The young girl's room was small so instead of a headboard she has a cloud corner. She wanted a cozy place for her bed. There was no single wall large enough, so we removed the closet, which was too small anyway and which also ruined the only windowless or doorless wall in this tiny space.
Using sheets of 4-by-8 foot plywood and 1-by-4 stock lumber, I designed and had built two sets of new "walls," one lower and smaller in its dimensions than the other. The "walls" were actually three-part sections, hinged together to make right angled corners where I wanted them. The longer section at the back of the rear "wall" was made of two 4-by-8 foot boards, held together by the lumber frame behind it. Each side was four feet wide. The cloud shapes at the top were cut with a cut-all or jagsaw.
These two concentric, U-shaped sections became the cloud corner. The outer dimension - occupying the length of the room - leaves space on one side for a 30-inch bureau. On the other, about two feet is clear for access to the new clothes closet - nothing more than two poles recessed behind the rear section of the larger "wall," invisible from the front.
The smaller U-shaped section became the headboard, only four feet wide at the back, leaving plenty of room for a standard single bed. Both right-angled plywood sections are braced at the back with stock lumber to form self-supporting vertical walls, strong enough to support clothes rods for hanging garments, shelving next to the bed for toys and games, or a clamp-lamp for night-time reading. A bit of plywood, left over from the cut-out cloud border at the top of one of the sections, becomes a hinge-down night-table, a kind of baby horizontal cloud sturdy enough for a book and a glass of water.
The clouds were easy to paint. First I had the outer U-shape painted bright Cerulean blue. Than I cut cloud shapes from brown wrapping paper, overlapping the edges deeply where I needed more width, to get complete coverage. With everything else masked off by newspapers, I sprayed the clouds on, using white paint out of a spray can. If you don't want the bother - and hazards of spraying - you can make clouds with a large sponge (no plastic, but the old-fashioned round, natural kind) using quick-drying acrylic or even water-based paint, simply sponging on the clouds. Spraying has a different, finer texture than sponging, but either makes very satifactory clouds.
I painted the inner headboard white, matched the blue of the "sky" in the practical terry-cloth bedcover, and covered the floor in a practical dark green carpet, to look as much like grass as possible.
What will the young lady do when her tastes change? Good question. Since the panels hinge, it would be easy to transform this space into a teenager paradise. Put the mattress on the floor, cover it with a green spread, and repaint the walls into a green tropical rain forest, with palm trees. Funny animals can include the stuffed kind that sit on the new floor-based bed.
The idea of concentric walls can be adapted to other end uses as well. The smaller U-shape makes a perfect stage for play-acting in a family room where there is more room for expansion. Or as a controlled space for stereo equipment, where ample room for the equipment and speakers can easily replace the bureau and shelves I designed, still leaving room for a comfortable loveseat or chair and ottoman.