Before & After: Boring Storage Room Turns Into a Functional Kids Playroom


Guys, I can’t believe this month marks the one year we bought our house! Time flew right by because it still feels like we just moved in! Needless to say, I’m still slowly decorating and making upgrades to the space.

When we first found this home after searching for 2+ year (you can read our home buying journey on San Francisco Magazine), we were surprised by the square footage this house has to offer. It was a rare gem if you know how crazy the real estate market is in SF! It’s a  3 bedroom 2.5 baths, with a big bonus space that acts as a storage/laundry room. But really, the storage room is so spacious that it seems like a waste to make it a “storage room”. Besides, we have a few other storage areas in the house (yes, again, rare in SF)  that it just seems smart that we turn this space into something more useful.

So I decided to make this boring storage room into the kids playroom. However, if you scroll all the way down to look at my embarrassing 🙈 ‘Before & After’ photos, you can see that I wasn’t optimizing the space to its full potential until I started working with California Closets. And to be honest, it was a very challenging space to work with! There were awkward wall studs and weird measurements throughout. It wasn’t easy to find storage shelvings or solutions that I can buy from Ikea or Target. It literally needs to be customized to make it useful. I met with one of their design consultants, Sarah Winge, and she thoughtfully helped me planned out what needs to be done to make this space multi-functional. One of the main goals I have for this space is that it needs to be transitional. While this is a playroom for now, I wanted to be able to turn this room into a workspace when my kids outgrow it.

The result was beyond my expectation! I felt like I came out of one of those HGTV makeovers lol! But joking aside, I love that they were able to help me turn a boring and awkward storage room into a multi-functional space for my family. What I love is that there are plenty of cabinets to store all my kids’ toys, books and knick-knacks. I even have cabinets to put away towels, laundry, vacuum, steamer, mops, cleaning supplies and more. Everything has a home! I’m able to hide all of it so the space looks clean and organized. It truly is a dream come true for an OCD person like me. :)

The cherry on top is that I cannot praise enough how professional and pleasant it is to work with the people there. From the design team to the install team, everyone was super nice and considerate. During my install, they made sure my house wasn’t getting dirty or that they weren’t in my neighbors’ way. I was constantly given updates on what was going on, and everything was spotless when the project was completed. The whole experience felt very smooth and seamless. We’ve also upgraded our ‘His & Hers’ Master Closets. It turned out so amazing and I’ll be sure to share some photos of that too soon!

If you want to read up more on this project and get inspiration for your home, head over to California Closet’s Client Stories – as our little space is being featured. :)  Let me know what you think of the makeover!


BEFORE & AFTER (seriously embarrassed to show you these!)

The Laundry

The Playroom

The Playroom (with Built-In Desk)

The Playroom (Under The Staircase)

This post is in partnership with California Closets. All opinions are my own. Interior photography by Michelle Drewes.