Monday, April 24

My Sewing and Craft Studio Redesign: The Vision

My Sewing and Craft Studio Redesign: The Vision
I am so excited that my new space is almost ready to move in and make it mine! This is something I have been yearning for such a long time!
We moved into our (then) new house in 1976 (spent Fourth of July Centennial weekend painting the interior) and had the basement finished about a year later. Vinyl floors and paneled walls seemed so cool then. When our oldest was ten-ish, we added a couple of walls to create a bedroom for him. When we added carpet in his space, he chose a dark green. In case you're wondering, yes, stains show on dark green carpet and they look disgusting.
desk area | vinyl floor sewing room | cutting table | green carpet
That basement has seen a lot of activities in its lifetime. It has held a pool table and a deep freeze. It has seen stationary bikes and a treadmill. Most of its life there has been a sewing space of some sort. Now that our nest is empty, it holds a refrigerator, a recumbent bike, a rowing machine, and lots and lots of sewing and crafting supplies and three workspaces. And it still had the same vinyl flooring, the same paneling, painted light blue, the walls that created a smaller room and blocked light from one of the two windows, and that stained green carpet. Oh yeah, and a popcorn ceiling. Seemed like it was time for a little update.

A few years ago I knew that I wanted to update my studio. I set a goal for myself. I decided that before I would ask for that update, I would need to cut down on the amount of stuff that I had. It seemed like a lot of that stuff was for scrapbooking. My plan was to get everything in scrapbooks by the end of that year and then get out of the scrapbooking hobby. Anything after that would be done digitally instead of with paper and glue. That would eliminate a lot of stuff, right? Well, we will never know, because I still have so many photos to scrapbook. Perhaps I spent my scrapbooking effort dreaming about my ideal new space.

basement space layout
Oops! I left out a set of bifold doors!
I have moved things around and reorganized many times, and I have used the system with graph paper and little paper furniture to plan. This time I did something similar but with my computer. I used Photoshop Elements and loaded a background that looks like grid paper. Then I drew out the basics of the space: walls, windows, doors, support column (gray box), outlets, and ceiling heights.
first arrangement
Then I drew in my furniture. This is one of my first layout plans. Below is the layout that I had drawn last. Apparently, all that dreaming and drawing paid off, because this year, my husband suggested that we go ahead with a redesign!

What a wonderful gift! I sat down and looked over that plans I had sketched and reevaluated my space. Then I backed up and wrote out why I wanted this update. What did I want this space to be?

pre-remodel layout

Of course, I wanted adequate work spaces. For me, that means a cutting table, a sewing table large enough for my sewing machine and serger, a crafting table, and a desk.

It would have to have space for the recumbent bike and the rowing machine, as well as the refrigerator.

The main motivator for my next decision was that I wanted the space to feel light and uncluttered. 

I am a person who craves sunlight, which makes having my workspace in the basement sort of a drag. I knew that it would have to maximize light to be a happy space. Then there's this paradox that I'm always dealing with: having things handy versus not having visual clutter. I know that some people are stimulated by having a lot of things in their line of sight. I once had a boss who had a moving sculpture on his desk. It drove me crazy. Visual clutter is too distracting for me. Light and uncluttered, that became my vision.

Now that I had an anchoring vision, I could go back to my room plan. Right away it became clear to me that I would have to eliminate a lot of storage in order to fulfill my vision. Eliminating storage mean eliminating a lot of stuff that I was storing. This was going to be a big deal. Come back for my next post on The Purge (not the movie).

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