How to convert your closet into a bedroom

Author’s note: This post is from 2010, back when I was single, living in a studio in DC. This was always a popular post so I’m leaving it here, as it captures the spirit of what jkcoolmom is all about.


I like to tell people I sleep in my closet.

Rents are rising faster here than in Manhattan, LA, and a bunch of other cities that most people would rather live in. I personally love living in my 500 sq-foot patch of DC, but you have to learn how to make the most of a tiny space, which brings me to the point of this post.  Live in a studio with a large walk-in closet? Boom. Instant bedroom. Or, as I like to call it, “the bedwomb.”

Here’s how:


Before: my humble closet


  • Camera, for “before” picture (so you can reassemble closet at move-out)
  • Electric drill, to remove existing closet components
  • Wallpaper and supplies (optional but recommended)
  • Bed (make sure it fits first)
  • Light fixture, night stand, other bedroom essentials


  1. Remove all built-in closet shelves. Make sure to take pictures of the empty closet BEFORE YOU START, so you know how to reassemble it when you have to move-out and get your deposit back.
  2. Hang wallpaper, if using. This makes a HUGE difference and instantly makes it seem like a cozy room vs. mental institution cell. I used Graham and Brown EasyChange wallpaper that you can peel off cleanly when you move out. I used water soluble wallpaper paste — I didn’t do that great of a job though (my first wallpapering), so I may redo part of it later because it’s already curling back in places.
  3. (Optional) I removed the door from the frame completely. It felt too much like a coffin with the door closed. Plus, I hate doors that swing out because they waste precious floor space.
  4. Deal with the lighting — this is very important. I swapped out the depressing, frosted glass closet overhead light with a DIY glass bubble lamp, inspired by this Jean Pelle creation. I’ll do a separate post on making and hardwiring it later. Alternately, you could use a simple bedside lamp. Anything is better than overhead closet lighting though.
  5. Move your bed and bedding in place. Make sure it fits — I opted to keep my full-size (54″x75″), which fits well and leaves room for a headboard and nightstand. A queen (60″x80″) would fit, but it would be a tight squeeze. Those extra few inches matter when you’re moving into a closet.
  6. Hang art and accessorize!
The Bedwomb

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Jeremy Maez says:

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  2. lovely says:

    um this is a very good idea. but i have a reallly small closet and i dont think a bed is going to fit inside


  3. Jill says:

    I am downsizing from a 3 bdrm to a 2 with my two children.
    There is a large closet that I would like to convert for myself or one of my kids…thanks for the great idea!
    If you have any others, please let me know!


  4. Mel Fritz says:

    Doing the same so that both my girls can have their own bedroom


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