I am long due for a Narnia Wardrobe update on here. We’ve been enjoying our secret reading nook so much these past several months. An now that the holidays are right around the corner, I just KNEW I had to decorate this space. I mean, it’s already based off of a winter wonderland, so decorating it for Christmas was a must.
Disclaimer: This post is a collaboration with Balsam Hill and Well Woven. They both sent me products to use in this space. There are also affiliate links in this post. But I only share things I love, and think you will too.
The kids and I spend a lot of time in their room, playing and reading. Now that it’s cold outside, I’ve been trying to be intentional about reading to them at night in this magical space. June has also taken it upon herself to read all the books to her brothers.
One thing I love about this room is how cute it looks at face value. Little would you know that there is a magical passage way inside that pink chippy wardrobe.
When I built this piece, I really loved the idea of there being two entrances into the reading nook space. First the french doors of the wardrobe, and then a secret door in the back of the wardrobe.
It just adds twice the amount of magic!
Did you know that I painted not only all the artwork in this space, but also the antique looking doors? I wanted a very specific look for this piece, so DIYing it was the easiest (and cheapest!) way to create this space.
If you look up inside the wardrobe, you will see magical constellations. I drilled pinholes where the stars were, letting the twinkle lights I installed above it shine through.
Once you push the false door open, you immediately enter a very magical place.
We now have a forest growing in our home.
I just KNEW that I had to put some Balsam Hill flocked pine trees in here for Christmas. I wanted it to feel like an enchanted, magical winter wonderland.
And what secret magical reading nook could be complete without a dragon guarding it?
I’ve wanted to put a dragon in here for a while. I just never knew how to execute it.
I’ve been working on transforming this space into a winter wonderland since late summer. But the dragon part stumped me. As life would have it, I ended up making lots of home made piñata this year. All that experience gave me the idea to do something similar with wire and clay to create a dragon sculpture.
Here’s a quick peek at the book wall I made using wood blocks.
I love how these trees are flocked to look like a winter wonderland. They are the most realistic trees I have found for that sparse, natural look. I’m super picky about Christmas trees. I probably spent 50 hours last year looking for the most realistic fake ones. These Balsam Hill Frosted Aplines are hands down my favorite.
I actually purchased one of the evergreen versions of this tree last year for our “forever tree.” It literally was my Christmas present. Haha!
Back behind the trees are some more library blocks. I hand painted them all, and added titles in gold leaf.
The next detail I need to tell you about is this adorable, but HUGE Flickering Lantern.
This space is based on C.S. Lewis’s “The Chronicles Of Narnia”, so the warm glow of a lantern is literally the perfect touch. I know you can’t tell from the pictures, but the rechargeable flickering flame inside the lantern looks SO real! There are too many magical elements in this space to pick a favorite, but this one is high up there on my list.
June is obsessed with dragons lately. She draws about 20 of them a day, and all three of the kids all dressed up as dragons for trick or treating this year.
We were making gingerbread ornaments for our trees, when I looked over at some of the artwork she had just created. It was SO good, and super cute. So I got inspired and copied some of her dragon designs onto our gingerbread cookie dough. We baked the dragons, and she painted them for me. This one right here is one that she did all by herself. Pretty good for 7 years old!
I didn’t add anything to this view of the wardrobe, but as luck would have it, the books already have pops of green and red.
Here’s another gingerbread dragon we cut out and painted. I’ll be doing a tutorial with the recipe for you all soon.
Together all the elements make this the most dreamy place to cuddle up and read.
I had a lighter blue rug runner in here originally, but I really wanted this space to tie in with the main bedroom. So I replaced it with this gorgeous Goa Blue Runner from Well Woven. Now everything feels more cohesive and complete. It’s amazing the difference a rug can make in a space!
Back to the dragons… The one I made for the ceiling is actually pretty heavy, so my husband located a stud, and attatched this heavy duty bolt to the ceiling for me. It’s like a mobile for adults and kids. Seriously so fun!
At first I was going to leave the dragons as plain gingerbread cut outs, but as soon as the kids started painting some of theirs with colors I realized how neat they would look in color.
Adding handmade ornaments to Christmas trees has become a tradition for us. We started our marriage out dirt poor. In fact, for our first Christmas I cut up cards we received for our wedding and made decorations out of them. I love simple, meaningful touches when decorating, so call me old fashioned, but I am a big fan of homemade over store bought.
Overall, this space just radiates a warm cozy feeling.
The big kids aren’t the only ones who love using this space. I will often find our toddler up in the wardrobe playing by himself (he shuts the door and tries to hide in here from me!) And I have also found that our dog loves hanging out & napping in this space. Haha!
The narrow setup of this secret room makes the paintings kind of hard to see clearly, so here are photos of all 8 of the paintings.
These dragon ones represent my husband and I.
The unicorn one is for our daughter, June.
The polar bear painting is for our son, Jason.
And the hippogriff is for our youngest, Myles.
It was fun to do a theme for each person in our family. I wanted the kids to feel like they were walking into a magical corridor where they could enter the paintings and have adventures in those enchanted worlds.
The kids and I decided that this is an ice dragon. In true “How To Train Your Dragon” we had to categorize & name it. We settled on calling it an “Ice Rage.”
I was originally going to make it all white, but then I decided to add some depth of colors to make it pop a bit more up against the rest of the room.
The kids are already making use of our our magical forest reading nook.
I am honestly SO happy that we have been able to create such a dreamy space for our kids. I want them to embrace their imaginations, and have a magical childhood.
What better way to encourage that love of make believe then to make them a magical winter wonderland forest where they can play and read about dragons, castles, and knights.
One last quick view of this space.
This ship is probably my favorite. Kids always freak out when seeing it for the first time. Some adults do too.
Hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into our magical forest! I’ll have to do some video tours on instagram @welivedhappilyeverafter for you all!
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