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Design

Birdie’s Closet Makeover (With A Funny DIY Fail)

I put off our bedroom closets for the longest time (besides mine, lol). It’s just not a priority when renovating and I didn’t know if we wanted to do a whole system or just a rod and a shelf, a dresser, blah blah so I let myself off the hook on that decision. But it was becoming a real problem (as you’ll see below). Remember my favorite quote I stole from one of you, “Without systems there is chaos”? Last year when Pottery Barn launched their closet systems (they brought back Hold Everything which I LOVED), designed specifically for reach-ins, I reached out (!!) and asked to partner with them on both Birdie’s and our guest closet. Their systems felt simpler, yet elevated and easy to figure out, order, and install. You’ll see 🙂 So let’s revisit where we are, what Birdie’s room looks like and you can see the horror of the “before”.

photo by kaitlin green | from: birdie’s bedroom reveal!! designing with (not for) your kids, and how we exploded this room with color

Birdie’s room is full of color, obviously, and without a dresser in here (which we could add somewhere if we were motivated) we wanted her closet to hold all her clothes. She’s 8, going on 15, and is into sequins but not into clothes yet.

photo by kaitlin green | from: birdie’s wallpaper room + what’s next

The closet had two vintage doors, painted the SW color of the year (Upward!), and they were soo sweet. But the inside was empty and going nowhere fast.

It was QUITE the horror show. We had found these two metal drawer systems from Facebook Marketplace (that are still highly functional for craft supplies) and a cute dress-up rod that she was already growing out of (she does NOT like princess clothes anymore…until of course all her friends are over and they play dress up for hours). So we emptied it out…

One thing to remember – on the left, there is a secret door to Charlie’s room – something they begged for, but as many of you pointed out has proved to be just them teasing each other when their friends are over (and mostly cute). We def didn’t need it but when you are moving and displacing kids you promise weird shit to mitigate the fear of newness, so we promised them a secret door between their rooms. That’s all to say we couldn’t put the dresser on the left or it would block access to said door.

I did the measuring and found the right situation for us – four drawers on the right, two hanging rods on the left, and shelves. But they, of course, have basically every configuration you could imagine or need. So if you want a closed cabinet, shoe storage, more shelves, rods at different heights, etc, they have it. Everything just looks so pretty and custom. 

It took Dave, our handy guy, 3 hours to install until we realized that having it “center”, which I had asked him to do, meant that the drawers couldn’t fully open without hitting the edge of the door (because the door can’t fully open due to the wall). So he had to come back and take it apart and move it literally 2″. That was our fault, just wanted to flag it for you.

New Closet – Fully Styled Out

Closet System | Woven Baskets | Felt Hangers | Skirt Hangers | Geen Rain Boots | Silver Boots (similar) | Gold Boots | Purple Crocs

It turned out pretty dang cute! And finally having the organization drastically reduces our morning or pre-sports battle (a basket on top for all things swim and for all things cheer – yes, she is in doing a competitive cheer team and she’s LOVING it). The top drawer is socks and underwear, then tops, bottoms, and seasonal on the bottom. I’m a HUGE fan of a dresser in a closet, and integrating it this way is just wonderful. And here’s a video of the whole makeover (just wait for the ad to play!)…

She can reach most of her dresses as we put the most special occasion ones or costumes up top. The shelves are also great for books, trinkets, and other kid stuff that is cluttering up the room. And if you are concerned about the dead space to the right know that it is filled with Squishmallows 🙂

A Quick Scallop Fail

Months ago I had the fun idea to put a scallop “crown molding”. It bugs me a lot that this room doesn’t have a better transition from wallpaper to drywall ceiling – we either need molding or to panel the ceiling. So I found this stick-on scalloped border on Etsy for super cheap and ordered enough to go around the ceiling. GREAT!

Not only did it take FOREVER to get just one neat and smooth (like 4-5 minutes each) but you could see the wallpaper underneath it really easily and it looked so dumb. I was relieved because y’all, this was going to take me or someone else probably 2 days, and for it to then look that janky would have been a real “joke’s on us” moment.

DIY PIVOT!

While the closet was perfectly great as-is, I was sitting on $120 worth of non-returnable stickers, staring at four flat white horizontal drawers at eye level. These drawers are obviously MUCH easier to play with than the whole ceiling perimeter. BTW these stickers come in a million colors (and a few sizes) and I was so excited to use yellow in her room as it’s the one color from the wallpaper that we haven’t really embraced yet and we both love. I thought hard (and still do) about painting the ceiling yellow (how happy!!) but waiting for inner confirmation (from myself) that it’s the right move. Meanwhile, these stickers are doing the trick here.

