A Thoughtful Place: The Cave is Complete! Part 1


The Cave is Complete! Part 1

Do you hear the heavens opening up and angels singing???? You don’t. That’s odd. The sound of “alleluia” is deafening over here. Why? The cave is complete my friends. Can I get a woot woot? We have been living in mad disarray and it has all been worth it. The dust has been vacuumed, the clutter put away, and the Christmas décor now resides in a brand new home which boasts 40 square feet of space. Ahhhh. It feels good. I can’t bear to keep the photos to myself anymore. However, we are EXHAUTED. So the how-to posts and tutorials will follow once I get my energy back.  Here is a sneaky peak!!!


Tiny bit of background. I asked my hubby to bust through the wall to add more storage under our staircase. He graciously obliged and the rest is history. We had planned to make it more of a mudroom, however, my children fell in love with the space and it melted our hearts. {never mind the fact that they have a playroom upstairs . . .they would rather play in a closet!} So we quickly stepped it up a notch and not only does the closet now store Christmas decor , household items we need easy access to, but it is now our children’s clubhouse. Without further ado. Here are the before shots {and FYI, these before shots aren’t even with all of the Christmas décor shoved in the back of the closet. These are kind before shots}.

   the mess of a closet before



           the new clubhouse




This access door {to the new 40 square feet of storage} has a panel of galvanized metal on top so the kids can play with their letters or put up their latest creations.  The storage space behind the door is carpeted, but we chose not to drywall it. We will be the only ones seeing it when we pull out our holiday decorations.





Couple of layers of chalkboard paint and now the kids can draw on the walls. I will follow up with an easy tutorial in case you are interested. {and let’s just say my hubby was quick to point out I had painted a parallelogram . . . oops. Easy fix!}



At first I was going to do some cute hooks on the walls. Then I decided that these 3M hooks give us so much more flexibility as the children grow and their needs change. Now they have a spot to hang up their sweaters when they come in the door. {this closet is adjacent to our garage door}


I love that the white storage bin allows me to store:  (1) things I need easy access to such as light bulbs and swiffers (2)  items the kids need to grab going in and out of the door for preschool and (3) art supplies and paper. The other nifty thing about this cubby unit is that you can adjust the shelves to whatever your needs are. That is rare with many organizational systems.



And as an update to this project, we added a “You Are My Sunshine” print as well as a shoe organizer to the door. You can read more about that here.




The part that I love best is that the children LOVE it. They will of course out grow this {sooner than later} and yet we will have this wonderful space to expand our pantry and to convert into more of a mudroom {once they have bigger backpacks and more “stuff!” Until then, I love the sound of them running downstairs to play in their clubhouse. And since it is close to where mama cooks, it’s a nice spot for them to have fun in while dinner is under way. The only thing that officially got kicked out were four coats of ours. We have plenty of space in our closet so it’s no big loss. We bought a spring rod which we can pop in if necessary when we entertain. {living in Southern California equals less coats!} I will post a few tutorials later this week {after a few naps!} In the meantime, here is a list of where things are from {many of them I had already had on hand. I just shopped the house, but I will give you the spot where I originally purchased them}.

shoe baskets:                                Dollar Store {$2.00} already had

pink & blue baskets:                     World Market {$3.00 each}

white storage bin:                        Target {$40.00}

galvanized metal:                        Home Depot {$20.00} pricey for that, but we were TIRED!!!!

polka dot pail:                             HomeGoods {$10.00} already had

light bulb box:                              HomeGoods {$3.00}

    {lamp and flowers we have had for years . . .couldn’t begin to tell you where they are from}

Have you transformed anything lately? I know many of you are busy getting organized!!!!!

I am sharing this before and after project with:

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

      House of Grace: Twice Owned Tuesdays


    Someday Crafts

    A Glimpse Inside

    The Shabby Nest

    Tatertots and Jello

    Between Naps on The Porch

    Thrifty Décor Chick

    Sixty-Fifth Avenue




  1. What a great job you did. I love that it is a little children's space. It looks amazing.

  2. Your children are going to have such fun! I am sure they will have lots of stories to tell when they are older about their clubhouse. The space looks terrific!

  3. What a fun little nook. Great job... the kiddos are going to have so much fun in that little space :)

  4. OMG this looks so amazing, It looks like so much fun, so neatly organised. Makes me want stairs lol. I have been busy getting our house Organised. I am really enjoying it, hard work but worth it

  5. everything looks wonderfully organized!

  6. Um, WOW!! This looks amazing. What a brilliant idea Court!!

  7. Courtney it is beautiful!!! What a wonderful little spot for the kids to hang out and be creative! Love love it!!

  8. This is probably the cutest thing I've ever seen. I would've loved having a closet clubhouse too :) That really is like the cutest closet on the planet. And I'm glad you got some extra storage, too!

  9. That is one awesome transformation lady! You have been a busy little worker bee : ) Love the stripes, storage, and all of the accessories!!!!! What a fun space for the kiddos.

