Organize the toys and more with these creative built-in ideas for kids' rooms

Kids’ rooms can fill up with stuff quickly. And their rooms need space for many activities — story time, sleep, homework, play, slumber parties and instrument practice. It can be difficult to squeeze it all in. If you’re looking for ways to make the most of your child’s bedroom, consider built-ins. They can help you fit in that second bed, desk, special reading spot and designated places to stash toys, books and clothing.

1. A built-in desk. When planning where to put the desk, consider the space in front of a window or somewhere where you can place a large bulletin board above it. This set of built-ins makes the most of the view, with a desk for more serious tasks like long division and a cozy window seat for reading. It also includes built-in bookshelves tucked away in the corner.

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2. Bunk beds. This classic setup is the best way to double up when the kiddos share a room or have sleepovers. By building in here, the designers were able to incorporate a staircase that’s easier to navigate than the typical bunk bed ladder.

3. A “cloffice.” If your child’s wardrobe is like decorator Christina Katos’ daughter’s, with only about three or four items that need to hang, a closet-office can be a great solution. The nook created by opening up a double closet is a good size for a workstation. This one is covered in chalkboard paint for writing to-do lists or doodling. Backing it with corkboard or pegboard is another good option.

4. Built-in everything. By using the perimeter of the room for all of the sleeping space, shelves, closet and other storage space, the designers left a maximum amount of floor space for playing.

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This set of bunk beds has a grid of shelves built in at the end. If this isn’t feasible, a nook or shelf for books and water glasses for each bunk would work well. And don’t forget to outfit each bed with a proper reading light.

Here’s another strategy that maximizes the space along one wall with built-ins. Note that the cabinets are the same depth as the top bunk, which gives the entire wall a neat and uniform look. The design also leaves room for a tween or teen to use the telescope and host music jams with friends. Also, the designer left enough room for a larger bed below, so that the space can grow with the child.

5. A loft bed. Even if you don’t need two beds, you can gain space by having your child sleep in top-bunk territory. By raising the bed up off the ground, you’ll make room for a desk, dressers, a reading nook or a play area.

6. A nook. This is something to consider during the new-construction or renovation-planning phase. A nook can be a favorite place in which to cuddle up and read with a young child. Here the designer tucked a nook between closets and a window. Shelves overhead, comfy pillows and a sconce make it reading-ready, and it has enough room for Dad to cuddle up with both kids for story hour.

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