The pretty woven bins are from Pottery Barn and I bought the kid’s hangers from Amazon (skirt hangers and normal hangers).

The only thing missing is a place to put her imaginary crop top that she is begging to wear (I compromised and let her buy with her own money a couple of sports bras to wear to cheer – WHAT IS GOING ON???). And mostly I’m embracing the last few years of having a little girl because this one is going to be QUITE the fun tween (which I’m also super excited about – assuming she’ll want to still hang out with me). For now, she and I both love her closet and Brian (who sets out their clothes for the morning) can stop grumbling trying to find her best fleece-lined pants 🙂

Closet/Bedroom Resources:
Wallpaper: Schumacher
Carpet: Stark
Door Color: SW 6239 Upward
Trim Color: SW 7006 Extra White

Closet System: Pottery Barn
Scallop Sticker Trim: Etsy
Woven Baskets: Pottery Barn

*Design and Styled by Emily Henderson (me!)
**Photos by Kaitlin Green

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Linda
1 month ago

May I ask why shoes are up here? Just for the shoot? They are so cute by the way!! I need a pair of silver boots now….  
This is a carpeted room and you have a mudroom. Street dirt on the shelves makes me a little uncomfortable. But I might be weird.

Kimberly
1 month ago
Reply to  Linda

I was wondering about shoe storage, too.

Julie
1 month ago
Reply to  Linda

Holding a family’s entire shoe collection is a LOT for a mudroom, even a really big one, when you have shoes that are for different seasons. I keep my most worn pairs in my entryway bench and all the others go into my closet shelves like this.

KL
1 month ago
Reply to  Julie

+1 to Julie – I have a small mudroom and there’s only 2 of us, but I keep the majority of my shoes in my closet upstairs (and my house is strictly shoes-off past the tiled entryway). I swap out shoes seasonally with the mudroom storage, and special occasion shoes just get tried up briefly upstairs, then carried down to the door.

Bizideahindi
1 month ago
Reply to  Linda

Street dirt on shelves are a big no no. I like to keep everything in my house pristine.

Heather
1 month ago

Her closet looks so much better, and sings to my organizational loving heart! Also, I know moderating comments has helped keep the meanies away, but I really miss reading over the comments while I drink my morning coffee. I miss My morning design loving community! Often the comments don’t get approved until later in the day – Pacific time zone, I get it, but I don’t have time to check back later in the day. Wish there was a win win solution, and that the bad apples would go leave their cruel remarks elsewhere!
PS my daughters do competitive cheer, and I’m in shock I birthed two cheerleaders. They love it too – bows and all.

Shannon
1 month ago

I WAS concerned about the dead space on the right and am irrationally pleased to know it’s filled with Squishmellows. What a cute and functional closet. The scallops work so perfectly on the drawers and make it so happy and unique.

Sally
1 month ago

What is a competitive cheer team? How can cheering be competitive?
I’m highly curious.
The wardrobe looks great, although I thought they always came with rods.

Angela
1 month ago
Reply to  Sally

The same way gymnastics or figure skating can be competitive…you create a very challenging, athletic routine and judges give you a score.

Kimberly
1 month ago
Reply to  Sally

Cheerleading is a sport in the US involving lots of tumbling and requiring lots of strength and flexibility.

Lisa
1 month ago
Reply to  Kimberly

Also didn’t know about this (not from the us) until I watched a netflix docu series about one of the top us cheer teams (creatively called “Cheer” ;)) which I was absolutely hooked on for a while. If you want to take a closer look, I heartily recommend 😀

kiki
1 month ago
Reply to  Sally

If you have access to Netflix try giving Cheer a watch! It’s WILD but also so fun?? Competitive cheer is totally different than what you see on the sidelines at a game. Same universe, but totally different planet 🙂

Jen
1 month ago

LOVE that happy burst of yellow. It was meant to be there all along!

