollhouse. I’m thinking about packing it away to preserve the remaining pieces that aren’t broken. In the meantime, I’m getting my dollhouse fix from IG @rowhouse1993. She’s making an epic San Francisco rowhouse addition to her childhood dollhouse, complete with a ground level bakery. I’d watch her lay herringbone bricks with tweezers all day long.

Tiffany L Olivas
3 years ago

Any chance you can share the wall color and trim used?

3 years ago

My boys were never interested in decorating the dollhouse. The interesting part to them was acting out various scenarios with the dolls in the house. Oh, and playing “earthquake” where they set it all up and then shake it till everything falls over. They are into it for a couple of months at a time, then they are over it and we put it back in the attic.

I remember loving dollhouses, but not until I was a little older, I think around 4th grade. Then I was very into building and decorating them. My parents weren’t part of that, though they were on hand to help if I asked.

My brother and I had hours of dollhouse fun discussing our strategies for what to do if one or both of us suddenly shrunk down to the size appropriate to live in the dollhouse. Honey I Shrunk the Kids was a huge influence on this, I’m sure.

3 years ago
Reply to  Tarynkay

I was going to say the same – I think dollhouse play is actually an older kid activity. It requires some fine motor skills! My kiddos, 5th & 6th graders, spend hours making artwork for the dollhouse walls and rearranging all rooms and figures. In early elementary school it was more of a storage space for little figures.

3 years ago

My ten and 12 year old LOVE decorating our dollhouse so maybe store it in an attic until they are older? They used their dollhouse for princesses and figurines when they were little but didn’t really decorate it until this last year.
Adorable little play nook. So cute

veronica crawford
3 years ago

omg 😍 such a cute idea! i love

awwww, so cute! my kids would love a nook like this for their own! Love how you styled it out. i would never have thought of that.

3 years ago

I loved my dolls as a little girl, but neither one of my daughters did. BUT, my granddaughter does and I just bought an old beat up doll house for us to fix up together.

3 years ago

Emily, there are many adults who build and makeovers dollhouses as a creative outlet. I’m in the process of making over the dollhouse my grandfather made for me when I was ten. There are lots of miniature blogs and Instagram accounts that you would love. Just sayin’.

3 years ago

What is the door to the right of the closet/playroom??!! Curious!!

3 years ago

You can borrow my two year old for a week — he is obsessed with tiny things and would die for that doll house. My older daughter has a little doll sized bowl of strawberries and he carries it with him everywhere! I am sorry your kiddos don’t love it— it makes me sad when my kids don’t love the toys I want them to love!

Julie S
3 years ago

I’m completely intrigued by your kids’ rejection of the dollhouse. I resented my mom’s full time career as a child so I’m projecting that they probably hate the dollhouse because it’s EVEN MORE of what Mom already does all the time (laugh/cry face). Myself, I read in some kids book at age 6 or 7 about making your own dollhouse stuff out of, like, boxes and sponges and spools, and that was the beginning of a long term hobby (with miniatures, but never dolls) that lasted till I went to college… then when I started adult life it translated into my actual dwellings and here I am reading decor blogs etc every single day!

3 years ago

Can you share which dollhouse store in the valley? I’d love to go there and take my kids…

3 years ago

I have the VERY same dollhouse and very same dilemma. Notice I said “I.” I’m the only one in my household who appreciates it. It’s even replete with a vintage cast iron miniature wood burning stove, porcelain bathtub, etc. Isn’t this the whole reason we had kids?? 🤣