My favorite room: A closet transformed into a playroom.
Created by: Jen Gouette, Eagan.
The back story: Gouette's family hosts Christmas every year and she wanted a fun space for her grandkids, nieces and nephews, all of whom are toddlers. She decided to get creative with an existing space of the family's rambler.
"I cleaned out the closet under the stairs and turned it into the coolest little kid cave," Gouette said.
How it was created: Gouette headed to Lakeshore Learning Center in St. Louis Park and stocked up on poster boards, decorative paper clouds and other materials that she used as a backdrop. She then shopped at Ikea for pint-sized furniture, including a table, chairs and bookcases.
"It's such a small place that you can really go nuts with color. [It] packs such a punch," Gouette said. "I don't know who had more fun with this spot — me decorating and stocking it, or the kiddos who play in it."
Finishing touches: Gouette filled the space with toys and books from Once Upon a Child. She also bought an automotive pan from a Walmart Auto Care center to hang on a wall to hold colorful letter magnets.
Total cost: Under $100.
The new favorite room: The space is now an activity-filled hangout for toddlers when they're at Grandma/Aunt Jen's.
"The grandkids and other kids just love it. It's a little fort and hideout," Gouette said. "They usually gravitate toward the magnets and the books and they like to sit and color. And it was so cheap to create."
You can have it, too: "What's so great is that most of us have a closet like this," Gouette said. "You could turn it into anything ... a writer's studio, a craft room, a homework spot. The possibilities are endless. And for new grandparents like me, it's perfect if you don't have any extra room in your home for a playroom."
My Favorite Room is an occasional series showcasing improved home spaces submitted by readers. If you have a favorite room, we'd love to hear about it.
Just send a few snapshots, along with a brief description of what makes your room special, to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll showcase readers' favorite rooms in upcoming issues.