A Girl Can Dream: Secret Library

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  December 10, 2012 — 6 Comments

As I was browsing Pinterest the other day I came across this photo. I think I let out an audible gasp.

Shopping Candy

It’s a coat closet turned into a little mini library. Isn’t it gorgeous? My mind immediately went to the long, skinny closet off our guest room that we currently use as a pantry/tool shed/attic.

This picture is actually from the last time Nick and I cleaned it out last February. It’s a complete disaster right now. The biggest problem I have with our house is that there is no utility storage. No garage, no shed, no carport, and only a tiny little hatch to an attic with no flooring. I dream of someday getting a shed, adding proper attic access, and laying down some plywood up there, but those two projects combined would probably total over a thousand dollars–inexpensive in the grand scheme of home improvement and resale value, but not really possible in the season of our lives in which we live on one income. So the closet will look like this for some time to come, but if I ever do get all that crap out of there here’s what I’d love to do with it…

Floor to ceiling built-ins lining the left side, with shelves that reach between the studs to maximize the narrow space and cabinets along the bottom to provide some practical hidden storage. Eight inch deep shelves and cabinets would still leave 28″ of clearance for the walkway. I’m not familiar with the residential code for our area but google tells me that that meets the OSHA standard for public buildings.

Diane Bergeron Interiors

A glass-paned door at the entrance so you don’t feel like you’re locked in a closet. The door that’s there now is original to the house so I’d like to be able to reuse it elsewhere instead of throwing it out.

Home Depot

A built in bench at the back of the closet, where the space extends to the left underneath the stairs. Maybe we could have cubbies underneath the bench to store extra blankets and pillows. And a little light above to make the perfect reading nook. It’s almost as deep as our Ektorp sofa and long enough for little ‘ol me to stretch out fully.

Of course I’d need a way to reach those top shelves, but one of those fancy rolling library ladders is outside of even my fantasy budget. This stepstool is not too bad to look at and could hang unobtrusively on a hook on the wall.


It’s quite dreary out today and I can’t help but daydream of curling up in a pile of pillows to read a good book in my little library. Of course that would require that I actually had time to read a book, haha. But seriously, how great would a space like this be to encourage a kid (or grownup) to read? What could be more fun than a reading nook that feels like a secret hiding spot? I remember hiding in my closet with a book trying to avoid having to do chores. I read all the time, so my mom had no qualms about telling me to put down that book and come wash some dishes.

I hope this Monday morning is not treating you too badly. I had a looooong weekend of single parenthood while Nick was in Baltimore for a buddy’s wedding. I will not be agreeing to anything like that again for a long time. It was HARD being the only parent for eighty consecutive hours, even with a break to visit my inlaws for a few hours Saturday night. Next time maybe I’ll go to the wedding and leave Nick at home with a freezer of frozen milk, haha.

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap


6 responses to A Girl Can Dream: Secret Library

  1. As a fellow bibliophile, I am completely in love with your library closet design. So awesome.

    However, I’m feeling your pain about houses with no workable utility storage. We have tools/maintance-y things in the kitchen, linen closet, and guest room. And I hate it.

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap December 10, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      It’s so annoying! I get that people didn’t have so much stuff when our house was built, but did they not have grass to mow?

  2. I have to say, I’ve been in that closet and I have no idea how all of that would fit in there. But you’ve surprised me before!

    I have been telling you for months to leave Nick at home with that baby for the weekend! You know where to come for a weekend retreat :)

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap December 10, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      That’s because it’s always been full of junk! As for that weekend away, I talk a big game but I’m not really ready to leave him yet. I’d be a weepy, leaky, anxiety-ridden mess. Now I understand why so many women stop traveling for work when they have babies! They’re quite compelling little creatures.

  3. Oh, I love it. You would have your very own secret library! Imagine an older Jack discovering Narnia or Neverland while being cozy in that little space.

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