An Interior Designer’s Tips for Building an Awesome Indoor Fort

published Feb 22, 2017
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Lauren Vol)

You probably have some experience from your childhood building forts, yes? Chances are, though, your structures never looked quite this good? That’s because you were a child and you didn’t have the design sense or the wherewithal to make something so Instagram-worthy.

You’re an adult now! And that means you have the skills (and the permission) to take your fort-building to the next level. Trust me — you can do it. Here are my best tips to help you.

1. Take advantage of the walls and ceiling.

As a general rule, I like to start my fort by securing the roof to the ceiling. This can be done with hooks: Those temporary Command hooks are really great for this because they can be removed when it’s time to take the fort down and they won’t leave any holes or markings behind.

Simply gather the material at the corner of a flat bed sheet, tie it up with string, and use that string to hang the corner on a hook. Whenever possible, start in the corner of a room rather than in the middle. This way, you have two walls to attach sheets to.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

2. Build around what you’ve got.

A side chair can add extra seating if you cozy it up with a fuzzy pillow. A media console can become a wall if you cover it with a blanket. A little table can hold your lighting and some books. The point? There’s no need to remove all the furniture in the room. In fact, you’ll find you’ll be able to put most pieces to good use.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

3. Use binder clips.

To connect sheets together, you’ll want to use binder clips. You might think that pins are less visible, and thus a better option, but pins can come loose and then you have hard-to-see sharp objects lying around, just waiting to stab you as you crawl around your fort. Binder clips are less likely to cause injury.

(Image credit: Lauren Vol)

4. Remember this: Bigger isn’t always better.

Yes, I know I said to start your fort by hanging it from the ceiling. Here, I’m talking not about the height, but about the general square-footage of your fort. Think about how many bodies (grown-up or of the smaller variety) will need to fit inside your structure. Then, build a space that is just big enough to hang out in.

The whole point of making an indoor fort is to have a cozy nook. There’s no need to transform your entire living room if you can get the job done in one small cocoon-like area.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

5. But make sure there’s space for snacks.

If you build the perfect fort, you’re going to want to spend hours on end inside it. That means you’ll get hungry and you will need to be able to bring food into said fort. If you don’t have a coffee table in your fort (see tip number 2), just make sure you have floor space for small serving trays. This way, mugs of hot chocolate (wine?) will have something sturdy to sit on among all those blankets.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

6. Play with texture.

Speaking of blankets, comfort is key in this endeavor, so making sure to incorporate your softest textiles is a must. Lay down a small area rug (or two) on the floor of the fort. Skip scratchy or stiff blankets in favor of ones that feel comfy to the touch. And mix all sorts of pillows, poufs, and cushions in a variety of materials. Soft leather? Fringe? Chunky knits? Furry things? Yes to all! Nothing is too over the top here.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

7. Add some lights.

You know lighting is the main ingredient in the recipe of ambiance, so bring in at least one lamp. We also used battery-powered fairy lights, which we attached to the outside of the fort using (you guessed it) binder clips.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

8. Don’t forget the entertainment.

While you can certainly hide away in your fort and do absolutely nothing, you might get bored after a while. Stock your fort with books, magazines, and games. If you can build your fort around your television, well that’s even better. If that’s not possible, well, that’s why man invented laptops and tablets, no?