Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Office Space

Sorry for the lack of blogging in the last few weeks, my motivation has been seriously taxed. I'm still fighting a nasty virus that's now turned into laryngitis, blech. But enough complaining...

I was thinking today as I surveyed the disaster that is my office that it's really time to consider redecorating. It was the first room that we decorated when we moved into two years ago and while I do still love it it has some issues. I spend my entire day in this room working for my full-time job and many of my evenings sewing and crafting for the Etsy shop so it has to do a lot and be inspiring to me. As you can see from the terrible photo it's super super dark. (And yes, there's a plate on the floor) I took that photo mid-afternoon when the sunlight should have been pouring in but alas, it feels like a cave. It's on the upper floor of our house and I do love the room. It feels like being up in a tree house with all of the trees surrounding our home. I love the combination of the black storage pieces, the gray walls and orange accents but I think all of the black soaks up any light that the room does get and makes it seem darker and smaller. The monster Ikea storage unit is great for holding a gazillion things but what you can't tell from the photo is that it's smack dab in the middle of the room cutting the room in half. Because of the low angled ceilings it was the only place that it would fit. On the opposite side is my sewing area and another window. Another issue I have with the storage unit is that while I adore the idea of all of my fabric and yarn sorted by color and neatly folded to admire whenever I choose, in practice it just doesn't work. You can't really see because of the darkness but it's a mess, there's fabric falling out everywhere. I think I'd really like to find something that has doors or drawers to store the fabric so it's hidden. This would also help because this room serves as a playroom during the day too, meaning that the baby who's so much more mobile is now getting into everything.

So, I know all the black has to go and I need to find some low covered storage in lighter colors. Either something from Ikea like this, or something from a thrift store that I paint. I think I'll keep the orange accents but paint the gray walls white. Maybe I'll paper one wall in some vintage paper. I would love to build something like this to put in the center of the room as a sewing / cutting table. Another issue is the built in desk. It's so adorable and I love that it's recessed in the window well. The problem is, I think it was made for a child. The opening is too short to put my legs under when I have my chair at the proper height for my arms. Also the drawers don't work very well and so are not very usable. I would really really hate to get rid of it but I'm thinking that it might have to happen. I could probably find a new desk to fit in the space. But I don't know, what do you think? Sorry for the rambling post but sometimes it's nice to just get my idea out there, it helps to get your thoughts too and focuses me a bit. I'd love any ideas you guys have on creating nice crafty spaces. I also started a Flickr gallery here for inspiration.


  1. Oh dear, that Flickr gallery almost had my tidying my studio at... 12:25am (right now).

    One trick I've learnt for making a room look bigger is to paint everything against the walls (shelves, desks etc) the same colour as the walls. And for me, things with doors that close, rather than open shelves, help a lot.

  2. I agree on the white walls and getting rid of the black. You could also consider going with white curtains or shutters. Make it really streamlined. In theory, I like black but it does make things dark. Also, since this is your work space I think I would bite the bullet and get rid of the built in desk. It's a nice feature but if it's not working for you...sometimes it takes courage and guts to edit and redecorate but the results are worth the effort.

  3. I don't have to sell you on lighter colors... doesn't have to be white tho... even off white, pale yellow or pale green, too. Something fresh and inspiring.

    If you remove the small desk, maybe you can get a new one that fits in from the side to maximize space- good for tabletop storage. You may be facing the wall, but you'll have the window just to your left and that's still nice. Consider cork boards or something for hanging supplies.. maybe some shelves.

    Love the craft table- that would be dreamy... and full of storage- can change shelf from tall/narrow to low/wide.

  4. well, nothing new, if you want a more luminous space, the dark furniture has to go, for sure. For my space, I opted for a combination of Ikea's Expedit shelves (4x4 cubes shelf unit x 2, plus one 2x5, on the side) and two Expedit desk add-ons. If you visit my Flickr set named "my creative space", you can see them from different angles.
    Good luck for the relooking, it's going to be so much fun for you ! :D xoxox

  5. You could maybe just repaint your black furniture?

    I love this post. I'm dealing with similar issues with our office space upstairs. Good luck to you! :)

  6. i think painting the walls white is a great idea.. it would brighten up the space a lot. maybe paint the storage unit white? and some vintage wallpaper would be fantastic!

  7. I agree with everyone - love the transformation to white. I just recently painted our kitchen cabinets white (dark wood before) and the light in the room now is AMAZING. AMAZING!!

    I love that large square worktable, so perfect for you!! I definitely think getting rid of the black shelf would be key. maybe you can do one entire wall (the shorter one?) of storage and shelving - a combination of open shelving for display and closed shelving to store your fabrics and other craft items?

    I can't wait to see how your office space will come together!

  8. I just nnnneeeeeed to sort out my space. You have given me the impetus.


Your thoughts are always, always welcome. Just know that I appreciate each and every one of you even if I don't always have the chance to respond.