1 month ago

I love the scalloped dresser so much!

priscilla
1 month ago

What a pretty before and after! And the yellow scallops were a lucky mistake turned great. I have a yellow ceiling in a room, which i actually love, but there’s a story behind it. I painted a small bedroom yellow (like 10×12 if I’m feeling generous). Not the yellow of the scallops but a medium, dirty straw kind of yellow. Wow, immediately the sun was burning 24/7 in that room!, and the yellow walls bouncing off the very close other yellow walls seared into my brain. I couldn’t open my eyes fully without being overpowered. I immediately painted over the yellow with MB Floral White. Ah, it all settled down. However, as I am the painter, I left the ceiling yellow to be painted another day. The day never came because the yellow ceiling casts such a warm, friendly non-searing sunniness light, I am thinking of painting other room’s ceilings yellow. So, one vote for yellow ceiling here. the luckiest girl in the world lives in your B/A room!

Linda
1 month ago
Reply to  priscilla

Just out of curiosity, do you notice small flies and beetles on your yellow painted ceiling? Because when I wear a yellow T-shirt or have several cushions on my patio, the yellow ones always attract small flies/bugs. Like a beautiful flower 🙂 
So I wonder if the yellow ceiling, when you open the windows in summer, attracts these insects and they congregate on the yellow ceiling for a party.

priscilla
1 month ago
Reply to  Linda

Interesting. I have screens on all windows but you know, sometimes someone will leave a door open too long and in come bugs. I have not seen bugs on the yellow ceiling, but i will keep my eyes open for them. Mostly the bugs that get inside are mosquitos or flies, and sometimes a wasp. I’ll let you know in the summer time!

Lisa H
1 month ago

Cute! I love a dresser in the closet too.
i wonder if a little footstool could fit into the closet? I’m sure it won’t be long until Birdie is tall enough to reach the top shelf/rod, but it would allow access to everything now.

Roberta Davis
1 month ago

Nice solution!

Hilary
1 month ago

I was laughing about your sports bras and crop tops comments – my daughter is 8 and I put my foot down, like hard, for years. Until I put it down slightly less hard and let her sort of wear a very non-croppy crop top one day during the summer, which turned into weekends during the school year, which turned into school days with a sweatshirt on top. Same thing with the sports bra, until she really did demonstrate a need for a tiny bit of coverage, even though she is not even 9, but I got where she was coming from. I felt totally judged – mostly by myself, imagining the granola feminist moms (of which I am one) silently judging me.
I never know how to navigate what the culture is telling her to be/do (popular! cute! have make-up! wear sports bras!), vs. what’s coming from inside her that I need to respect, since she’s an actual small human herself. Ah, parenting. Just a solidarity comment I guess LOL.

Amy
1 month ago

Lovely organized closet, and excellent repurposing of the stickers. Definitely get some crown molding up in that room, but keep it the same color as the rest of the trim — it will add some calm and make things look finished.

Aimee
1 month ago

I’m very excited to hear about a potential yellow ceiling! The scallops were such a great idea for a faux moulding situation, but I think you made a good pivot. I love and fully support this impulse to add a few more elements to this space.
Fun as always!

Kiana
1 month ago

I’m curious about how to configure a closet that has this dead space on either side as that’s my problem too. I have a slightly older kid (11) who doesn’t have much clothes that need to be hung. Mostly his closet has folded clothes and drawers but because it’s two bifold doors, there’s dead space on the right and the left. And

SS
1 month ago
Reply to  Kiana

Suitcase? A tall and skinny set of shelves for shoes or sheets or books? Flexible laundry bag that hangs on the front wall of the closet and can be wedged in and out?

Rhea
1 month ago
Reply to  Kiana

Ten year old boy, and same. Here was our solution – short (30” or so?) hang bar out of view on the right. Try tiny room, so this has made a huge impact for us! He has two small dressers as nightstands in either side of a daybed. This keeps the max floor space in the room available.

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anonymous
1 month ago
Reply to  Kiana

If he wears hats (ballcaps, etc), you can store them with hooks or a ballcap organizer. Clothes hampers can take up the bottom dead space. Hanging baskets can keep small items organized and hooks can keep scarves, coats, umbrellas, or the next day’s outfit ready to go.

Merry Stuber
1 month ago

This is so stinkin’ cute!!! What a wonderful pivot on the yellow scallop too 🙂

Marcia
1 month ago

So cute! I think the scallops could have looked cute on the ceiling too with the scallops facing into the center of the ceiling. They look darling on the dresser though!

wally
1 month ago

Would love an article on how to optimize storage in different shapes of closets. I have a super long skinny one that is the bane of my existence. My bedroom closet is deepish with shelves at the back, but the clothing bar is in the middle, so I can’t reach the shelves. I have a decent amount of storage space, but it all feels so unuseful.