Boy Closet Makeover: Project Plan + Moodboard

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Now that my daughters “princess closet” is complete, I’m going to tackle my sons “dinosaur closet” and I’ll be turning another thrifted (actually, FREE) dresser into a built in closest system with drawers and functional storage. Here are my initial ideas and plans for the space including “before” photos.

Initial ideas for boys room closet.

While I wasn’t planning on doing two closets back to back, fate took the lead on this one when I happened to see a FREE dresser on the side of the road that would be perfect for this space.

Of course, anyone with multiple children close in age knows that as soon as one has something, the other wants it too so my son had been asking when his closet was going to be complete.

To be fair, my daughters closet was tackled first because her dresser was broken. My sons dresser isn’t broken but he is definitely in need of more function in his closet space!

My first thought was to use his existing dresser and move it into the closet and build it in similar to my daughters closet project (which you can read more about here). However, his closet is MUCH smaller.

The closet width and the width of the dresser is exactly the same, which means while the dresser could potentially fit (maybe?) — the drawers would not be able to open. They would hit the trim.

So, when I came across this dresser on the side of the road, I took a leap of faith and trusted my “eye” in thinking that it looked a little smaller and would fit in the space. We will see if I’m right!!

The “before” photos of the space

Because we primarily use his dresser for clothes storage, the closet became a dumping ground for things that didn’t have a home or things that needed to go into storage that we hadn’t gotten to yet (like the tote of too-small clothes).

The majority of the clothes that are hanging are from my “budgeting hack” of buying clothes at any random size whenever they are on “super clearance” at Old Navy.

As a side note: “super clearance” is my own term for when I find clothes that are $3 or less. I grab them and store them because he will fit them eventually and doesn’t care what I dress him in (unlike my girl).

Anyway, the first step was to clear all of this out!

When we moved into the house, every inch of the main space needed to be painted. I did it on my own and I only had about two weeks to do that. For that reason, none of the closets got painted, so I definitely wanted to take this opportunity to freshen up the scuffed off-white paint.

I removed the brackets, filled the holes, and painted the closet Cool Grey from Valspar.

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I'm making over my boys closet! Find out how I'm going to turn a FREE dresser into built-in closet storage! These are my closet plans, before photos, and mood board inspiration for the space!

Closet plans and a look at the free dresser

I’ll be working around the dresser that I got for free on the side of the road. I also have a hutch that I thrifted from the restore for $45 that I’ll be using for this space as well.

While this closet will require less “building from scratch” than my daughters closet did, it will still turn out just as awesome!

One thing I was very happy about was that the dresser I picked up had drawers already on sliders. It was also insanely heavy which means it’s a quality piece! While it does need some love, it was a major steal.

Here’s a not-so-great “before” photo of the dresser:

I actually forgot the “before” photo so this is a screenshot of a video I took for my Instagram Stories. By the way, if you’d like to follow along this project, check out the highlight titled “🦖 Closet”

The section on the side had a door that was broken off but I don’t think I’ll be using it anyway. Initially when I made the plans, I wanted to leave it open for box storage. My son has since requested shoe cubbies like his sister has so that part of the plan will be changing. However, this space is perfect for shoe storage so I’m happy to meet his request!

Here is what I drew up for the space:

Please forgive my iPad drawing skills, but this is essentially what I’m thinking for the space. I knew after adding the beautiful watercolor rainbow peel-and-stick wallpaper from Interior Blossoms to my daughters closet, I HAD to find a place for this adorable dinosaur print.

By the way, you can use code DIYOURHOME for 15% off any of the Interior Blossoms wallpaper!

On top of the dresser will be the hutch! My first instinct was to build up the top of the dresser so that it’s flat and then add the hutch to the middle of the space.

However, since it’s such a narrow closet, it would only leave about 9 inches on either side and that’s just too tight. I like the idea of sitting the hutch down into the drop down spot on the left side of the dresser.

Again, this will require less building and will be more about making these two pieces of furniture look like one cohesive built-in.

Moodboard for finishes

While I admit I’m struggling with my vision on some of the finishing details, I do know for sure what color I’d like to paint the built-ins, what hardware I want to use, and the wallpaper choice!

Here’s a look at a rough moodboard for the space:

Of course, I wanted to add some kind of lighting as well like the sconce in the princess closet and my first thought was something hanging down from the ceiling. However, I just don’t know how it’s going to go yet until I see the space put together a little more.

I’m a very visual person and need to make these types of decisions as I get a better feel for the space I’m working with!

Materials planned to use:

I do plan to test out a new-to-me product for this project: BB Frosch. This is a powder mix that you can add to any paint, any brand, any color and it will make it as durable as mineral paint (at a fraction of the cost!) I’m pretty excited to test this out!

This product also cuts out the need for priming! All you have to do is clean the furniture or cabinets that you’re going to paint! Technically, you don’t even need to sand! I will likely just wipe it all down with liquid sandpaper and call it a day.

A sneak peek at project progress

I want to share one more photo for you since I’ve already jumped into this project! I cut down the trim around the desk and stripped the top veneer so that it can be stained (the rest of the built-ins will be painted).

Here’s a sneak peek:

You can also peep the hutch I thrifted in the back as well. Because of the measurements being just “off” I will need to get creative. We will find out if I’m able to make it work! Be sure to follow along on Instagram if you want to see me problem solve my way through this!

At the end of this project, I will be sure to write it all out into a post that includes tutorials, step-by-step instruction, and “after photos” — keep an eye out for that!

If you enjoy this post, please share! I appreciate it so much!