Before and After: A Basic Closet Gets a Floral Mural and Work Station for Only $500

published Jan 26, 2024
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Paint on the floor of a kids room before turning closet into office.

Years ago, Kara Lauren Kirchhoff, who owns a colorful and bohemian home in St. Louis, Missouri, noticed that their artistic daughter, Aurora, who was five years old at the time, appreciated organization when it came to her things. With a growing amount of art supplies and makeup, Kirchhoff knew that one day Aurora would need a designated space for her collection. 

“I have been a long-time fan of turning closets into work stations and I knew that her closet would be perfect for that sort of thing,” Kirchhoff says. “I had it pictured in my mind for about two years before I felt she was old enough for it to be executed. So for her seventh birthday I thought it would be the perfect time.”

On Aurora’s seventh birthday, she received an extra sentimental gift: a chance to transform her closet into a work area. Kirchhoff consulted their daughter throughout the whole process, and Aurora picked out the chair, storage bins, and mirror. It was a birthday present that would last for years to come. 

“I wanted to give her something that spoke to that sweet girliness at seven but would also still be cool at nine or 10 and potentially even longer,” Kirchhoff explains. “It’s loaded with storage and has a lot of desk space while also giving enough room to put all of her clothes on the sides hidden behind the walls.”

There were a couple elements that made the transformation process easier. For starters, the closet doors were already falling out of their track so they were easy to remove. Secondly, since Kirchhoff had been planning for years, they had a clear vision and didn’t need to create several mockups. 

Once the closet doors were removed, Kirchhoff painted the entire closet white. “It was old and dark with wood shelves,” they say. “I like to start with a bright white base and work out from there.” Next up, it was time to purchase the furnishings. With Aurora’s sign-off, Kirchhoff ordered an IKEA MICKE desk, chair, mirror, art supply organizers, storage bins, and curtains. 

Another bonus: Kirchhoff has several paint options already, so when picking out colors for the floral mural, they simply took a “trip to the basement.” Knowing that Aurora loves rainbows, unicorns, bright colors (pink and purple, specifically!), and flowers, Kirchhoff decided to paint a floral mural. Once painting was finished, Kirchhoff put together the furniture, installed the curtains and mirror, styled the storage bins, and it was ready to go. The entire transformation cost around $500.

Aurora was “super happy” with the final result, and began using it immediately. “Aurora is a creative soul so her main things are crafts for holidays and birthdays, drawing in sketch books and other art projects, she also likes to play with makeup and uses it as a vanity,” Kirchhoff explains. “And sometimes she just likes to spin around in her fuzzy unicorn chair to brainstorm her art projects.”

The floral wall mural was “good practice” for the design that lines Kirchhoff’s stairwell — their entire home is full of eye-catching murals, too. To see more of their wonderful home, visit the full home tour on Apartment Therapy. 

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