    No fun transformations here : (


  10. That room is amazing! Can I be a little kid again?! I absolutely love it. What a great project. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Ok- so not fair - you just won the "mom of the year award" and it's only January! Nice job! I'd love to be a kid in that fun space :)

    xp- Carmel

  12. How cute is this?! Great idea and great work!

  13. I love it!! How creative. The kiddos are never coming out, LOL! We had a "hideout" under our stairs growing up, and we loved playing there.

  14. As always, you are genius! This is great! Function, fun and ITS REALLY FREAKING CUTE! That's adorable that your little ones love it so much. Great job, Courtney!

  15. Great job Courtney! You sorta forget all the hard work when the kiddos start enjoying it, okay maybe not but it makes it well worth the effort. I couldn't tell, is there a door into the space? I'm having a hard time visualizing where it's at.

  16. OMIGOSH it turned out amazing - huge props! That is just such a cute use of space and wahoo for the extra storage - GREAT job!

  17. oh you clever, clever girl!! and i [heart] the stripes!!

  18. That is some cave! It looks great, and love all that storage!

  19. This is amazing! I am trying to convince myself that there are more hours in the day in your home than in mine. ;) I had a cave as a kid with a secret bookcase door... some of the best memories. I love the look of this, Courtney!

  20. Woot woot! That is such an amazing space. Funny, I did hear music. Was that you? Yay, now you can enjoy your hard work Courtney.


  21. Looks great - have to love more storage

  22. Oh my gosh!! What a fabulous space. I love your stripes on the walls. I even love how you rolled up your table runners. Not matter what you put there, that area will be practical for many years to come.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Take care,

  23. It looks fabulous Courtney! I bet your kiddos were so excited!

  24. looks fantastic! now i am wodning if i can knock any holes anywhere in my walls to create secret stoage nooks. maybe i will find hidden money! ;)

  25. WOWIE!!! It turned out FABULOUS!! Aren't those 3M hook thingys the best? I just discovered them when I used them to put up some Christmas stuff!

  26. So - how fun was it to be stuffed in there on your hands and knees taping and painting those stripes?! :) It looks amazing! I love it when people pay attention to closets and places less seen! Good job!

  27. Your finish of you morning-idea is so great! It was a fantastic idea and the solution is perfect. You've done a terrific job!!!

    Love hugs


  28. Courtney- stop it!!! This is amazing. I bet your kids are thanking you! I know I would've loved a hide out like this! Oh my, the stripes and everything are just so great. What fun! I had a chalkboard when I was little, too. I'd play school...it started with teaching my stuffed animals, then I'd harass neighbor kids to come over so they could be my "real students" LOL. I'm sure they loved me (:

  29. This looks sooo great! What a transformation! And your kids LOVE it I'm sure :) I know you're ECSTATIC to have it all completed and Christmas stuff packed neatly away!

  30. Woww!!!!! This is amazing!!! I know my kiddo LOVES to play in small spaces!!! This is awesome!!!! Where did you the the shelf? It's soo cute and exactly what I'm looking for!!! I absolutely looooove your blog!!!


  31. What the WHAT!!! You guys work fast! Amazing!!! Your kids must be thrilled! Fabulous.

  32. WOW! Courtney!! How much fun was that?!! Kids love those little nooks to play in and an added bonus is you got your extra storage space! Fun post!

  33. That is simply amazing! You did a great job. What a fun little (organized) place!

  34. You seriously outdid yourself with this one Courtney! I knew you were making over this space, but I had no idea your beautiful vision for it! I REALLY love it! Painting the stripes on the wall was a fun touch and looks like you got perfect lines. This needs to be featured everywhere! Best project of 2011 so far!

  35. This is amazing, Courtney! Wow! I love it! You are a pro at those stripes! My lines would never come out that straight. As well as all of the great storage what a fun space for your kids. This should be featured in a magazine. I adore that polka dot bucket as well as your colorful baskets. I'm a sucker for polka dots. Great job!!

  36. This looks awesome! how long ago did you buy the cabinet at target? and what is it called?


  37. What a wonderful use of hidden space.
    I wish we had a cave hidden somewhere in the house ; ). You did a wonderful job, yes I heard the chorus...WOOT WOOT!

  38. Courtney, this is so darn cute! I'm loving the stipes! You guys did an awesome job getting it done quick too.

  39. Absolutely adorable! Way to work the space.

  40. That looks absolutely fabulous!! Great job!!

    If we weren't renting, I would totally make my husband knock out the back of our closet under our stairs and even knock a hole in the bonus room for more storage. There is ZERO in this house and all of my closets are STUFFED!
    Thanks for linking up!

  41. This is so creative! I bet the kids love it! Great idea :)

  42. So cute!! I bet the children are so proud of their little clubhouse space. I know if I was that age I would love it! I bet they will make so many HAPPY memories there!


  43. What a lovely clubhouse! They're going to have so much fun. Well done!

  44. My table runners will be rolled for storage by this time tomorrow. Thanks for the idea. Now I have an easy way to tell them apart from the tablecloths at just a glance.

  45. What a fun project! I love that you gave over the traditional mudroom in favor of the clubhouse. They're only little for such a short time. Great job!

  46. ahhhh. beautiful. i've been mad organizing but i've yet to do our TOYS. this post gave me some good ideas. lovely! thanks!


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