When we decided to add a ceiling to our two-story entryway, we ended up with an oddly placed extra room the size of a walk-in closet.
The room was not connected to any other room and we spent some time thinking about what we could use this small space for. One day it dawned on me – we could build a hidden children’s library with a Narnia closet entry!
Obviously this room is a head turner and the most unique room in our house, but the biggest benefit was a huge increase in my two children’s interest in reading (ages 7 and 4).
Today I’m going to give you a tour of our secret library and explain how we created it. By the way, if you want to see what our two-story entry looked like before the remodel, you can see a photo here.
When we added the ceiling above the entryway (to turn it from two stories into one), we were left with this space, connected to a landing at the top of our staircase. We decided to turn it into a Narnia closet with a hidden library for our kids.
First, I sourced an antique armoire from Etsy. Next we had it built into the wall and patched up the drywall. After that we cut a door in the back of the cabinet to create an access point.
You can see how it looks closed and open in the photos below. The new door is 5 feet high, requiring adults to crouch to enter, but is accessible to both children and adults.
Whenever we cannot find our children, they will find them in this room reading and playing. It makes us so happy!
Let’s talk a little bit about the foyer. This is a small landing pad at the top of our stairs. It has wall and ceiling wallpaper that creates a grand look. From this room there are doors to the staircase, our master bedroom, the hallway where there are other bedrooms and this closet.
Many times I’ve shown guests the closet and no one ever notices anything special about it until we push open the hidden door inside. It’s true magic!
Speaking of true magic, here’s a video tour of our hidden library:
Sources: Wallpaper / Augustine Evans Art Print / William Cleary Art Print (both art prints are by Janet Hill).
The dark green paint color is a custom vote. We took a sample of the wallpaper to the paint shop and they matched the deepest color so we could paint the doors and paneling.
Wallpapering a ceiling is a great way to make a room look smaller, cozier, and more dramatic. This room had little to do with atmosphere before we added the wallpaper and now it’s one of the best designed rooms in our home.
Art Sources: Star Chart Art / Harry Potter Custom Art / Handful of Stars Print, Moon and Stars Print, Shadow Puppets Print. The rose painting and mirror are vintage finds.
I found an Etsy shop that makes these custom wizard prints and my kids think they’re hilarious.
When it came to collecting books for my kids library, this was the fun part! Let me know if you’re interested in an expanded post on this topic. I have collected hundreds of used books locally.
When it comes to new books, I’ve mostly focused on beginning reader series as our 7 year old is just learning to read. I’ve collected all the series I loved the most as a little kid and new series recommended by friends.
So far my 7 year old loves these elephant and piggy series (which she can read alone), The magical tree house and the ramona Series. It has been so inspiring to see my two girls take a greater interest in reading this year.
As a vintage lover that I am, I have also collected Nancy Drew and I am currently working on the full set of goose flesh Books.
Would you like to see more Roomtours?