Tuesday, May 11, 2010

An Old Space Revived: Creating A More Functional Workspace

Well, I finally did it! I've been wanting to create a pretty little space to call my own for quite some time. The attic has always been my workspace, but over the past few years it has become increasingly cluttered. It seemed to become a dumping ground for extra inventory, Christmas decorations, outgrown childrens' clothing and anything else that didn't have a permanent home. After receiving 2 custom orders, and not having enough space to spread out and fill them, I decided it was time to finally make my space function the way I knew it could.

Next, the dilemma of redoing a space on a shoestring budget. It was actually quite fun only using things I already have. Thank goodness for ingenuity and a retired neighbor with lots of fabulous tools. Believe it or not, I didn't spend a dime.

Here's a list of my reclaimed supplies:
leftover paint
reclaimed 2 X 4s (from walls we removed in the basement)
old plywood that I used to use as a table top at antique shows
2 doors (from a cabinet that was left behind when we purchased the house)
vintage faded fabric (not fit to sell) and some newer remnants (leftover from past projects)
random metal tins
leftover scrapbooking paper
a few home dec items we aren't using
5 bookcases I've had for years (only $20.00 per section from Wal-Mart and  Big Lots)

O.K. I think that's about it. I put in a little elbow grease and here is the outcome. It's not perfect or completely finished, but so far I'm pretty pleased with the results.

I lined up my bookcases on two walls to help store the inventory that is currently listed in my shop, as well as some projects I'm working on.

Next I upholstered one of the cabinet doors to make an over sized ironing board and painted the other to use as counter space and a cutting table. The base is a simple 2 x 4 frame with a fabric skirt. This gives me plenty of space to keep extra stock or items that I want to get ready for sale. I can store quite a bit under this huge table. It's almost 4' by 7'.

Under the windows I created another skirted 2 x 4 frame and topped it with a painted plywood counter top. It's the perfect place for my computer and has a pretty nice view as well. There is plenty of hidden storage here too, but since there is a radiator under this table, I think I'll leave it empty for heat flow, especially in the winter.

Some industrial wire shelving currently holds my shipping supplies and some of my inventory. I'm hoping to eventually swap this out for a few more inexpensive bookshelves. It would definitely be prettier, but functions quite well for now. The fabric panel conceals a nice size closet that stores our off season clothing and a few other odds and ends. Sitting pretty in the corner is my hand me down sewing machine that is currently out of service, a.k.a. broken. That's o.k. though, between work and the little ones, I don't even have time to consider what sewing projects I would like to start.

My last addition was a nice little area to start taking all my photographs. I have some new lights that I've been wanting to try for a while. Usually, I take all my pictures outside, but am going to give indoor photography a try, and even made myself a little photo box from a tutorial I found online.

So, this is my new little space to get away to and hopefully get much more work accomplished. Now all I have to do is put a lock on the door to keep little hands from moving everything around. My 2 1/2 yr. old is convinced this is her new playroom. Secretly, I feel like it's my new playroom too.... and I'm happy to share it with her!


Kerryn said...

You have created a beautiful space. It looks wonderfully ordered.

Mom Walds Place said...

Bravo! What a great job. Your neighbor definitely deserves brownies.

Little ones can learn which stuff is Mommies and which is theirs. If she has her own basket of trims you will be able to get more done, aha!


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