The bedroom, in a house I worked on, was the second child's. Every bit the "second bedroom," it was very small and boxy. The only closet was a shallow, narrow space, scarcely adequate for the clothes or precious belongings of a growing boy.

Because the one blank wall was long enough, I decided to build a closet-plus-storage wall to accommodate clothing and anything else that comes down the pike. I extended the closet to the opposite wall, adding shelves from closet top to the ceiling. These shelves create a cozy bed alcove, complete with night table.

I built the closet out of stock lumber, using one-by-fours for the framing, and plywood for the outer sheathing.

The shelves are made of thick, built-up plastic laminate, rigid enough to withstand constant use without warping or sagging under the weight of heavy objects. The upper shelf is reinforced with a supporting strip at the back against the walls. The lower shelf is strengthened by a valance that conceals a flourescent fixture, a perfect reading light. On the far side of the bed is a narrow, vertical bookcase, filled with adjustable shelves.

The whole scheme could be made with components, pre-built and pre-finished, but by comparison, these turned out to be slightly more expensive than doing it ourselves. Another way to lower the expense would be to buy a pre-built, unfinished closet and fit the shelving above and beyond it.

For the finish, I chose a glossy white enamel, easy to wash, to match the white laminate shelving. A navy blue wall on both sides of the new closet adds to the crisp, linear look of the storage components. To accent this clean line, I built a frame around the tall window and painted it white to match the shelving.

The window shade within the frame of the window is bright yellow. The pulls on the new closet are the same color. The bedspread, made of terry toweling, repeats this bright accent. To take the place of a headboard, I upholstered the space just behind the bed, framed by the shelving, with dark blue felt to match the wall.

A brilliant poster, occasional pillows, the canvas seat and all of the wonderful objets d'art a boy accumulates combine to add even more color and brightness to this closet-plus.