For the last few years I’ve had a dedicated space (half of a downstairs room) for crafting , but I’ve tended to drift into the kitchen where the light is better since we had major building work done a couple of years ago. As a result, that space became messy and disorganised and just wasn’t working well for any of us.
Inspiration struck when I was listening to episode 17 of the Declutter Your Sewing Space podcast in which Melissa Fehr (of Fehrtrade) was interviewed about her organised space on a house boat. It suddenly struck me that I might actually work better in a smaller room, swapping the playroom/ upstairs dumping ground with my space, and making the downstairs room into a more effective family space. Thankfully the rest of the family agreed!
The next step was to choose a carpet to replace the deep pink that had been in place since before we bought the house in 2009, and we found a natural coloured 100% wool roll end for a good price. I looked briefly at the Liberty carpets but even for a small room, the price was astronomical! A radiator needed to be moved from a strange position behind the door – which must have been a space-saving option but was too small and almost useless – and some electrical sockets added so that I wouldn’t have to rely on an extension lead from the nearest socket on the landing. The planned dates for all of these determined the speed at which I needed to remove the old carpet and paint the woodwork, walls and ceiling. There are still a few gaps in the paintwork to finish due to unexpected plastering and filling of holes.
The room is small – just short of 2mx2m, with a 60x90cm section by the door and a bulkhead to one side over the stairs. This determined the storage and furniture that could fit in. For ease, we opted to go to IKEA (well, I created a list and gave it to Mr. T to go and collect!). Although I’d have liked to buy preloved furniture for all sorts of reasons, it wasn’t going to be easy to source all that we needed without making multiple trips to different locations, and our evenings and weekends tend to be busy.
The units are both Kallax, one 2×4 and one 3×4 (a newish addition to the range); the desk is a pair of height adjustable Finnvard trestles (allowing me to work standing or sitting) and a 75x150cm Linnmon table top. There are also two Frosta stools, for which I plan to make cushions before long. The trestles have shelves and there’s plenty of space under the desk.
The storage boxes are mostly from IKEA and Really Useful boxes, with a few other baskets and trays that I’ve collected over the years. The 3×4 unit houses most of my fabric and yarn, with larger pieces in sealed boxes on the top, plus baskets of patterns and a peg board whose ultimate location is still to be determined. The 2×4 unit hosts my sewing machines, books and magazines.
A pair of bright curtains breaks up the white walls; they were unlined and too long so I shortened them by almost 40cm, added separate blackout linings and used some of the excess fabric to cover a lampshade kit that I bought during the summer holidays at Coolcrafting in Skipton.
I’ve just started using the room after a few days of moving everything upstairs, ensuring there’s a home for every item and clearing out what I don’t need. Although it isn’t a large space, there’s just enough room both to work effectively and to enforce tidiness and organisation, neither of which comes easily to me.
Here are a few progess photos from the last few weeks:
There’s a lot of sorting out to do now downstairs, but I’m so glad that we’ve been able to move things around to enable a better way of working and find better uses for the space that we have, and I know I’m fortunate to have a space of my own.