This Small Kids’ Room Fits a Ton of Stuff on Just One Wall — Here’s How

published Jul 20, 2023
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children's room with toys and books
Credit: Qui Kruithoff

Even though kids might help pick up around the house, parents are likely familiar with watching as their kids’ spaces extend beyond their bedrooms or playrooms. For instance, an entryway becomes a dumping ground for their belongings, and walls are galleries to display their artwork. But these expansions make homes feel so much more sentimental. 

Take Diamanda Kruithoff’s colorful home in Kalamazoo, Michigan, for example. She and her musician husband, Sean, considered their son, Hendrix, while designing every room in the house. 

“Our home is a love story. It is curated with objects that hold wonderful memories. Most of the art is hand-picked from art shows, friends, or painted by Hendrix,” Kruithoff said at the time of her house tour. “Hendrix, this home, and making the move was all about him. We wanted something to give him. We decorate it with him in mind and try to make it as colorful and playful as possible.” 

Kruithoff says that “the whole house is Hendrix’s playroom,” but that doesn’t make his designated spaces, like his bedroom, any less special. In fact, it’s one of the most joyful, inspired rooms in the home. 

How to Maximize Storage Space in a Small Kids’ Room

1. Install floor-to-ceiling shelves.

One of the most important additions were the DIY bookshelves in Hendrix’s room, which use every bit of available wall space in that area to artfully display all of Hendrix’s toys and books. Sean used basic brackets and shelf boards to complete the project, but they needed to be strong enough to hold their son’s massive book collection. “We wanted to build something sturdy for all his books,” Kruithoff shares. “We’ve been reading to him since before he was born, and that was the main focus — to keep the books available to just pick up and read throughout the day.”

2. Leave some open shelf space at ground level for baskets.

By installing the bottom shelves a few feet off the floor, they also left some floor space for a row of baskets for easy access to other toys — so smart! And the rest of that wall is working hard, too, with a kid-sized table and chair set and tool bench.

It’s not just the books that likely inspire Hendrix in his room. Using painter’s tape to map out mountain shapes and green paint, Kruithoff DIY-painted wall murals on the walls. Even though she admits that she chose a simple design, leaning into nature and the outside world makes the space feel imaginative. 

“Creating an aesthetically creative and pleasing environment is important to me because art makes life beautiful. But these walls could be plain, and the room could be utilitarian, and there would still be joy,” Kruithoff writes. “What makes this space so incredibly special are the laughing fits, silliness, car races, city building, story times, lesson learning, snuggle sessions, and so much more. Having time with each other and having home security is a gift. I feel blessed for all these things and for the ability to make it look fun too!”

And Hendrix thinks the space is pretty neat, too. “A few days ago, out of the blue, he just said, ‘I love my room,” Kruithoff shares. “It’s such a happy space and has positive associations connected to it.” 

Hendrix’s bedroom isn’t the only stunning space in their home. To see more of their Kalamazoo house, check out the full house tour on Apartment Therapy. 

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