Ladies, I truly believe this to be true. I think most of you would agree that on some level, this is important. So, I’d like your help to create this kind of space, and maybe we can help each other in the process.
I work out of the converted garage behind my house. This is my office, my craft room, my sewing room, my writing space, and where my husband works out (note: I don’t work out, ha). I know I am lucky to have a space like this, as many prudent mamas work out of closets, dining room tables, garages, or on the floor. Rather then continue to treat it like a scene from Hoarders, I’d like to embrace my good fortune and honor this space with the organization and care it deserves.
While I have made small improvements over the past few years (biggest improvement: cleaning it before I took these pictures), the space is inefficient and not-pretty, leading me to avoid entering it (i.e. doing my work). It is time for a super-prudent redesign, and I’m planning on taking you along with me as I make small, cost-effective (yet hopefully stylish) improvements. There are specific needs and challenges, so I am hoping you can make some suggestions and we can work on this project together. Maybe we will all learn something from each other about making space in our lives for our work.
I’ll ask you my questions after the jump. Please leave comments with your thoughts, and bonus: our favorite comment of the week wins a yard of Dan Stiles fabric from Fabricworm!
The Craft Room Redesign Project: Help!
Here are some before pics and commentary. The first thing I did was install an ELFA storage system along one wall. That is not going anywhere, because I can’t deal with disassembling, and also because it is working fairly well.
I added a cutting table from Ikea and a desk made for me by a friend.
This is the area where I do most of my sewing. I also need lots of storage for my tools (power tools), craft supplies, and fabric.
This is the area where I do my writing and other computer-based work.
On the opposite side of the room by the entrance are some old shelving units and my husband’s workout bench, along with the ironing board and my air compressor that I use mostly for upholstery projects. I’d like to make this area a sitting area, with a piece of furniture that folds out into a bed. That way I could actually have humans come to my office, and also when guests come, my husband and I can sleep out here and they can use our bedroom, since we don’t have a guest room.
One of the biggest challenges in the space is the floor. It is painted cement and has some stains from who-knows-what that make the space feel more industrial than cozy. I have tried to use a variety of rugs, but with all the fabric scraps flying around it became a mess to try to vacuum a bunch of loose rugs. Also, we rent this house so a big investment in flooring doesn’t seem prudent. What do you suggest?
Another challenge is the lighting. Even on bright Southern California days, the space feels dark because it only has a few recessed overhead lights and a tiny window. This also makes it hard to take pictures of DIYs, as I need to stop for each step and go outside to set up a shot, or alternately I need to spend time photo editing images so you can see them (like i did with these). You can see the light sources here. What kind of general lighting and task or photo lighting set-up would you suggest?
Because I need a cutting table at waist height and a desk to work on, I have placed my sewing machine and serger on the ELFA storage system wall. I love that they fit so neatly into the unit, but as you can imagine, it makes it hard to sew large items. It also makes the entire storage wall vibrate quite loudly while I sew.
Also, the walls are white, which is great for not clouding up the sensibilities when trying to create, but not especially cozy. The suzani along the back wall is going to move into my bedroom, so that space will be bright white. Should I paint the walls? Or use my fabric collection to adorn them? Would a specific color combo brighten up this dark room but allow for great picture-taking?
So, to recap: I’d like to use this 15’X18′ space to have a work desk (computer/printer/office), a cutting table, a sewing area, a seating area with space for a fold out bed that is cozy enough to feel like a guest room, and it needs to be kid-safe. I’d even like to squeeze in a small craft area for Scarlet, so she can “work” with me. Do you have an idea of a better way to lay this space out or suggestions for improvements? I need great flooring, good lighting, and style.
Impossible? You tell me.