Dining Kitchen

Narnia Wardrobe – Hidden Children’s Library

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 did not attach to any other rooms, and we spent some time thinking of 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 entrance!

Obviously, this room is a showstopper and the most unique room in our home, but the biggest benefit has been a huge increase in reading interest for both my children (ages 7 and 4).

Today, I’ll give you a tour of our secret library and explain how we created it. By the way, if you’d like to see how our two-story entry looked before converting it, you can see a photo here.

When we added the ceiling above the entryway (converting it from two stories to one), we were left with this space that connects to a landing at the top of our stairs. We decided to turn it into a Narnia closet with a hidden library for our children.

First, I sourced an antique armoire from Etsy. Next, we had it integrated into the wall and the drywall patched. After that, we cut a door into the back part of the armoire to create an access point.

You can see in the photos below how it looks closed and opened. The new door is 5 feet tall, so adults have to duck to enter, but it is accessible for children and adults.

Anytime we can’t find our kids they can be found in this room reading and playing. It makes us so happy!

Let’s talk a little about the foyer. This is a small landing space at the top of our stairs. It has wall and ceiling wallpaper that creates a big look. From this space, there are doors to the stairway, our main bedroom, the hallway where more bedrooms are and this armoire.

Many times I have shown guests the armoire and no one ever notices anything special about it until we push open the hidden door inside. It is 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 match. We took a swatch of the wallpaper into the paint store and they matched the deepest color for us to paint the doors and trim.

Wallpapering a ceiling is a good way to make a room feel smaller, cozier and more dramatic. This space had little to do vibe before we added the wallpaper, and now it is one of the most designed spaces 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 the mirror are vintage finds.

I found an Etsy shop that makes these customized wizard prints and my kids think they are hilarious.

When it came to collecting books for my children’s library, this was the fun part! Let me know if you’d be interested in an expanded post on this subject. I collected hundreds of used books locally.

For new books, I focused mostly on series for early readers since our 7-year-old is currently learning to read. I collected all the series I loved most as a young child as well as new series that friends recommended.

So far, my 7-year-old is loving the Elephant and Piggie series (which she can read on her own), The Magic Treehouse and The Ramona series. It’s been so inspiring watching both my girls take a larger interest in reading this year.

Being the vintage lover that I am, I have also been collecting Nancy Drew and I am currently working on the full set of Goosebumps books.

Want to see more room tours?